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Desert Mothers

  • St. Paul's United Methodist Church 5501 Main Street Houston, TX, 77004 United States (map)
Dr. Tamara Lewis, 2017 St. Paul's Theologian-in-Residence

Dr. Tamara Lewis, 2017 St. Paul's Theologian-in-Residence

Travel back to early Christian centuries to visit the Egyptian and Syrian ascetic desert mothers. 

The guide for this journey will be Dr. Tamara Lewis, St. Paul’s 2017 Theologian-in-Residence and Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity at Perkins School of Theology.

The historical context of the early Church will be presented, including a broad overview of women in early Christianity, their legacy in Christian tradition, and the growth of monasticism in the fourth and fifth centuries. 

Focus then turns specifically to the lives of women in the fourth through seventh century deserts of Egypt and Syria who separated themselves from the responsibility of gendered roles in mainstream society to devote their entirety to worship, prayer, and contemplation of Christ. Despite the harshness of the terrain and physical dangers from men and beasts, these powerful women risked all to achieve what they believed were the essential mental, spiritual, and physical purifications for oneness with God. 

The study will conclude by reflecting on actual wisdom sayings and enacting various meditative prayer practices of the desert mothers. 

The class meets Wednesday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Fellers Room (S-312).  To reserve a spot, please call 713-528-0527 or email