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John W. Coakley
L. Russell Feakes Memorial Professor of Church History
732-247-5241 x113
  My courses at NBTS ask, in various ways, "what has it meant to be Christian?" I am working on helping my introductory class to pose that question of non-western forms of Christianity, to a greater extent than we have done in the past.

B.A., Wesleyan University
M.Div., Th.D., Harvard Divinity School
M.L.I.S., Rutgers University

Professor of Church History, New Brunswick Theological Seminary (1990 to 1995)
Associate Professor of Church History, New Brunswick Theological Seminary (1984 to 1990).
Pastor, Union Congregational Church, East Walpole, Massachusetts (1980 to 1984).
Associate Pastor, Congregational Church of West Medford, Massachusetts (1974 to 1980).


Women, Men and Spiritual Power: Female Saints and Their Male Collaborators. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Readings in World Christian History: Earliest Christianity to 1453. Edited by John W. Coakley and Andrea Sterk. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2004.

Concord Makes Strength: Essays in Reformed Ecumenism. Edited by John W. Coakley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

Patterns and Portraits: Women in the History of the Reformed Church in America. Edited by Renée S. House and John W. Coakley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.

Creative Women in Medieval and Early Modern Italy: a Religious and Artistic Renaissance. Edited by E. Ann Matter and John Coakley Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.

Essays in Peer-reviewed Journals and Collections

"Afterword: Ordinary Life and the Gendered Imagination." in Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500, ed. Fiona Griffiths and Julie Hotchin. Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming.

"John Henry Livingston (1746-1825): Interpreter of the Dutch Reformed Tradition in the Early American Republic," in New World Clergy:Continuities and Changes among Dutch Colonial Clergy, ed. Leon van den Broeke, Hans Krabbendam, and Dirk Mouw, 295-314. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.

"Women's Textual Authority and the Collaboration of Clerics," in Medieval Holy Women in the Christian Tradition, ed. Rosalynn Voaden and A.J. Minnis, 83-104. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010.

"Christian Holy Women and the Exercise of Religious Authority in the Medieval West." Religion Compass 3, no. 5 (September, 2009): 847-56.

"John Henry Livingston as Professor of Theology," in Tools for Understanding: Essays in Honor of Donald J. Bruggink, ed. James Hart Brumm, 189-200. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.

"Thomas of Cantimpré and Female Sanctity," in In the Comic Mode: Medieval Communities and the Matter of Person [essays presented to Caroline Bynum], ed. Rachel Fulton and Bruce Holsinger, 45-55. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

"The Reformed Church in America as a National Church," in Church, Identity, and Change: Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times, ed. David Roozen and James Nieman, 400-09. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.

"A Marriage and Its Observer: Christine of Stommeln, the Heavenly Bridegroom, and Friar Peter of Dacia," in Gendered Voices: Medieval Saints and Their Interpreters, ed. Catherine M. Mooney. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.

"Women in the History of the Reformed Church in America," in Patterns and Portraits: Women in the History of the Reformed Church in America, ed. Renee S. House and John Coakley (1999; see above), 1-16.
"Introduction: Women's Self-Expression in Religious Context," in Creative Women in Medieval and Early Modern Italy, ed. E. Ann Matter and John Coakley (1994; see above),. 1-16.

"Gender, Friars and Sanctity: Mendicant Encounters with Saints, 1250-1325," in Medieval Masculinities, ed. Clare Lees, 91-110. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

"John Henry Livingston and the Liberty of the Conscience." Reformed Review 45 (1992): 119-135. Reprinted in Clarity, Conscience and Church Order (New Brunswick: Archives of the Reformed Church in America [1993]), 4-17. (http://images.rca.org/docs/archives/bcoreflections.pdf#page=4 )

"Gender and the Authority of Friars: The Significance of Holy Women for Thirteenth-Century Franciscans and Dominicans." Church History 60 (December, 1991): 445-460.

"Friars as Confidants of Holy Women in Medieval Dominican Hagiography," in Images of Sainthood in Medieval Europe, ed. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Timea Szell, 226-46. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Articles in Other Periodicals and Collections

"Church Review: The Reformed Church of Highland Park, New Jersey." Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought 24, no. 10 (December 2009): 18-19.

"The Latin Hymn," in O Sacred Head: A Passiontide Hymn, ed. J.F. Coakley, 1-3. Oxford: Jericho Press, 2003.

"Critical Christianity: Remembering John W. Beardslee III. A sermon preached at the Memorial Service for John W. Beardslee III, April 29, 2001." New Brunswick Theological Seminary Update, Fall/Winter 2001: 6.

"On the Unconditional." [1999 baccalaureate sermon, New Brunswick Seminary] New Brunswick Theological Seminary Update, Summer/Fall 1999: 1, 4, 9.

"Women in Christian Tradition." The Church Herald 46/6 (1989): 24-26.

