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Grant number like: FT-58858-11

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Catherine Brown Tkacz
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Spokane, WA 99207-4614)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 8/31/2011

The Woman in the Sanctuary: The Widow of Zarephath as a Type of Christ

Christians innovatively expanded biblical exegesis by interpreting certain women as types or prefigurations of Christ, alongside Moses, Jonah and other biblical men. My research has identified eight biblical women in this role. From Armenia to England, the words of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17) were interpreted as a reference to the cross. She has a full and largely medieval tradition as a type of Christ carrying the cross, known through several texts and forty-five artworks. Strikingly many of the artworks (e.g., paten, chalice, altar crosses) are for use within the sanctuary. The first products of this project will include a lecture at Oxford demonstrating the widow's tradition and an essay analyzing the medieval evidence comprehensively. Later this research will contribute to a book on women as types of Christ. This project has ramifications for cultural history, women's studies, church history, and for the interpretation of individual texts and artworks.