Associate Professor of New Testament

In classrooms, in faith communities, in the public square, Shaner challenges leaders to listen for the voices of people who are usually left out of the stories in our biblical texts and in our histories of justice. She works with archaeological materials from modern-day Turkey, Greece, and Israel to help better understand the full context of the earliest Christian communities. 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 Women and Slaves in Early Christianity, Multicultural Biblical Interpretation, The Material World of the New Testament, Revelation, and introductory courses. Shaner’s book, Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2018), 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.

Headshot of Professor Katherine Shaner



Phone: 336.758.3649

Office: Divinity and Religious Studies Building 303A

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

Religious Affiliation

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Courses Taught

  • Multicultural Biblical Interpretation
  • Women and Slaves in the New Testament
  • The Material World of the New Testament
  • The Book of Revelation
  • Introduction to New Testament
  • Interpreting New Testament Gospels
  • Interpreting New Testament Letters


  • Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Shouts and Whispers: Radical Meditations for Lent. Edited volume. Winston Salem: Library Partners Press, 2018.

Select Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Book Reviews

  • “The Danger of Singular Saviors: Women, Slaves, and Jesus’s Disturbance in the Temple (Mark 11:15–19).” Journal of Biblical Literature 140 (2021): 139–161.
  • “Feminist Biblical Interpretation.” Oxford Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in the New Testament. Edited by Benjamin H. Dunning. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019.
  • “Seeing Rape and Robbery: ἁρπαγμαός and the Philippians Christ Hymn.” Biblical Interpretation 25 (2017): 342–363.
  • “Slavery, Paul, and Luther’s Legacy.” Agora 30 (2017): 6–12.
  • “Ephesos: A Photo Essay.” Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Edited by Michael Coogan. 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.
  • “Ephesos,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Archaeology. Edited by L. Michael White. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Select Academic Lectures

  • “Women, Agency, and Diversity in the Early Church and Beyond.” Luce-Hartford Conference in Muslim-Christian Relations. Keynote. Hartford Seminary. Hartford, CT. June 2020.
  • “Reading Romans in the Face of Economic Injustice.” Herbener Lecture. Lutheran Center of North Texas. Dallas, TX. October 2019.
  • “Slaves in the City: Exploring New Dimensions of Paul’s Legacy in Christ-following Communities.” LeMoyne College. Syracuse, NY. April 2018.
  • “Seeing Things Backwards: New Testament Studies and the Promise of Archaeology.” American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting. Legacy Dinner. November 2017.
  • “Women, Slaves, and Disenfranchised 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.
  • “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, MA. November 2013.

Select Sermons, Educational Series, and Church Presentations

  • “Communities Called Out in Christ.” Re:Formation Keynote Series. Nebraska Synod ELCA. Virtual Gathering. October 2020.
  • “50-40-30-10: Lutheran Women in Ministry.” Wine and Word Virtual Series. Augsburg Lutheran Church. Winston Salem, NC. August–October 2020.
  • “Re-Imagining Resurrection so that #BlackLivesMatter” (Ezekiel 37:1–14). Gesthemane Lutheran Church. Seattle, WA. June 2020.
  • “Palm Parades and Pandemics” (Matthew 21:1–11). Epiphany Lutheran Church. Winston-Salem, NC. Palm Sunday 2020.
  • “World-Turning Women” (Proverbs 8:1-3, 22-36; Acts 12:12-17; Luke 1:39-56). Augsburg Lutheran Church. Winston-Salem, NC.
  • “Summer of Psalms: Introduction.” North Carolina Synod (ELCA). July 2019.
  • “Of Swine and Saviors” (Luke 8:26–29). Georgetown Presbyterian Church. Washington, DC. June 2019.
  • “Reading Luke from the Edge of the World.” Northern Rockies Institute of Theology, Montana Synod (ELCA). October 2018.
  • “Translating Luther, Translating Justice” (Romans 3:27–29, Martin Luther, “On Translation”). First Baptist Church. Greenville, SC. October 2017.
  • “Gospel of Matthew.” Adult Education. Home Moravian Church, Winston Salem, NC. November 2016.
  • “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.
  • “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.

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)
  • American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
  • Association of Lutheran Teaching Theologians