Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Committee Chair

Steve Harmon


The premise of this thesis is to explore the reception of the Hagar stories through three prominent early Christian thinkers -Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine of Hippo - in order to evaluate the theological significance she had for those particular contexts. Hagar functions predominately as a symbol in contexts where group identity, power, and ideology are contested. The hermeneutical and theological stances of the authors are examined to expose and mitigate the religious conflict occurring in their historical location. The resulting interpretations of Hagar and her story vary from Christianization of the character to outright scorn and rejection of the symbolic group she represents. The methodology of this project is drawn from reception theory, tracing the unfolding of Hagar’s symbolism through various historical and social contexts, beginning with Genesis and ending with Augustine.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License