Karen L. King

Karen L. King

Hollis Professor of Divinity
Karen L. King

On Leave

Spring 2023


  • BA, University of Montana
  • PhD, Brown University


Karen L. King was appointed to the Divinity School in 1997 and from 2003 to 2009 served as the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History. In October 2009, she became the first woman appointed as the Hollis Professor of Divinity, the oldest endowed chair in the United States (1721).

Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she pursues teaching and research specialties in the history of Christianity. Her books include The Secret Revelation of John; The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle; and What Is Gnosticism?

Her particular theoretical interests are in discourses of normativity (orthodoxy and heresy), gender studies, and religion and violence. She has received research grants and awards for excellence in teaching and research; among them are grants from the Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, and the Graves Foundation. King is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Association for Coptic Studies, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

Full CV

Selected publications

See also


To reach Harvard Divinity School's faculty coordinators, email div-faculty_coordinators@calists.harvard.edu.

    For media inquiries or requests, please contact Michael Naughton in the Office of Communications.

    Contact Information

    Swartz 501


    Alpha Grouping