Jennifer W. Knust

Knust_2011745 Commonwealth Ave., #304
Boston, MA 02215
T: 617.358.4222; F: 617.353.3061
Spring 2018 Office Hours: Tues 1:00-3:00pm and by appointment


Jennifer Knust joined the faculty of BU in the fall of 2005. Professor Knust is a specialist in the literature and history of ancient Christianity with a particular interest in the transmission and reception of sacred texts and in the importance of gendered discourses to the production of an early Christian identity. In the College of Arts and Sciences, she teaches courses on the history Christianity, women and religion, and in the Core Curriculum. After earning her PhD from Columbia University in 2001 and before joining the BU faculty, she taught at the College of the Holy Cross and held fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2003-2004). Her book Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity (Columbia University Press, 2005) examines the use of sexualized invective by Christian authors from Paul to Irenaeus of Lyons, placing these charges within broad discursive and political contexts. Author of several essays and journal articles, she has written on the transmission of the Gospels, ancient views of sexuality, theories of sacrifice, and religious violence. Her current projects include an inter-disciplinary volume on sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean (edited with Zsuzsanna Varhélyi, Department of Classical Studies), a detailed study of the transmission of the story of the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), and a consideration of the contradictory presentation of sexual ethics within the biblical books.

Complete CV

See also: Prof. Knust’s School of Theology web page


Unprotected TextsUnprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire
By Jennifer Wright Knust
February 7, 2012
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Abandoned to LustAbandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity
By Jennifer Wright Knust
Columbia University Press
November 9, 2005
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  • CAS CC 102 Core Humanities II
  • CAS RN 104 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • CAS RN 202 From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of Christianity
  • CAS RN 224 Women and Religion
  • CAS RN 301/601 Varieties of Ancient Christianity
  • CAS RN 302/602 Early Christian Women


  • TN 721 Introduction to the New Testament
  • TN 723 New Testament Greek I
  • TN 724 New Testament Greek II
  • TN 803 Jesus in the Gospels
  • TN 804 The Christian Bible: A History
  • TN 816 Greek Reading
  • TH 817 Varieties of Ancient Christianity
  • TN 825 Gender and the Family in Ancient Christianity
  • TN 920 New Testament Seminar (Gender and Christian Origins)