Ellie Gebarowski-Shafer

Assistant Professor of Religion

 Fall Term: TBD
 Munroe Hall 118


Since joining the Religion department in the fall of 2010, I have explored a variety of issues and themes in my courses.  Every fall, I teach “the Christian Tradition,” which is an introduction to the origins and global adaptations of Christianity.  In winter term, I teach "Global Pentecostalism" and in the spring term I offer “Christianity in Early Modern Europe,” a lecture and discussion course on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation from 1500-1700, with attention to emerging colonial contexts in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.  My newest course is "Christianity in Africa," which I offered for the first time in fall of 2015.  I work with Special Collections staff to introduce students to manuscript and early printed books and archival materials as they relate to different aspects of these courses, and I provide opportunities for projects, presentations, and papers that encourage hands-on research with a wide assortment of rare Bibles, theological writings, and missionary texts currently held in the Middlebury College archives.

Research Interests

My research centers on the reception of the King James Bible (KJB), whose 400th anniversary was celebrated in 2011 at a host of conferences and exhibitions worldwide.  I work specifically on the Catholic reception of the KJB, drawing attention to the criticisms posed by Catholics from 1611 through 1911 and the effect that those attacks had in polarizing Protestant communities in England, Ireland, the United States, either to defend the authority and literary excellence of the version or to campaign for a large-scale revision that eventually resulted in the Revised Version of 1882-85.  I have presented selections of my work at KJB anniversary conferences at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), the Ohio State University, and the University of York (England).  I gave invited lectures in 2011 at Cambridge University, the University of Oxford, Princeton University, the Folger Institute (Washington, D.C.), and Christian Brothers University (Memphis).  I am also interested in the KJB's postcolonial and musical uses, such as its sung liturgical use in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the USA, and in music and preaching of  global Pentecostal churches such as the United Pentecostal Church and the Spiritual Baptists of St. Vincent. 


D.Phil., University of Oxford (Lincoln College), Theology.  Supervised by Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, Knight, and Professor Peter McCullough.

M.A., Boston University, Editorial Studies (with a thesis on sixteenth-century biblical annotation).  Supervised by Sir Geoffrey Hill.

B.A., Boston University, English with a minor in Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude with Distinction.

Recent Publications

"The Bible in Roman Catholic Theology," in The New Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 3, ed. Euan Cameron (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

“Augustine and Apocalypticism in the Polemical Annotations of the Rheims New Testament Controversy,” in Augustine and Apocalyptic, ed. Kim Paffenroth and Kari Kloos, Lexington Books, 2014.

"The Transatlantic Reach of the Catholic 'False Translation' Argument in the School 'Bible Wars,'" in the US Catholic Historian, Summer 2014.

"Thomas Bilson and Anti-Catholicism at Paul's Cross," in Paul's Cross and the Culture of Persuasion:  1520-1640, ed. Torrance Kirby (Brill, 2014).

“Catholics and the King James Bible: Stories from England, Ireland, and America,” Scottish Journal of Theology, 66:3, August 2013, pp. 253-60. 

 "The King James Bible's 400th Anniversary in Retrospect," Focus On article, Oxford Biblical Studies Online, ed. Michael Coogan (May 1, 2012).  http://www.oup.com/obso/currentfocus/


Overview of an article on the KJB, shot at Oxford's Bodleian Library:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu9uOfDX_Tw

Teaching video sample at Special Collections, Middlebury College:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRGaYNMNNJg

In Progress

Catholic Critics of the King James Bible, 1611-1911 (Ashgate Publishing).




Course List: 

Department of Religion

Munroe Hall
427 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753