Karen L. King

Karen L. King
Hollis Professor of Divinity

Contact information

kking@hds.harvard.edu
Andover 503
Kristin Gunst
617.495.8815

On leave

  • Fall term 2013

Education

  • BA, University of Montana
  • PhD, Brown University

Profile

Karen L. King was appointed to the Divinity School in 1997 and from 2003 to 2009 served as the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History. In October 2009, she became the first woman appointed as the Hollis Professor of Divinity, the oldest endowed chair in the United States (1721). Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she pursues teaching and research specialties in the history of Christianity. Her books include The Secret Revelation of John; The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle; What Is Gnosticism?; Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (with Elaine Pagels); and Revelation of the Unknowable God. Other publications include Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (ed.) and Women and Goddess Traditions in Antiquity and Today (ed.). Her particular theoretical interests are in discourses of normativity (orthodoxy and heresy), gender studies, and religion and violence. She has received research grants and awards for excellence in teaching and research; among them are grants from the Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, and the Graves Foundation. King is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Association for Coptic Studies, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

Current and future courses

Selected publications

  • Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (Viking, 2007) Publisher page
  • The Secret Revelation of John (Harvard University Press, 2006) Publisher page
  • The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Polebridge Press, 2003) Publisher page
  • What Is Gnosticism? (Harvard University Press, 2003) Publisher page

Media expertise

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