The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode
Thecla’s Fight for Independence
An Interview with Dr. Deborah Niederer Saxon
The story of Paul and Thecla, well-known in antiquity, indicates a diversity of viewpoints about women’s roles in the early Christian years. Her resistance to the cultural norm fits with the popular attitude among Christians toward dying the “noble death,—referring to those who stood firm upon their moral principles to the end. But Thecla’s willingness to die, as well as her victory over her oppressors, differs from the message of submissiveness.
Deborah Niederer Saxon is an affiliate professor of theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and also teaches some courses at Butler University. Her main interests focus on Christian history and historiography as well as gender issues, but she is also committed to ecumenical and interfaith collaboration. She is a member of Christian Feminism Today, the Tanho Center, and a fellow of the Westar Institute. Her 2017 book, The Care of the Self in Early Christian Texts, is available for purchase on Amazon.