Guest Speakers Will Discuss Medieval and Early Modern Worlds at Feb. 21 Baylor ISR Symposium

February 16, 2018

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 16, 2018) – Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion will host the seminar, “Reimagining Global Christian History: Fresh Insights Symposium,” from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Cox Lecture Hall, Armstrong Browning Library, 710 Speight Ave. The discussions will cover examples of emerging global Christian history, with a special focus on the medieval and early modern worlds.

“Obviously people at Baylor are interested in the story of Christianity, but that story has changed in the past couple of decades, it is becoming more global,” said Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History. “A huge Christian population can be found today in Africa, Asia and Latin America. And that is a surprise to the Western world. We are here to reemphasize the history of Christianity outside of the west. We are telling a ‘new-old story,’ a story that seems to be forgotten. This symposium is a way of telling an age-old story to new ears.”

The first session will begin at 1 p.m. with guest speakers Anna Redhair, master’s candidate in the history department at Baylor, and Beth Allison Barr, Ph.D., associate professor of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. Redhair will start off the day with her lecture, “Women’s Roles in the Book of the Saint of the Ethiopian Church.” Barr will then discuss the topic, “Paul on Women Reconsidered: Medieval Europe to Africa.”

At 3 p.m. Verónica A. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., director of undergraduate research and associate professor of Latin American history at Azusa Pacific University College in California will give her lecture, “Luther in the New World: Native People and Reformation in Sixteenth-Century New Spain.”

"Christianity came to Africa before Europe, India before England, and China before America,” said Paul Marshall, The Jerry and Susie Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom at Baylor University. “Currently only two of the ten largest Christian population countries are in the West. Hence, without global Christian history we cannot understand the church, or the world, of which we are part.”

The event will conclude with a questions and answers session with the panelists on the topic, “The next steps in global Christian history.” The event is free, but guests must register before 1 p.m. Feb. 21 through the Baylor ISR website or by calling 254-710-7555.

About the Speakers
Redhair is a second-year master’s student in the Baylor history program. Her research focuses on medieval pilgrimage and women, and she will defend her thesis in April. Redhair graduated from Baylor in 2016 with her B.A. in history. While at Baylor, she received several awards, including Outstanding Senior History Major (2016), President’s Gold Scholarship (2012-2016) and the Baylor Student Foundation Scholarship (2013-2014).

In addition to her role as associate professor of history, Barr also serves as the graduate program director. Her research focuses on medieval history, women and religion. In 2008, Barr wrote her book, “The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England,” and she is currently working on her second book, “Women in English Sermons 1350-1500.” Barr received her B.A. from Baylor in 1996 and her M.A and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999 and 2004, respectively.

Gutiérrez’s research at Azusa Pacific examines the development of indigenous-Christianity in 16th-century Mexico, especially by native peoples ministered by Franciscans. Her book, “Converting a Sacred City: Franciscans, Nahuas, and Spaniards in San Pedro Cholula, 1528-1648,” extensively covers some of these topics. Gutiérrez holds five degrees, including a Ph.D., C.Phil. and M.A. from the Univeristy of California Los Angeles, as well as her M.F.A from Pennsylvania State University and B.A. from the University of San Francisco.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the Baylor ISR website.

by Brooke Battersby, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Launched in August 2004, the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) exists to initiate, support and conduct research on religion, involving scholars and projects spanning the intellectual spectrum: history, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, epidemiology, theology and religious studies. The institute’s mandate extends to all religions, everywhere, and throughout history, and embraces the study of religious effects on prosocial behavior, family life, population health, economic development and social conflict. For more information, visit Baylor ISR website.