Lisa Bowens

Lisa Marie Bowens, PhD ’14, associate professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, earned a BS (cum laude), MSBE, and MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, an MTS and ThM from Duke Divinity School, and a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is the first African American woman to earn tenure in Princeton Seminary’s Bible department. Her first book, An Apostle in Battle: Paul and Spiritual Warfare in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Mohr Siebeck), is a revision of her dissertation and examines Paul’s ascent to the third heaven through a cosmic/apocalyptic lens. It traces martial imagery in the letter and explores how this imagery facilitates understanding Paul’s journey as an example of spiritual warfare. Her second book, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation (Eerdmans), is the first book to investigate a historical trajectory of how African Americans have understood Paul and utilized his work to resist and protest injustice and racism in their own writings from the 1700s to the mid-twentieth century. Her current projects include working as a contributor and co-editor with Scot McKnight and Joseph Modica on Preaching Romans From Here: Diverse Voices Engage Paul’s Most Famous Letter (forthcoming), contributor and co-editor with Dennis Edwards on Do Black Lives Matter?: How Christian Scriptures Speak to Black Empowerment, and two commentaries, one on 2 Corinthians and one on 1-2 Thessalonians. 

Faculty Spotlight
Tuesday, May 16, 9:00 a.m.
Stuart Hall 6

Tuesday, May 16, 10:15 a.m.
Stuart Hall 2

African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation
How have African Americans throughout history utilized the Apostle Paul and his letters in their writings to protest and resist racism and oppression? How has Pauline scripture been a part of the black protest tradition? This seminar will present excerpts from documents from the 18th to the 20th century that range from sermons, enslaved petitions, to autobiographies of free blacks and the formerly enslaved. Can these authors offer interpretive ways forward for our own contexts? How can scripture speak to us in liberative ways today? This seminar will explore the power of black faith, the ability of black resilience, and the fortitude of black intelligentsia.