New PhD Showcase: Nathan Shedd, “The Beheading of John the Baptist: Memory, Violence, and Reception,” with Kelly J. Murphy, Rafael Rodriguez, and Sarah Rollens

de Grebber, Pieter Fransz.; Herodias Mutilating the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist Held by Salome; Wellcome Library;

February 25, 4:00 – 5:30 pm EST/9:00 pm UK time

Register here

This PhD Showcase continues the series’ aim of sharing the doctoral research of recent PhD graduates. The event features Dr. Nathan Shedd’s work the beheading of John the Baptist in the gospels and their early reception history. The conversation will focus on the memory of violence in early Christianity and the communicative impact of John’s severed head. Nathan’s presentation will discuss Mark 6:16-29 and Herod Antipas’ masculinity in context of John’s beheading. Registered participants will receive a handout the day before the event.


Kelly J. Murphy is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and its reception, with a particular interest in gender and economics. She is the author of Rewriting Masculinity: Gideon, Men, and Might (2019) and is currently working on a book on how the Bible has been used in discourses about poverty over time, and a new project on the trope of severed heads in the Bible and its reception.

Rafael Rodriguez is the author of several books on the New Testament and social memory, including of Structuring Early Christian Memory: Jesus in Tradition, Performance, and Text (2010), Oral Tradition and the New Testament: A Guide for the Perplexed (2014), The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans (2016), and Jesus Darkly: Remembering Jesus with the New Testament (2018).

Sarah E. Rollens researches Christian origins and social theory, with a focus on Q and the Synoptic Gospels. She is the author of Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q (2014), and is currently working on a study of violent imagery in early Christian texts.

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