Date of Award

May 2014

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Anna Harrison


The Protestant women who engaged in theology and biblical scholarship throughout the sixteenth century faced numerous barriers entering into and being heard within their Protestant movements. Because Protestants recognize Scripture as the primary authority on matters of faith, 1 Timothy 2:11-12, along with its parallel in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, provided a unique impediment to sixteenth-century Protestant women theologians. These women faced the burden of both affirming the authority of Scripture and simultaneously contravening the biblical prohibition against women teaching. Many women theologians of the time; including Argula von Grumbach, Marie Dentiére, and Anne Askew; addressed this issue in their writings. These writings offer a glimpse into how they each wrestled with the question of women’s roles in the religious movements of their times. In this thesis, I argue that von Grumbach, Dentiére, and Askew interpreted 1 Timothy 2:11-12 or its parallel 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 to their audiences in a variety of ways to argue that their involvement in the Reformation was exempted from the Pauline injunction against women teaching or holding authority over men.