In Memoriam: Elizabeth Ann Clark, 1938-2021

Elizabeth A. Clark, the John Carlisle Kilgo Professor Emerita of Religion and Professor of History at Duke University, passed on September 7 at Duke Hospital. She was 82 years old.

A native of Port Chester, New York, Dr. Clark earned a bachelor’s degree at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she majored in religion. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Columbia University in New York City.

After teaching at what is now the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Dr. Clark joined the faculty at Duke University in 1982. She remained on the faculty there for nearly 40 years. At Duke, Dr. Clark founded the Center for Late Ancient Studies.

Her work has been crucial to transforming the field formerly known as “patristics” — the study of the church fathers — into “early Christian studies,” an approach that applies cultural, social, and feminist theory to the study of early Christianity. Her scholarship made significant contributions to understanding the roles of women in antiquity and early Christianity, east and west; the study of gender and sexuality; and the history of religious studies in American higher education.

Dr. Clark’s latest book was The Fathers Refounded. Protestant Liberalism, Roman Catholic Modernism, and the Teaching of Ancient Christianity in Early Twentieth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).

Filed Under: In Memoriam


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply