April D. DeConick
Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies
Director of Graduate Studies in Religion
Ph.D., University of Michigan, Near Eastern Studies, 1994
219 Humanities Building
713.348.4995 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Areas of Teaching
New Testament; Christian Origins; Early Christianities; Apocryphal Literature; History of Christian Thought; Sexuality and Christianity; Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism; Nag Hammadi Literature; Classic Gnostic Studies; Coptic Language.
About Professor DeConick
April D. DeConick is the Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies. She is a historian of early Jewish and Christian thought. What fascinates her is mapping the many ways that the Jesus tradition emerges across the literature, traditions that have left behind echoes of bitter controversies and competing memories. She has a deep love for exploring the various expressions of ante-Nicene mysticism, including the spirituality of classic Gnostic thinkers. Her work has been called “revisionist,” challenging us to seek answers beyond the conventional.
She has recently completed a book on the Gospel of Judas, the first to seriously challenge the interpretation and translation published by National Geographic (2006). Her book is entitled The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (London: Continuum, 2007). It has been translated into several languages and republished in 2009 in a revised format.
She is currently editing the set of scholarly papers delivered at the Codex Judas Congress (March 13-16, 2008) which will be called The Codex Judas Papers. She is completing a book for the general public, Sex and the Serpent: Why the Sexual Conflicts of the Early Church Still Matter, and is starting another on Gnostic spirituality, The Gnostics and Their Gospels: An Introduction to Gnostic Spirituality in Antiquity.
She is on the editorial board of the Nag Hammadi and Manichean studies series published by E.J. Brill. She is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature where she serves as co-Chair of the New Testament Mysticism Project. She also organized and chaired for many years the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Group. She is affiliated with the North American Patristics Society, and the International Association for Coptic Studies as well.
Public Lecture Series
For information on The Forbidden Gospels Lecture Series, see her blog.
Professor DeConick mentors students who are working in concentrations in The Bible and Beyond: New Testament and Early Christianity and Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism: Western Antiquity. To prepare for application to either program, the applicant should have completed by matriculation a MA or its equivalent in Biblical Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Classics, or Early Christianity. Second-year proficiency in both Hebrew and Greek is expected. Students should be pursuing dissertation research in Greek and Coptic materials with the intent to integrate non-canonical materials into the history of the New Testament and early Christianity. Contact with Professor DeConick prior to the submission of application is expected.
The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (London: Continuum, 2007; revised 2009).
(with David Capes, Helen Bond, and Troy Miller, eds.) Israel’s God and Rebecca’s Children: Christology and Community in Early Judaism and Christianity (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007).
(ed.) Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism (Society of Biblical Literature, 2006).
The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (T&T Clark, 2006).
Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (T&T Clark, 2005).
(with Jon Asgeirsson, and R. Uro, eds.) Thomasine Traditions in Antiquity: The Social and Cultural World of the Gospel of Thomas (Brill, 2005).
Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John, Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature (T&T Clark, 2001).
Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (Brill, 1996).
“Transgressive Gnosis: Radical Thinking about the Gospel of Judas,” in Madeleine Scopello, Codex Tchacos Supplement for Rivista di Storia e letteratura religiosa (forthcoming) pp. 63-78.
“The Memorial Mary Meets the Historical Mary: The Many Faces of the Magdalene in Ancient Christianity,” James Charlesworth (ed.), Proceedings from the Talpiot Tomb Symposium (forthcoming).
“Apostles as Archons: The Emergence of Gnosticism and the Fight for Authority in the Gospel of Judas, First Apocalypse of James and Other Literature,” April D. DeConick (ed.), The Codex Judas Papers: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Tchacos Codex at Rice University, Houston, Texas, March 13-16, 2008 (NHMS; Leiden: Brill, 2009).
“Gnostic Letters from Bilthoven,” in Johannes van Oort (ed.), Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica. Collected Essays of Gilles Quispel (NHMS 55; Leiden: Brill, 2008) pp. xv-xxi.
