Katherine A. Shaner

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 our 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, The Material World of the New Testament, Interpreting New Testament Letters, Interpreting New Testament Gospels, 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.

photo by Carly Geis Photography
photo by Carly Geis Photography


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

  • 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

  • “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.
  • “Feminist Biblical Interpretation.” Oxford Handbook of Gender and Sexuality in the New Testament. Edited by Benjamin H. Dunning. Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018.
  • Review of Philippians: Historical Problems, Hierarchical Visions, Hysterical Anxieties by Joseph A. Marchal. Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] 2016.
  • 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.
  • “Ephesos,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Archaeology. Edited by L. Michael White. Oxford University Press, 2013.

Select Academic Lectures

  • “Slaves in the City: Exploring New Dimensions of Paul’s Legacy in Christ-Following Communities.” LeMoyne College. Syracuse, NY. April 2018.
  • “Communal Theologies of Difference: Krister Stendahl, Paul, and the Churches in Rome.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Early Jewish Christian Relations. Boston, MA. November 2017.
  • “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 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.
  • “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

  • “Human Sexuality: Living in the Fullness of Creation.” Christ the King Lutheran Church. Cary, NC. February 2018.
  • “Translating Luther, Translating Justice” (Romans 3:27–29, Martin Luther, “On Translation”). First Baptist Church. Greenville, SC. October 2017.
  • “Rapture Revisited” (1Thessalonians 4:13–18). Augsburg Lutheran Church. Winston Salem, NC. November 2017.
  • “Romans 3:21–31.” Reformers Reading Romans. Edited by Daniel Volkert and Mary Hinke-Shore. https://nclutheran.org/category/r3/. July 2017.
  • “Gospel of Matthew.” Adult Education. Home Moravian Church, Winston Salem, NC. November 2016.
  • “We are Church: Ekklesia in Practice and Face to Face.” North Carolina Synod (ELCA) Council Retreat. Catholic Conference Center, Hickory, NC. September 2016.
  • “Week 16: Simul Justus et Peccator: A Theology of Saints and Sinners.Ever Reforming: A Reformation 500 Cross-Generational Study. Edited by Mindy Makant and Eric Childers.Http://www.nclutheran.org/events/docs/2016-Ever-Reforming-Reformation500-Study.pdf. 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.
  • “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
  • “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 (SBL)
  • American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)
  • Association of Lutheran Teaching Theologians


Email: shanerka@nullwfu.edu

Phone: 336.758.3649

Office: Wingate 103

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