Cooper ’82 Tells Story of Early Christian Women

Kate Cooper ’82 in Timgad, Algeria

Kate Cooper ’82 in Timgad, Algeria

Kate Cooper ’82 has written a new history of the early Christian movement, Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women (Overlook Press), in which she provides a vibrant narrative of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man’s world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived required painstaking research, and Cooper offers a fresh perspective on the triumphs and hardships encountered by these early women.

Book by Kate Cooper '82

Book by Kate Cooper ’82

The book tells the intriguing story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world. As Cooper demonstrates, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity’s growth to become a world religion. Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world had ever seen.

Cooper is professor of ancient history at the University of Manchester. Born in Washington, D.C. and also educated at Princeton and Harvard universities, she is the author of The Virgin and the Bride and The Fall of the Roman Household. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome

Author web site: kateantiquity

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: