Deborah Niederer Saxon, also an Instructor at Butler University, is the author of journal articles and The Care of the Self in Early Christian Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, Oct 2017). Her research re-conceptualizes early Christian history not as a matter of heresies or “Gnosticism” splitting off from an assumed-to-exist orthodoxy but rather by highlighting differing perspectives and practices regarding the care of the self in texts that have resurfaced in the last century at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. By comparing these with those of the Greek philosophical schools and the Apostolic Fathers, Saxon explores how early Jesus followers practiced self-care (spiritual disciplines geared toward cultivating self-control and freedom from passions such as anger and fear) in innovative ways. She also focuses on women’s roles in these writings and the positive models that emerge for women’s leadership. Finally, Saxon explores the potential that newly discovered scriptures provide for contemporary ecumenical and interfaith partnerships. She especially enjoys introducing students to diverse religious groups in teaching CTS’s world religions class. Having lived in Japan at three different times, Saxon enjoys helping others cultivate the kinds of relationships that have enriched her own life greatly.
She and her husband John hail from Texas where they met at Baylor University. After finishing her B.A. there, Saxon completed a dual M.A. at Indiana University. Her doctorate is in theological and religious studies from the Iliff School of Theology/University of Denver Joint Doctoral Program.
Saxon also pastors the Trafalgar Christian Church, serves on the boards of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation and the Indianapolis International Airport Interfaith Chapel, and is a member of Christian Feminism today. She is also a Veriditas-certified labyrinth walk facilitator and a Westar Institute Fellow. Her CV, podcasts, and presentations can be viewed on Linked In.