Helen Rhee

Prof Rhee

Professor of Church History
Phone: (805) 565-6834
Email: rhee@westmont.edu
Office Location: Porter Center 14

Office Hours
Mon. 11:30 - 12:30 p.m. (lunch) & 3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wed. 11:30 - 12:30 p.m. (lunch) & 3:15 p.m .- 4:30 p.m.
Friday 11:30 - 12:30 p.m.

Greco-Roman religions and society, Patristics--early Christian literature

Dr. Helen Rhee is an Associate Professor of Religous Studies at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA.  She earned her B.A in History at UC Berkeley and her M.Div. and Ph.D. at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Prior to coming to Westmont in 2004, she has served as pastor of Hana Church (Buena Park, CA) for a number of years.  Dr. Rhee specializes in early Christian history, especially the second and
third century Christian literature, focusing on the diverging Christian self- identities in relation to Greco-Roman culture and society. Her first book, Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries (Routledge, 2005), explores the very issue. Her scholarly interest, however, extends to the New Testament (minor) and other periods and aspects of Christian history as well. Dr. Rhee's new book, Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation (Baker Academic, 2012) was released in November. She examines and analyzes early Christian attitudes toward and practices involving wealth and poverty and how these contributed to shaping Christian identities within larger Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts. Dr. Rhee received the Bruce and Adaline Bare Teacher of the Year Award in Humanities, 2010.

Research Interests:

  • Second and Third Century Christian Literature
  • Early Christian Self-Definition, Asceticism, and Martyrdom
  • Early Christian Apologists and Apocryphal Acts
  • Greco-Roman Religions, Philosophy, Society, and Culture
  • Women in Early Christianity
  • Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity

Select Publications:

  • “Wealth, Business Activities, and Blurring of Christian Identity,” Studia Patristica, XLVI, forthcoming
  • “Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes from Above: The Episcopal Control of Charity and Christian(-ized) Patronage,” Scrinium 9 (Patrologia Pacifica Tertia), forthcoming.
  • “The Wealth of Christians” in Tertullian and Paul (eds. T. D. Still and D. Wilhite; London & New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark Publishing, 2012), 195-215.
  • “The Authority and Function of Jewish Scripture in the Acts of Peter and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies” in ‘Soyez des changeurs avisés’. Controverses exégétiques dans la littérature apocryphe chrétienne (eds., G. Aragione - R. Gounelle; Cahiers de Biblia Patristica 12; Strasbourg, Université de Strasbourg, 2012), 33-46.
  • “A Patristic View of Wealth and Possessions,” Ex Auditu: An International Journal of Theological Interpretation of Scripture 27 (2012), 51-77.
  • "Wealth, Poverty, and Eschatology: Pre-Constantine, Christian Social Thoughts and the Hope for the World to Come," in Patristic Social Ethics: Issues and Challenges (ed. J. Leemans, B. Matz, and J. Verstraeten; Catholic University Press, 2011), 64-84.
  • "Spirituality of Female Martyrs: Virginity and Spiritual Motherhood," in Prayer and Spirituality IV: The Spiritual Life (ed. W. Mayer, P. Allen and L. Cross; Strathfield, Australia: St Paul?s Publications, 2006), 133-48.
  • "Persecution, Martyrdom, and Christian Self-Definition in the Early Church," in The Suffering Body: Responding to the Persecution of Christians (ed. H. D. Hunter & C. M. Robeck, Jr.; Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster, 2006), 3-23.
  • Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries (London & New York: Routledge), 2005.

Courses Taught:

  • History of World Christianity
  • Wealth and Poverty in Christian History
  • Contemporary Christianity
  • Life and Literature of the New Testament
  • Christianity and Roman Empire
  • Early and Medieval Christianity
  • Reformation Christianity
  • Modern Christianity;
  • American Church History (Fuller Extension)