Valerie Abrahamsen's picture

Real name: 

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, 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, Vol. 90, No. 2 (June 2021) 203-05
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

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

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, Routledge, 2022.
Vice President and Docent Coordinator, Estey Organ Museum, Brattleboro, Vermont
Board member, Senior Solutions (the Area Agency on Aging for Southeastern Vermont), Springfield, Vermont
Co-Chair, Christ Church Guilford Society, Inc., Board of Directors

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars