Emily Gathergood is currently revising her doctoral dissertation for publication and developing her second book project, ‘Birthing Disciples: Divine and Human Transformation in Early Christianity,’ a study of gender, embodiment, and perfection in and beyond the New Testament.


  • PhD Theology, University of Nottingham

  • MA Biblical Studies (Distinction), University of Nottingham

  • BA (Hons) Theology (First Class), University of Nottingham

Blog Posts


    My PhD project on ‘The Midwifery of God’ (2022) examines the intersections of maternity and divinity in early Jewish and Christian writings. The theological motif of ‘tokological’ deliverance is explored through intertextual analysis of canonical and apocryphal receptions of the Genesis myth of Eve’s postlapsarian judgement. The central thesis is that these sacred texts conceptualise God in feminine terms, as the heavenly Midwife who physiologically delivers parturient women through the difficulties of childbearing. The study reframes established accounts of early Christian soteriology, which favour the generic or androcentric, by attending to the deliverance of the female body and soul.

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    ‘Wombful of Grace: Divine and Maternal Embodiment in Early Christian Apocrypha,’ Durham University New Testament Research Seminar, Feb 2023.

    ‘The Afterbirth of Genesis 3:16: Early Jewish and Christian Re(con)ceptions of the Maternal Curse,’ University of Aberdeen Biblical Studies Research Seminar, Feb 2023.

    ‘Deliver Her From Evil: Messianic Midwifery in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch) 72–74,’ Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Nov 2022.

    ‘Your Faith has Delivered You: Divine Midwifery and Perinatal Discipleship in Early Christian Apocrypha,’ New Testament Research Colloquium, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, June 2022.

    ‘Gendered Fluids of Salvation: The Father’s Seminal Lactation and the Virgin’s Masculine Maternity in the Odes of Solomon 19,’ North American Patristics Society Annual Meeting, May 2022.

    ‘Call the Midwife! Apostolic birthing and childless discipleship in the apocryphal Acts of Andrew,’ University of Nottingham Theology Seminar, Feb 2022.

    Discussant, ‘Studies in Second Temple Judaism: A Global Enterprise,’ Enoch Seminar/Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies, Jan 2022.

    ‘Childbearing, salvation, and religious competition for women’s devotion in the Latin Acts of Andrew,’ Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting: Christian Apocrypha session, San Antonio, TX, Nov 2021.

    ‘She will be delivered: the “tokological” salvation of Eve in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve and 1 Timothy,’ British New Testament Conference, Durham, Aug 2021.

    ‘Special Delivery: The Birth of Jesus in the Ascension of Isaiah 11,’ Bible and the Religions of the Ancient Near East Collective: Primary Text Lab, June 2021.


    • Society of Biblical Literature

    • British New Testament Society

    • European Association for Jewish Studies

    • Bible and the Religions of the Ancient Near East Collective

    • Institute for Biblical Research

    Emily J. Gathergood

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