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Spotlight Shines on Women in the Bible Noted expert Dr. Elaine Pagels focuses on feminine role

Duquesne University will host “The Feminine” in the Bible, the 33rd annual Western Pennsylvania Symposium on World Literatures on Tuesday, March 21 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Duquesne Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.“Often perceived as patriarchal, biblical history has a rich tradition of involvement by women,” said conference chair/coordinator Dr. Albert C. Labriola, professor of English at Duquesne. “Women are crucial in the actual events of Scripture and in the allegorical significance of their participation in biblical history.”

Dr. Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, will deliver the keynote address, God the Father, God the Mother: Feminine Images In—and Outside of—the Bible, followed by a question-and-answer session and a book signing.

A foremost historian of the early Christian church, Pagels is internationally renowned for her book, The Gnostic Gospels, which focuses on 52 early Christian manuscripts unearthed in 1945. These biblical manuscripts include other Gospels—reputedly by St. Peter, St. Philip and St. Thomas—that tend to value and validate the role of womanhood and the idea of “the Feminine.”

The Gnostic Gospels has earned Pagels both the National Book Award and the National Critic’s Circle Award, and was cited as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century. Other speakers and topics at the ecumenical and interfaith conference are: Dr. Linda Day, general editor of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Women’s Lamentation in the Hebrew Bible; Dr. Angela Kim Harkins, assistant professor of theology at Duquesne, Biblical and Post-Biblical Images of Women and Warfare; and Dr. Edith M. Humphrey, associate professor of New Testament studies at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Transformation and Identity in the New Testament Apocalypse.

For more information or to make reservations for the 6 p.m. conference dinner ($25 per person), call 412.396.6435 or e-mail labriola@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.