Katherine A. Shaner

Assistant Professor of New Testament

BA, Luther College; MDiv, Harvard Divinity School; Certificate of Studies, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; ThD, Harvard Divinity School

In classrooms, in faith communities, in the public square, Dr. Shaner challenges leaders to listen for the voices of people who are usually left out of our stories in our biblical texts and in our histories of justice. She teaches courses across the New Testament and early Christian history that explore the theological, social, and political implications of biblical interpretation for contemporary communities. Throughout her teaching and scholarship she examines the intersections of race, class, and gender as well as the ethics of contemporary biblical interpretation. Her course offerings include Multi-cultural Biblical Interpretation, Revelation, Women and Slaves in Early Christianity, Corinthian Correspondence, and introductory courses. Dr. Shaner’s book, Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2017), challenges readers to re-think common perceptions about how enslaved persons participated in early Christian communities. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is a regular guest preacher and presider.

Religious Affiliation

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to New Testament
  • Interpreting New Testament Letters
  • Interpreting New Testament Gospels
  • Women and Slaves in Early Christianity
  • The Book of Revelation
  • The Corinthian Correspondence


  • Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017.

Select Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Book Reviews

  • “Seeing Rape and Robbery: Harpagmos and the Philippians Christ Hymn.” Biblical Interpretation, forthcoming.
  • “Feminist Biblical Interpretation.” Oxford Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in the New Testament. Edited by Benjamin H. Dunning. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • Review of Philippians: Historical Problems, Hierarchical Visions, Hysterical Anxieties by Joseph A. Marchal. Review of Biblical Literature, forthcoming.
  • Selected lections from Gospel of John. Feasting on the Gospels.Westminster John Knox Press, 2015.
  • “Ephesos: A Photo Essay.” Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Edited by Michael Coogan. http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/resource/photoessays.xhtml. 2014.
  • “Family Structures: New Testament,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies. Edited by Rachel Havrelock, Davina Lopez, Todd Penner, Ken Stone, and Ilona Zsolnay. Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Review of Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legaciesby Bernadette J. Brooten. Interpretation 67 (2013): 316–17.
  • “Ephesos,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Archaeology. Edited by L. Michael White. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Select Academic Lectures

  • “Women, Slaves, and Disenfranchized Workers: Forgotten Protesters in Mark 11:15–19.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. November 2016.
  • “Devote yourselves to the bishop”: Episcopal Leadership and the Enslaved Faithful in Ignatius’ Letter to Polycarp.” Oxford International Patristics Conference. Oxford, UK. August 2015.
  • “Seeing Rape and Robbery: Harpagmosand the Philippians Christ Hymn.” Annual Meeting Society of Biblical Literature. San Diego, CA. November 2014.
  • “The Emperors and the Enslaved: Sacrifice in Second-Century Ephesos.” International Society of Biblical Literature Meeting. Vienna, Austria. July 2014.
  • Response to N. T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.Veritas Forum. Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass. November 2013.

Select Sermons, Educational Series, and Church Presentations

  • “Named and Unnamed: Living in Community.” A two-day retreat focusing on the named and unnamed people in Paul’s communities and our own communities of faith. Lutheran and Moravian Women in Ministry. Laurel Ridge, NC. November 2015.
  • “In the Shadows of the New Testament.” A multi-day workshop on reading New Testament texts from the perspective of the most vulnerable in our world. ACTS, Virginia Synod, ELCA. Spring 2015.
  • “Living Re-birth.” Sermon exploring Nicodemus’ question about how we are to be reborn (John 3:1-17). Epiphany Lutheran Church, Winston Salem, NC. May 2015.
  • “Na’amah, the Boldest Woman We Never Knew.” Sermon celebrating women’s ministries (1 Peter 3:18-22). Grace Lutheran Church, Thomasville, NC. February 2015.
  • “Where in the World is Paul? Cities, Spaces, and Communities in Christ” A visual tour through the ancient cities where first century communities in Christ lived. Adult Education, First Baptist Church, Lexington, NC. September 2014
  • “Who Listens to Paul? Putting Names to Faces and Places.” An exploration of the people Paul names in his correspondence and their roles in the earliest communities in Christ. Adult Education, First Baptist Church, Lexington, NC. September 2014.
  •  “Lutherans: History, Confessions, and Contemporary Expressions.” A short description of Lutheran theology, worship, and justice work. Adult Education, Calvary Moravian Church, Winston Salem, NC. February 2014.

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • Association of Lutheran Teaching Theologians
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America