"The Meanings of 'Spirituality'." Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought 3, no. 10 (1988): 4-7.

"Anniversary Reflections on the Repression of the Huguenots" New Brunswick Seminary Newsletter 14, no. 8 (1985): 5-6.

Articles in Reference Works

"Matthew 8:18-22: Theological Perspective," "Matthew 8:23-27: Theological Perspective," and "Matthew 8:28-9:1: Theological Perspective," in Feasting on the Gospels, ed. E. Elizabeth Johnson and Cynthia Jarvis, forthcoming.

"Non-Scholastic Theology: Women Writers," in The Oxford Handbook to the Reception History of Christian Theology. ed. Sarah Coakley and Richard Cross. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

"Colossians 3:12-17: Theological Perspective"; "Ephesians 1:3-14: Theological Perspective"; and "Ephesians 3:1-12: Theological Perspective," in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C , volume 1, ed. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor, 158-62, 184-86, 206-210. Louisville: Westmister/John Knox, 2009..

"Christendom," "Investiture Controversy," "Middle Ages," and "Renaissance," in Encyclopedia of Christianity,, ed. John Bowden, 209-11, 644-45, 740-43, 1026-29. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

"New Brunswick Theological Seminary," in The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2004.

"Devotion, litterature de," and "Direction spirituelle," in Dictionnaire encyclopédique du moyen age chretienne, edited by Andre Vauchez, 1:458-59, 468. Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1997. English version: Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Clark & Co., 2000.

Books Reviewed

Ronald Finucane, Contested Canonizations: The Last Medieval Saints, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 64 (2013): 163.

Erika Lauren Lindgren, Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany, in Speculum 87 (2012):251-52.

Beverly Mayne Kienzle, Hildegard of Bingen and her Gospel Homilies: Speaking New Mysteries, in Church History 80 (2011): 151-53

Tamar Herzig, Savonarolas Women: Visions and Reform in Renaissasnce Italy, in Speculum 86 (2011): 215-17.

Andrea Janelle Dickens, The Female Mystic, in Catholic Historical Review 96 (2010): 776-77.

Nancy Caciola, Discerning Spirits: Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages, in Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft 2 (2007): 79-81.

Barbara Newman, God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry, and Belief in the Middle Ages, in Journal of Religion 86 (2006): 113-14.

Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, ed., Dominican Penitent Women, in Catholic Historical Review 91 (2005): 793-94.

Dyan Elliott, Proving Woman: Female Spirituality and Inquisitional Culture in the Later Middle Ages, in American Historical Review 110 (2005):540-41.

Kenneth Baxter Wolf, The Poverty of Riches: St Francis of Assisi Reconsidered, in Speculum 79 (2004): 861-2.

Eugene P. Heideman, From Mission to Church: the Reformed Church in America Mission to India, in Journal of Presbyterian History 80 (2002): 118-19.

Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Worldly Saints: Social Interaction of Dominican Penitent Women in Italy, 1200-1500, in Church History 70 (2001): 566-67.

Gregg A. Mast, In Remembrance and Hope: The Ministry and Vision of Howard G. Hageman, in Journal of Presbyterian History 78 (2000): 178-79.

Leonard P. Hindsley, The Mystics of Engelthal: Writings from a Medieval Monastery, in Church History 68 (1999): 987-88.

Rosalynn Voaden (ed.), Prophets Abroad: The Reception of Continental Holy Women in Late-Medieval England, in Church History 67 (1998): 143-44.

Paul J. Archambault (ed. and tr.), A Monk's Confessions: The Memoirs of Guibert of Nogent, in Church History 66 (1997): 329-30.

Michael E. Goodich, Violence and Miracle in the Fourteenth Century: Private Grief and Public Salvation, in Church History 66 (1997): 100-01.

Édouard Jeauneau, L'âge d'or des écoles de Chartres, in Speculum 71 (1996): 967-68.

Birgitta of Sweden, Revelaciones, Book IV, ed. Hans Aili, in Speculum 69 (1994): 1117-19.

Ludo J.R. Milis, Angelic Monks and Earthly Men: Monasticism and Its Meaning to Medieval Society, in Church History 63 (1994): 269-270.

Lieven van Acker, ed., Hildegardis Bingensis Epistolarium pars Prima I-XC, in Speculum 68 (1993): 1132-3.

Angelo di Berardino, ed., Encyclopedia of the Early Church, in Bible Review 9/2 (April, 1993): 13.

Ronald E. Surtz, The Guitar of God: Gender, Power and Authority in the Visionary World of Mother Juana de la Cruz (1481-1534), in Church History 61 (1992): 447-448.

Arne Jönsson, Alfonso of Jaén. His Life and Works with Critical Editions of the Epistola Solitarii, the Informaciones and the Epistola Servi Christi, in Church History 61 (1992): 303-304.

Charles W. Jones, St. Nicholas of Myra, Bari and Manhattan, in Church History 60 (1991): 429-430.


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