Participant Info

First Name
Beth Allison
Last Name
Baylor University
Website URL
Medieval England, Women and Religion, Medieval Sermons, Church History, Modern Evangelicalism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Beth Allison Barr is the U.S.A. Today’s bestselling author of The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. An academic by training and a pastor’s wife by calling, Beth uses her unique voice to speak out on the relevance of medieval history to our modern world—especially concerning women in both medieval and modern Christianity. Her work is described as “smart,” “powerful,” and “a game changer” for women in modern evangelicalism. The Making of Biblical Womanhood was also named one of the best books about women in the Middle Ages by Sara M. Butler, the King George III Professor in British History at the Ohio State University.

Barr is currently the James Vardaman Professor of History at Baylor University, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, but she also speaks and writes as a public intellectual. She has been featured by NPR and The New Yorker, and her bylines include Religion News Service, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, Sojourners, and Baptist News Global. She also continues to write regularly on The Anxious Bench, a popular religious history blog on Patheos.

With her ability to connect to both academic and lay audiences, Barr speaks at international and national venues–such as the University of Notre Dame, Duke Divinity, Sarum College in Salisbury, England, the University of Calgary, Parks Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, the Evangelical Free Society of Canada, Newbigin House in San Francisco, California, and Brite Divinity School in Ft Worth, Texas.

Barr received her B.A. in History (with a minor in Classics) from Baylor University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served as the president of the Conference on Faith and History and president of the Texas Medieval Association, as well as remaining an active member of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society, American Society of Church History, Sixteenth Century Society, and American Historical Association. In addition to The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Barr is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England and co-editor of The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation and Faith and History: A Devotional. Since receiving tenure in the History department in 2014, Dr. Barr has served as Graduate Program Director in History (2016-2019), received a Centennial Professor Award (2018), and served as an Associate Dean in the Baylor Graduate School (2019-2022).

Recent Publications
  • The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England. Paperback edition. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell and Brewer, October 2022 (hardback publication date 2008).
  • with Elizabeth Marvel (Baylor History PhD graduate student). “The English Bible Before the Reformation.” In The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation, eds. Jennifer McNutt and Herman Selderhuis (forthcoming 2023).
  • “The Book of Margery Kempe,” in Learning the Good Life: Wisdom from the Great Hearts and Minds that Came Before, eds. Jessica Hooten Wilson and Jacob Stratman (Zondervan Academic, 2022).
  • “Faith and Women in Late Medieval English Sermons.” Fides et Historia 52:2 (Summer/Fall 2020), 1-20.
  • with Lynneth J. Miller. “John Mirk.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. New York: Oxford University Press, (2018). DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0259
  • “Late Medieval Piety: St. Anne, Martin Luther, and the Salvific Journey.” In Luther in Context, David M. Whitford. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2018), 58-65.
  • “’she hungered right so after God’s word’: Female Piety and the Legacy of the Pastoral Program in the Late Medieval English Sermons of Bodleian Library MS Greaves 54.” The Journal of Religious History 39:1 (March 2015), 31-50.
  • “Women in Early Baptist Sermons: A Late Medieval Perspective.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 40 (Spring 2014), 87-103.
  • “’he is bodyn modyr, broþyr, & syster vn-to me’: Women and the Bible in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Sermons.” Church History and Religious Culture 94:3 (Summer 2014), 297-315.
  • “A ‘sterre of þe see to ȝyue lyȝt to men’ and ‘myrroure to alle sinful’: A Comparative Analysis of Biblical Women in the English Wycliffite Sermons with John Mirk’s Festial.” In Fourteenth Century England, Vol. VIII, ed. J.S. Hamilton. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press (2014), 147-63.

Media Coverage;
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Medieval, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Religion, Women