Dr Sarah Parkhouse

Research Fellow, Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Dr Sarah Parkhouse

Areas of expertise: early Christianity; Coptic texts and context

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0811-4267

Email: sarah.parkhouse@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

After studying world religions, sociology of religion and early Christianity in London (SOAS; King's College London), I completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Durham University. My thesis examined ‘dialogue gospels' - 13 texts, largely discovered in the twentieth century, in which Jesus’ disciples known to us from the New Testament exploit their final opportunity to question Jesus prior to his departure. I examined how the themes of the Christian revealer-saviour and his eschatological teachings are presented in these texts, which highlighted theological diversity at the point of generic commonality. The thesis provided an in-depth exegesis of one of these texts, the Gospel of Mary. My monograph, Eschatology and the Saviour, is a revised version of the PhD thesis and is published by Cambridge University Press.

My wider research investigates the diversity of early Christian literature, and particularly focuses on texts preserved for us in Coptic and found in Egypt. I am also interested in how place and space influences religious ideas and experience, and my most recent work examines ancient texts as emplaced artefacts. Other interests include papyrology, gender, ritual and material culture.

During the PhD, I spent a term at Harvard (2014) and a month at Oslo University (2015), and I attended the Coptic papyrology seminar at Pompeu Fabra University (2014). In 2020 I will take up a short-term fellowship at the Warburg Institute, London, to study a lengthy neglected Coptic text, the Pistis Sophia.

Select publications

  • Eschatology and the Saviour: The Gospel of Mary and Early Christian Dialogue Gospels. SNTSMS. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019
  • And Francis Watson (eds.), Counter-Narratives: Telling the Christian Story Differently, T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2020
  • And Francis Watson (eds.), Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018
Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes
  • '"Surely these are heterodox teachings": The Gospel of Mary and Tertullian in dialogue', in Counter-Narratives: Telling the Christian Story Differently (ed. Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse) T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2020
  • 'Identity, Death and Ascension in the Gospel of John and the First Apocalypse of James', (forthcoming in Harvard Theological Review)
  • 'The Bipartite Eschatology of the Gospel of Mary', in Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide (eds. Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018
  • 'The Fetishization of Female Exempla: Mary, Thecla, Perpetua and Felicitas', New Testament Studies 63.4 (2017): 567-587
  • 'Gospel of Matthew 1, 24-2, 6-7, 10-11, 13', Journal of Coptic Studies: Coptica Barcinonensia 19 (2017): 29-32


Accolades and awards

  • 2020 Henri Frankfort Short-term Fellowship, Warburg Institute, London
  • 2019 ACU Research Award for Women Academic Staff

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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