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Andrews University Association of Adventist Forum Meetings December 4, 2017

Posted by jimharris2006 in Uncategorized.
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Michiana Adventist Forum



Archaeology, Women and Early Christianity:

An Update 


Randall W. Younker, PhD

Professor of Archaeology and History of Antiquity
Director, Institute of Archaeology

Andrews University

Saturday Afternoon at 3:30 pm

February 10, 2018


Biology Amphitheater

Price Hall

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI


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About the Speaker

Dr. Randall Younker is Professor of Archaeology and History of Antiquity at Andrews University where he directs the PhD program in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology. He is also director of the Institute of Archaeology. In addition, he directs the Jalul Excavation Project in Jordan and the San Miceli paleo-Christian village excavation in Sicily. A graduate of Pacific Union College, he holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of Arizona.  He has taught at Andrews University since 1986.


About the Topic

In the ongoing conversation regarding gender roles in the church, a field which seems to get little attention is the realm of archaeology. However, analysis of excavation sites provides an expanded perspective of gender differences in the early church. This presentation will deal with the role and importance of women in the early Christian church based upon archaeological and ancient written sources. Delving into church life in the Paleo-Christian period (first three centuries) and the Byzantine empire (330–1453 AD), this lecture will cover demographic studies which show women significantly outnumbering men in the early church—especially from 100–400 AD—and taking on a variety of leadership roles. The recent discovery of female skeletons in Sicily buried with important ornamentation inside the church—a place reserved for religiously important individuals—offers some insights on the topic of women in church history. Various ancient sources indicate that roles for women in the ancient Christian church included being church sponsors and patrons, deacons and, at times, even priests and bishops. This evidence brings new perspective to modern discussions on gender roles and church leadership, with recent scholarly studies debating the history and meaning of ordination as well as the titles “presbyter” and “bishop” during the first centuries of the Christian church.