Rice University logo
Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
April DeConick
Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner
Professor of Religious Studies

(713) 348-4995

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 is the author of Seek to See Him: Ascent and Vision Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas (Brill, 1996); Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John, Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature (T&T Clark, 2001); Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth (T&T Clark, 2005); The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (T&T Clark, 2006); and The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (Continuum, 2009). She is also editor of a volume of papers, Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism (Society of Biblical Literature, 2006) and co-editor of Thomasine Traditions in Antiquity: The Social and Cultural World of the Gospel of Thomas (Brill, 2005).

Her most recent book, Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter (Continuum, 2011), examines conflicts over sex and gender in the early church in order to explain contemporary Christianity's promotion of male exclusivity and superiority in terms of God, church leadership, and the bed. She is currently writing a book on Gnostic Spirituality titled The Ancient New Age: How Gnostic Spirituality Revolutionized Religion in Antiquity, and editing a volume on mysticism in the New Testament Gospels for the New Testament Mysticism Project.

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.