Valerie Abrahamsen's picture
Primary Discipline

Primary Discipline: 

  • HumanitiesTheologyBiblical studies

Further Specification: 

New Testament and Early Christian Origins


I completed masters and doctoral studies in New Testament and Early Christian Origins at Harvard Divinity School and have remained active in my fields for nearly four decades. I worked as an academic administrator, mainly as a registrar, at a number of colleges in Massachusetts and Vermont. I reluctantly retired in late 2017 after my job was eliminated suddenly in 2013 and I was unsuccessful landing a new position. For three years, I conducted research on the survival of the soul after death and self-published my book, Paranormal, in 2015. In October 2015, I launched a website, WisdomWordsPPF, and have been posting evidence-based blogs twice a month in three areas: my scholarly research on women in antiquity, New Testament, and early church history; social justice issues from a progressive, feminist perspective; and insights from Paranormal. I am now giving lectures and leading discussions, retreats and workshops at retirement communities, churches, colleges, libraries, conference centers and other venues, and I volunteer for Estey Organ Museum in Brattleboro, Vermont; the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Mass.; and Senior Solutions, Springfield, Vermont. I sing in the Brattleboro Concert Choir and the choir of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Brattleboro.

Current research areas: 

For blog posts: social justice issues, especially how other Western democracies solve problems that we in the US seem unable to solve.
For lectures and discussions: the women around St. Paul; archaeological observations from Pauline cities.
For retreats: the worship and legacy of Mary, mother of Jesus.

Recent scholarly activity: 

Lecture, “Archaeological Revelations from the Ancient Cities of Philippi and Corinth,” Atria Woodbriar, October 28, 2019, Falmouth, Mass.

Recent publications: 

Review, Lynn H. Cohick and Amy Brown Hughes, Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority, and Legacy in the Second through Fifth Centuries (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017), in Anglican and Episcopal History, Vol. 89, No. 2 (June 2020) 198-200
Review, Catherine M. Chin and Caroline T. Schroeder, editors, Melania: Early Christianity through the Life of One Family (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017), in Anglican and Episcopal History, Vol. 88, No. 2 (June 2019) 206-07
Review, Elizabeth A. Johnson, editor, The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016), in Anglican and Episcopal History, Vol. 86, No. 4 (December 2017) 447-49

Forthcoming research: 

Review, Paula Fredriksen, When Christians were Jews: The First Generation (Cornwall, Great Britain: TJ International Ltd., 2018), in Anglican and Episcopal History, submitted
Review, Maria E. Doerfler, Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son: The Death of Children in Late Antiquity (Oakland, Calif.: University of California Press, 2019), in Anglican and Episcopal History, submitted
Review, Jenn Cianca, Sacred Ritual, Profane Space: The Roman House as Early Christian Meeting Place (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018), in Anglican and Episcopal History, submitted

Other activities: 

Invited endorsement, Thomas G. Plante and Gary E. Schwartz, editors, Human Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased: Psychological, Scientific, and Theological Perspectives
Vice President and Docent Coordinator, Estey Organ Museum, Brattleboro, Vermont
Board member, Senior Solutions (the Area Agency on Aging for Southeastern Vermont), Springfield, Vermont
Board member, Christ Church Guilford

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars