Meet Dr. Sandra Glahn
Dr. Sandra Glahn earned her ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and her PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas in Humanities—Aesthetic Studies. A professor in the Media Arts and Worship department at DTS, she teaches courses in writing, medieval art and spirituality, gender, and sexual ethics. She is the author of more than twenty books, including the Coffee Cup Bible Study series.
Tell us about your newest book:
Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting the Sexualized, Vilified, Marginalized Women of the Bible (Kregel Academic) has been on my heart and mind for more than a decade. As I studied history and cultural backgrounds at the doctoral level, I saw how little social power women had in past eras and places, and I wondered at some of our Western-influenced interpretations of the biblical text. The authors are comprised of biblical scholars who hold a high view of scripture who are men and women, American, Australian, and Palestinian; black, white and having surnames like “Zazueta.” Their differing backgrounds give them insight in the text that the typical middle-class western reader has often missed. And as a result, their combined efforts provide a fresh look at the kindness of God and his heart for the vulnerable.
What genre do you focus on and why?
At one time, I wrote more fiction. But in the past ten years, I’ve focused more on non-fiction, especially biblical teaching. Women in seminaries in the past fifty years have brought new questions to the text as they have partnered with their brothers in translation work and equipping the church. And the internet has allowed us to gain a more global perspective on many texts. I love sharing some of the results.
Why do you write? What drives you?
Whenever I have an opinion about something, I pay attention. Do I need better data? Do I need to listen someone with a differing perspective? Do I need to research texts with which I’m not super familiar? Do my students ask questions I need to investigate? In short, questions drive me. And curiosity. Writing allows me to lay out an entire argument without anyone stopping me before I’ve laid out the entire perspective on something.
What does a day in your writing world look like?
Every day looks different because I teach. And at the graduate level, every semester brings a different schedule. On a given day, I’m usually buried in email, but sometimes in my replies I have written out kernels of content that needs further development. And I confess, I write much more consistently when I have a deadline. Without deadlines, I’d never hit “send,” because a manuscript can always use another look. When I have a looming deadline, I write a lot more than when I don’t have one.
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
Carving out blocks of time is my most difficult take. I need about a four-hour uninterrupted block of time to accomplish something satisfying. But who has four-hour blocks of time lying around? It takes carefully planning.
What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
The knowledge that words change lives. Recently I met a woman who told me that a group of infertility patients had not only used one of my books on infertility (When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden), but they were developing a question-and-answer guide to take with them on a mission trip to India. Apparently some folks there had requested such resources. I finished the first draft of that book in 1994, and God is still using the pain my husband and I endured to touch people.
What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?
I once wrote that the Bible does not address every subject in the world. I meant that it does not tell how butterflies get their colors or why some animals eat meat vs. vegetables or how chromosomes work exactly. But it does give us all we need to live. That seemed clear enough to me. But some readers thought I was saying the Bible is insufficient for every subject. And no matter how I tried to explain, they had made up their minds that I was a liberal. I thought that was kind of crazy.
What are you most proud of?
Other than surviving a trip in which I backpacked the Grand Canyon, by God’s grace I’ve perseverance as a parent. Parenting is not for the faint of heart—especially in the digital age. But our labor has not been in vain.
What is your favorite pastime? I love to read. Right now I have twelve books on my night stand. A graphic novel. A museum catalog. Fiction, Non-fiction. A book on the Psalms. And a bunch of books on gender—keeping up with reading for my job.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know. Yes! I mentioned the infertility book. And Kregel just rereleased a novel I coauthored about twenty years ago—after an update to bring the characters out of phone booths and into the smartphone age. But the topic is still relevant. It’s a medical suspense work called Lethal Harvest. It was nominated for a Christy the year it came out. A more recent work of medical suspense I wrote as a solo novel was Informed Consent.
What are you working on now?
In my ten-book Coffee Cup Bible Study series, I’m working on volumes eleven and twelve, with one book from the Old Testament and one from the New—Ephesians and Hosea.
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