What is abortion? A convenience to society? A legal offense? Murder? The twentieth century is not the first to face these questions. Abortion was a common practice two thousand years ago. The young Christian church, growing up in influential centers of Greco-Roman culture, could not ignore the practice. How would church leaders define abortion?
Gorman examines Christian documents in their Greco-Roman context, concluding that Christians held a consistent position throughout the church's first four hundred years.
Michael J. Gorman
Dr. Michael J. Gorman is Dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, where he has responsibility for 300 students and 40 part-time faculty members from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. He is also Professor of New Testament and Early Church History at St. Mary's, holding a joint appointment in the school's Ecumenical Institute and its Roman Catholic seminary.
Dr. Gorman earned his B.A. summa cum laude in French from Gordon College. He received the M.Div. and the Ph.D. cum laude in New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was also a teaching fellow in New Testament and an instructor in New Testament Greek. Dr. Gorman's specialties are the letters, theology, and spirituality of Paul; the gospel of John; and early Christian ethics. In addition, he has a strong interest in the relationship between church and culture.
He joined the Ecumenical Institute of Theology faculty in 1991, becoming Associate Dean in 1993 and Dean in 1995.
Dr. Gorman is the author of three books and numerous articles on Biblical interpretation and on ethics. His books include Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross (Eerdmans, 2001); Elements of Biblical Exegesis (Hendrickson, 2001); and Abortion and the Early Church (InterVarsity/Paulist, 1982). Eerdmans will soon publish his new textbook on the apostle Paul, Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and his Letters. Dr. Gorman is also working on a book on Christian sexual ethics for lay people and a collection of his essays on abortion and violence.
A native of Anne Arundel County in Maryland, Dr. Gorman lives in Odenton, Maryland with his wife and three children, ages 16-20. He is an active lay member in the United Methodist church and a frequent teacher and speaker in churches of many traditions.