Beth Allison Barr
The James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History
Areas of Specialization
Medieval and Early Modern England, Women’s History, and Church History
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.A., Baylor University, BA, magna cum laude
Academic Interests & Research Narrative
Dr. Barr’s research focuses on women and religion in medieval and early modern England, focusing especially on vernacular sermons and devotional literature. She is interested in how the advent of Protestantism affected women in Christianity as well as how and why medieval perceptions of women in religious literature both changed and stayed the same across the Reformation era. More recently, her research has expanded to include modern evangelicalism (especially Baptists), but her approach is always rooted in the medieval world.
Beth Allison 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 is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England, co-editor of The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation, co-editor of Faith and History: A Devotional, and—most recently—the author of the best selling The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. Dr. Barr writes regularly on The Anxious Bench, a religious history blog on Patheos, and has contributed to Religion News Service, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, The Dallas Morning News, Sojourners, Baptist News Global, etc. Her work has been featured by The New Yorker, and she is actively sought as an academic speaker. You can find more about her public writings, interviews, and podcasts on her website. 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), received appointment as a Faculty-in-Residence for the LEAD Living and Learning Community in Allen/Dawson Residential Hall (where she has lived and served since 2018), and served as an Associate Dean in the Baylor Graduate School (2019-2022). She is also a Baptist pastor’s wife and mom of two great kids.
The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, April 2021. Trade press based on academic research.
- USA Today Best Seller
- Publishers Weekly Best Seller
- Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight) Book of the Year 2021
- Christianity Today 2022 Book Award Finalist (History & Biography)
- Featured by NPR, The New Yorker, Religion News Service, German Public Radio, Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, Publishers Weekly, The Holy Post, Religion & Politics (John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University), Premier Christianity (UK), National Catholic Reporter, Spectrum Magazine, Sojourners, Baptist News Global, The Waco Tribune Herald, The Wacoan, as well as more than 100 podcasts and other news sources
- Five printings in less than six months
- Korean & Portuguese translations in progress (to be released in 2023)
Faith and History: A Devotional. Co-editor with Chris Gehrz. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2020.
The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2008.
Editor, with Mikeal C. Parsons, Bill J. Leonard, and C. Douglas Weaver. The Acts of the Apostles: Four Centuries of Baptist Interpretation. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009.
Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, the Louisville Institute, a Lilly Endowment Program. Weak and Silent Vessels: The Impact of the English Bible on Christian Women. 2013-2014.
- HIS 1305 | World History to 1500
- HIS 3395 | Historiography: The Philosophy and Methodology of History
- HIS 4334 | Women in Europe to 1200
- HIS 4335 | Women in Europe since 1200
- HIS 4340 | Medieval Castles
- HIS 4326 | Early Medieval Europe, c. 300-1000
- HIS 4327 | High Middle Ages, c. 1000-1450
- HIS 4341 | Tudor-Stuart Britain
- HIS 5320 | Seminar in European History for Graduate Students
- Medieval Christianity
- Women and Religion in England, 1350-1650
- Women's History and Theory
Work with Students
- E. Joseph Wilson, PhD student, Baylor History (co-director with David Whitford)
- Katherine Goodwin, PhD student, Baylor History
- Heidi Campbell, PhD student, Baylor History (co-director with Philip Jenkins)
- Eric (Joe) Wilson, PhD student, Baylor History