Ms. Elizabeth (Libbie) Schrader is a doctoral candidate in Early Christianity and New Testament in Duke University’s Department of Religion. Broadly, Schrader’s work explores the effects that New Testament textual criticism can have on not only Biblical exegesis but also on feminist theology.
In 2017, Schrader published an article in the Harvard Theological Review which argued that Martha may have been a second-century editorial addition to John’s Gospel. This addition could have downplayed the importance of the character Mary who was already identified in John’s Gospel because, in modern Bibles, Martha is the character who offers a confession which is quite similar to Peter’s confession in the Gospel of Matthew. Schrader explains that, “the addition of Martha in John may have solved a very big problem – it eliminated the possibility that Mary Magdalene could be seen as a rival authority to Peter.”
In addition to her studies, Schrader is also a singer and songwriter and is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. In her scholarship application she writes that “this lifelong affirmation by my denomination has encouraged me to look for things in the text of the New Testament that have never been seen before; my hope is that such scholarship can be passed on to help establish women’s full equality in Evangelical churches as well. When we continue to pass it on, and all women are fully affirmed in the worldwide church, who knows what else we might find?”
The Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student who aspires to exemplify the values and achievements of Nancy A. Hardesty, a founding member of the Christian Feminism Today organization, formerly known as EEWC (Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus). The purpose of the $1,000 scholarship, awarded every June, is to help a student who wants to be in a leadership role that supports and promotes Christian feminism. Read more about the NAHMS here.