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Dr. Gwenfair Adams

Professor of Church History

Biography:

Dr. Adams’ specialties in Church History are focused on Medieval and Reformation studies. She has a special interest in the historical arc from late medieval Catholic England through the Reformation to Puritan New England.

Her book, Visions in Late Medieval England: Lay Spirituality and Sacred Glimpses of the Hidden Worlds of Faith (E.J. Brill, 2007) explores the impact of visionary accounts in sermons, saints’ legends and religious instruction manuals on the worldview and piety of the medieval laity. Her current project is the Romans 1-8 volume in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series (Intervarsity Press; projected for 2019). She has additional research interests on the impact of monasticism on Reformation spirituality; C. S. Lewis and mythology; the shaping power of story on theology; and the history of the expression of the gospel.

As the Director of the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation, Dr. Adams teaches courses in the history and practice of Christian spirituality. Her interests are focused in the history of worship and the arts in the church. She is also the designer of LifeStory Exegesis™ (Story Spirituality™)—a model of spirituality that can be used in spiritual formation, direction, discipleship and counseling. Bringing together theology, historiography, and literary theory, it engages the structure of the Creation-Redemption meta-narrative to provide a framework that shapes the understanding and effective living of one’s life.

A life-long Presbyterian, she is married to D. Kevin Adams, the senior pastor of East Baptist Church in Lynn, MA.

www.churchhistorymatters.com

Degrees

  • B.A. (Wellesley College)
  • M.Div. (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
  • Ph.D. (University of Cambridge, UK)

Publications

  • “The Controversy over Faith in Romans 3:28 in the Reformation,” in Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation. Edited by Jennifer Powell McNutt and Herman Selderhuis. Oxford; London; New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Visions of the Otherworlds in the Late Middle Ages (1300-1500),” in Imagining the Medieval Afterlife. Edited by Richard Pollard. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
  • Romans 1-8. Reformation Commentary on Scripture Series. Edited by Gwenfair Walters Adams. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019.
  • “Shock and Awe: The Reformers and the Stunning Joy of Romans 1-8.” JETS 61 (2018): 231-244.
  • Solus Christus: Luther’s Journey to the Singular Focus” in Reformation Celebration: The Significance of Scripture, Grace, Faith and Christ. Edited by Gordon L. Isaac and Eckhard J. Schnabel. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2018.
  • “Spiritual Crisis (Anfechtung)” and “Luther’s Illnesses” in Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport. Lanhan, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
  • “From Calvinistic Methodist Miner to Pentecostal Icon: The Surprising Story of Evan Roberts, the Welsh Revival, and Azusa Street.” Co-Authored with David K. Adams. In Great Awakenings: Historical Perspectives for Today. Edited by David Horn and Gordon L. Isaac. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2016.
  • “Bay Psalm Book” “Anne Bradstreet,” “Cane Ridge Revival,” “Mary Dyer,” “Elisabeth Elliot,” “Anne Hutchinson,” “Ann Judson,” “Flannery O’Connor,” “Harriet Beecher Stowe,” “Phillis Wheatley,” “George Whitefield,” and “Wordless Book” in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States. Edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport. Lanhan, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
  • “Prologue: On Consolation” to The Consolations of Theology, edited by Brian S. Rosner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
  • Visions in Late Medieval England: Lay Spirituality and Sacred Glimpses of the Hidden Worlds of Faith. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2007.
  • “Atonement in Medieval Theology.” Pages 239-262 in The Glory of the Atonement. Edited by Charles Hill and Frank James. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005.

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