23 August 2012
Venue: Seminar Room 302, Arts 1, Building 206, 14a Symonds Street
Contact info: Melissa Rodger
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Theology research seminar by Joan Taylor, Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism, King’s College London.
The maleness of ‘the Twelve’ as a group is usually assumed, given the naming of individual men, even when lists of these men are not consistent. However, despite the synoptic Gospels’ insistence on a male group, the Marcan reference to their being sent out ‘two by two’ (Mark 6: 7) is oddly suggestive of an archetypal male-female pairing (Genesis 6: 21). The question arises then as to whether there were implied ‘sister-wives/women’ (cf. 1 Corinthians 9: 1-6), rather than only pairs of men, so that ‘the Twelve’ historically might have been a shorthand for twelve pairs of disciples authorized by Jesus to act in his place, a body that is represented symbolically by the twenty-four elders of Revelation 4: 4, 10 (cf. 5: 9-10). If so, this group would have included women with their own distinctive service (Mark 15: 40-41): one that was both culturally defined and yet counter-culturally enacted.
Joan Taylor is Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King’s College London. She was formerly Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and History at Waikato University, and has been Visiting Lecturer in Women’s Studies in New Testament at Harvard Divinity School and at Research Fellow in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen. She is the author of five books and over 60 articles on Biblical interpretation, women and gender, and the history and archaeology of Judaism and Christianity.