Ehrensperger, Kathy 1956–

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Ehrensperger, Kathy 1956–

PERSONAL:

Born March 8, 1956. Education: University of Basel, Switzerland, B.A., 1980, M.A., 1983; University of Wales Lampeter, Ph.D., 2002. Attended University of Bern, Switzerland.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Wales, Lampeter, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Ceredigion SA48 7ED, Wales. E-mail—[email protected].ac.uk.

CAREER:

Writer, educator, minister, lecturer, broadcaster, reviewer, translator, and theologian. University of Wales, Lampeter, Ceredigion, senior lecturer in New Testament Studies, program director for distance learning, and director of Lampeter Center for Biblical Studies, 2004—. City parish of Binningen-Bottmingen, Basel, Switzerland, senior minister, 1987-2003. Host of monthly television broadcasts, Religious Issues Today, 2000-03. Swiss Reformed Church, minister, ordained, 1987.

MEMBER:

Society of Biblical Literature, British New Testament Society, European Society of Women in Theological Research.

WRITINGS:

(Translator, with Wolfgang Stedman) Krister Stendahl, Das Vermächtnis des Paulus: Neues vom Römerbrief, published as Final Account: Paul's Letter to the Romans, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

That We May Be Mutually Encouraged: Feminism and the New Perspective in Pauline Studies, T & T Clark International (New York, NY), 2004.

Paul and the Dynamics of Power: Communication and Interaction in the Early Christ-Movement, T & T Clark (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Navigating Romans through Cultures: Challenging Readings by Charting a New Course, edited by Yeo Khiok-Khng, T & T Clark (New York, NY), 2004; Romans: Shared Ground, Uncertain Borders, edited by Cristina Grenholm and Daniel Patte, T & T Clark (New York, NY), 2005; Reading Romans with Contemporary Philosophers and Theologians, edited by David Odell Scott, T & T Clark (New York, NY), 2007; and Searching for Meaning: A Practical Guide to New Testament Interpretation, edited by P. Gooder, SPCK (London, England), 2008. Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Journal of Scriptural Reasoning, Lexington Theological Quarterly, and Journal of Beliefs and Values.

SIDELIGHTS:

Kathy Ehrensperger is a writer, educator, administrator, and theologian at the University of Wales, Lampeter. There, she serves as senior lecturer in New Testament Studies, as program director for distance learning, and as director of the Lampeter Center for Biblical Studies. She earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Basel, in Switzerland, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wales. Ehrensperger is a frequent lecturer and presenter at conferences and meetings and at other universities, having participated in events sponsored by organizations such as the Society of Biblical Literature, the Swiss Society of Feminist Theologians, and the British New Testament Society. In addition to her academic work, Ehrensperger is an ordained minister in the Swiss Reformed Church and for some sixteen years served as senior minister in the city parish of Binningen-Bottmingen in Basel.

Much of Ehrensperger's scholarly work focuses on the prominent biblical figure Paul, noted a biographer on the University of Wales, Lampeter Web site. She studies such areas as the Jewish contest of Paul's theology; meal traditions and hospitality as represented in Paul; connections and interactions between Paul and Scripture; and how the message of the gospel is transmitted across cultures in the Pauline letters. In addition, Ehrensperger works with topics such as hermeneutical presuppositions in New Testament interpretation, the social history of the Second Temple Period, and issues of gender and culture in the origins of Christianity. She is the author of numerous articles for scholarly journals as well as criticism and book reviews.

Ehrensperger examines a number of existing methods used to study the works and ideas of Paul in That We May Be Mutually Encouraged: Feminism and the New Perspective in Pauline Studies. Though she concentrates her analysis on feminist interpretations, the "majority of Ehrensperger's study is devoted to a refreshing and critical review of dominant approaches to Pauline hermeneutics, traditional, ‘New Perspective’ and feminist approaches," noted Andrew D. Clark in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. For Ehrensperger, feminist studies of Paul "have generally understood Paul according to outdated interpretations," noted Sandra Hack Polaski, writing in Interpretation. Further, according to Ehrensperger, New Perspective scholars and others "have misunderstood Paul because they have analyzed him according to Western philo- sophical categories rather than in his native Jewish milieu," Polaski reported. Within her book, Ehrensperger seeks to bring the various methods of interpreting Paul into a harmonious dialogue with each other, thereby arriving at a more reasonable interpretation and application of Pauline thought.

"This study is motivated by the observation that the last three decades of significant transformations in the fields of Pauline studies, feminist theologies on Paul, and theologies dealing with the Shoah, have had almost no impact outside the boundaries of their respective disciplines," observed reviewer Magnus Zetterholm, writing in the Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion & Education. Further, Zetterholm noted, "Ehrensperger suggests that relating insights from these fields would lead to fruitful interactions and new insights for each field and prove especially important for an understanding of Paul from a radically new perspective." As part of her study, Ehrensperger "illustrates the changes in philosophies and hermeneutics (Jacques Derrida, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Walter Benjamin), which paved the way for postmodern, postcritical, and post-Shoah approaches in biblical interpretation," remarked Heike Omerzu in the Journal of Biblical Literature.

"This is an excellent study and the idea of letting feminist perspectives interact with the most recent perspectives in Pauline studies really proves to be fruitful. Furthermore, the book is well-written, balanced and the author reveals profound knowledge from a vast area of academic fields," Zetterholm commented. The author has "produced an accessible book on Paul that provides a fine survey of current feminist and Pauline research," Omerzu stated. With this work, Ehrensperger has convincingly shown that feminist approaches and Pauline studies have much to gain from interacting with each other," Zetterholm concluded.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Expository Times, October, 2005, Louise Lawrence, review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged: Feminism and the New Perspective in Pauline Studies, p. 36.

Interpretation, April, 2006, Sandra Hack Polaski, review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged, p. 230.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Volume 28, issue 5, 2006, Andrew D. Clark, review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged, p. 83.

Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion & Education, August, 2004, Magnus Zetterholm, "A Feminist Paul? A Hermeneutical Experiment of Combining Recent Pauline Studies with Feminist Perspectives," review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged, p. 253.

Journal of Biblical Literature, summer, 2005, Heike Omerzu, review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged, p. 386.

Journal of Theological Studies, April, 2006, Jane McLarty, review of That We May Be Mutually Encouraged, p. 274.

ONLINE

University of Wales, Lampeter Web site,http://www.lamp.ac.uk/ (May 22, 2008), author biography.

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