Jane Schaberg, professor emeritus of religious studies and women’s studies at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), died on April 17 after a decades-long battle with breast cancer. She was 74.
A former nun, Schaberg earned her Ph.D. in Biblical studies from Union Theological Seminary and joined the faculty at UDM in 1977. She taught feminist interpretation, Biblical studies, and introductions to religious studies and women’s studies. Her research focused on the infancy narratives of Jesus and, more recently, on Mary Magdalene and the Gnostic Gospel of Mary.
She authored several books, including The Illegitimacy of Jesus (Harper and Row, 1987) and The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene (Continuum, 2004), which were sometimes controversial, but she was a leading Biblical scholar who was widely admired by her colleagues and students. She contributed work to several BAS publications, including Bible Review magazine, the book Feminist Approaches to the Bible (1995) and a recent Biblical Views column in the November/December issue of BAR. She also served as a judge for the 2011 BAS Publication Award for “Best Book Relating to the New Testament.”