“Human Memory and the Sayings of Jesus: Contemporary Experimental Exercises in the Transmission of Jesus Traditions,” Tom Thatcher (ed.), Jesus, the Voice, and the Text: Beyond The Oral and the Written Gospel (Waco: Baylor University, 2008) pp. 137-180.
“Conceiving Spirits. The Mystery of Valentinian Sex,” in W. Hanegraaff and J. Kripal (eds.), Hidden Intercourse. Eros and Sexuality in Western Esotericism (Leiden, Brill, 2008).
“The Gospel of Thomas,” Paul Foster (ed.), The Non-Canonical Gospels (London: T&T Clark, 2008; reprint from Expository Times 2007) pp. 13-29.
“The Gospel of Judas: A Parody of Apostolic Christianity,” Paul Foster (ed.), The Non-Canonical Gospels (London: T&T Clark, 2008) pp. 96-109.
“What the Gospel of Judas Really Says,” Madeleine Scopello (ed.), The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (NHMS; Leiden: Brill, 2008) pp. 239-264.
“Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas,” Jörg Frey, Enno Edzard Popkes and Jens Schröter (eds.), Das Thomasevangelium: Entstehung-Rezeption-Theologie (BZNW 157; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008) pp. 206-221.
“How We Talk About Christology Matters,” in David Capes, April D. DeConick, Helen Bond, and Troy Miller (eds.), Israel’s God and Rebecca’s Children: Christology and Community in Early Judaism and Christianity (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007) pp. 1-23.
“The Gospel of Thomas,” Expository Times 118 (2007) pp. 469-479.
“What is Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism?” in April D. DeConick (ed.), Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism, Symposium Series 11 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006) 1-26.
“Corrections to the Critical Reading of the Gospel of Thomas," Vigiliae Christianae (in press).
"On the Brink of the Apocalypse: A Preliminary Examination of the Earliest Speeches in the Gospel of Thomas," in J. Asgeirsson, A.D. DeConick, and R. Uro (eds.), Thomasine Traditions in Antiquity: The Social and Cultural World of the Gospel of Thomas, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2005).
"Reading the Gospel of Thomas as a Repository of Communal Memory," in A. Kirk and T. Thatcher (eds.), Memory, Tradition, and Text: Uses of the Past in Early Christianity, Semeia 52 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005) 207-220.
"The Great Mystery of Marriage: Sex and Conception in Ancient Valentinian Traditions," Vigiliae Christianae 57 (2003) 307-342.
"The Original Gospel of Thomas," Vigiliae Christianae 56 (2002) 167-199.
"The True Mysteries: Sacramentalism in the Gospel of Philip," Vigiliae Christianae 55 (2001) 225-261.
"John Rivals Thomas: From Community Conflict to Gospel Narrative," T. Thatcher and R. Fortna (eds.), Jesus in Johannine Tradition: New Directions (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001).
"Heavenly Temple Traditions and Valentinian Worship: A Case for First-Century Christology in the Second Century," Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus Conference Volume, St. Andrews, Scotland 1998, Supplements to JSJ (eds. J. Davila and C. Newman; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1999) 308-341.
"Blessed are those who have not seen' (John 20:29): Johannine Dramatization of an Early Christian Discourse," in The Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years, Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration, NHMS 44 (eds. J. Turner and A. McGuire; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997) 381-398.
"The Dialogue of the Savior and the Mystical Sayings of Jesus," Vigiliae Christianae 50 (1996) 178-199.
"Fasting from the World: Encratite Soteriology in the Gospel of Thomas," The Notion of "Religion" in Comparative Research. Selected Proceedings of the XVIth IAHR Congress, Rome, 3rd-8th September, 1990 (ed. U. Bianchi; Rome, 1994) 425-440.
"Stripped Before God: A New Interpretation of Logion 37 in the Gospel of Thomas." Co-Authored with Jarl Fossum; Vigiliae Christianae 45 (1991) 123-150.
"The Yoke Saying in the Gospel of Thomas 90." Vigiliae Christianae 44 (1990) 280-294.
Links for April D. DeConick
The Forbidden Gospels Blog
New Testament Mysticism Project