Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. The letter he sent was arguably his theological masterpiece, and has shaped Christianity ever since.
And he entrusted it to Phoebe, a deacon of the church. Paula Gooder’s new book imagines her journey to Rome and her encounter with the early church there, bringing their joyful, insecure, argumentative community vividly to life. In doing so she offers new insights into how we might engage afresh with Paul’s theology and in particular how it has affected the role of women in the church. She will explore why she thinks we’ve been wrong about Paul’s attitude to women, and how Phoebe might be a catalyst to new and liberating ways of engaging with the riches of his thought.
Dr Paula Gooder is Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, the first layperson to hold the role. One of the best-known New Testament scholars and teachers of our time, her latest book is Phoebe: A Story (Hodder 2018) and her previous books include Heaven and Body: Biblical Spirituality for the Whole Person (both SPCK).