Abridged CV

Education

1998    Ph.D., Princeton University, Department of Religion and Program in the Ancient World. Field: Religions of Late Antiquity.

1994    M.A., Princeton University, Department of Religion and Program in the Ancient World. Field: Religions of Late Antiquity.

1991    B.A., summa cum laude, University of Toronto, Religious Studies.                 Field: New Testament and Christian Origins.

 

Academic Appointments

2012-               Visiting Associate Professor, Religious Studies, Brown University

2007-2012       Visiting Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Brown University

2006-2009       Lecturer in the Study of Religion, Harvard University

2006-2007       Visiting Assistant Professor, Religion, Dartmouth College

2002-2006       Visiting Assistant Professor (Religion and History), Bowdoin College

1998-2002       Assistant Professor of Religion, Skidmore College

1997-1998       Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Bowdoin College

1995                Visiting Instructor, Barnard College, Columbia University

 

Honors, grants and fellowships

2014    Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien, University of Erfurt, June 21-28.

2011   Shohet Fellowship, International Catacomb Society for research on Catacomb Religion: Ordinary Christianity in the Age of Constantine book project

2011 Visiting Scholar in Residence, American Academy in Rome, May.

2010   National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship for University Teachers (declined)

2010 Memoria Romana Research Fellowship, Bochum University and the Max Planck Institute, Germany

2009     Derek Bok Award for Teaching Excellence, Harvard University.

2009     Visiting Scholar in Residence, American Academy in Rome.

2005       Fletcher Family Research Award, Bowdoin College.

2004-2005       Individual Research Grant, American Academy of Religion.

2004-2005       Faculty Research Associate, Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School.

2002       National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship in Roman Religions, American Academy in Rome.

1999-2001       Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Fellow in the Humanities, Northwestern University (declined).

1998-2001       Lilly Fellow, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. One of fifteen international scholars invited to a three-year consultation on “Teaching the Bible into the Twenty-First Century.”

1991-1996       Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities. 

 Articles

“A New Gnosticism: Why Simon Gathercole and Mark Goodacre on the Gospel of Thomas Change the Field.” Journal of the Study of the New Testament 36/3 (2014): 240-50.

“Rethinking the Origins of the Nag Hammadi Library.” (Co-authored with Justine Ariel Blount), Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 399-419.

Apolutrosis as Ritual and Sacrament: Determining a Ritual Context for Death in Second-century Valentinianism.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 17/4 (2009): 525-61.

“The Ophite Diagram and other Christian ‘Books of the Dead’.” ARC 33 (2005): 89-122.

“‘Enslavement to Fate,’ ‘Cosmic Pessimism’ and other Explorations of the Late Roman Psyche: A Brief History of a Historiographical Trend.” Studies in Religion/Sciences Réligieuses 33 3/4 (2005): 277-99.

“Biblical Illusions, Biblical Allusions: Hollywood Blockbusters and Scripture.” Journal of Religion and Film 8/1 (2004).

“Genesis Exegetical Traditions in the Trimorphic Protennoia.Vigiliae Christianae 55 (2001): 20-44.

“The Jesus Seminar: A Classroom Exercise.” Journal of Teaching Theology and Religion 4/1 (2001): 23-26.

“What did the Montanists Read?” Harvard Theological Review 94/4 (2001): 427-48.

Chapters in Books

“Astrology in Early Christianities.” In Ancient Astronomy in Its Mediterranean and Near Eastern Contexts (300 BC–AD 300), ed. Alan Bowen and Francesca Rochberg. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2015.

“Popular Christianity and Lived Religion in Late Antique Rome: Seeing Magic in the Catacombs.” In Locating Popular Culture in the Ancient World, ed. Lucy Grig. London: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015.

“Reinterpreting ‘Pagans’ and ‘Christians’ from Rome’s Late Antique Mortuary Evidence.” In Pagans and Christians in Fourth-Century Rome, ed. Michele Salzman and Marianne Saghy. London: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2015.

“The Crafting of Memory in Late Roman Mortuary Spaces.” In Memory in Ancient Rome and Early Christianity, ed. Karl Galinsky. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.

“Religious Diversity in the Roman Empire.” Co-authored with Eric Orlin. In The Blackwell Companion to Religious Diversity, ed. Kevin Schilbrack. Oxford: Blackwell, forthcoming 2014.

“Living Images of the Divine: Female Theurgists in Late Antiquity.” In Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World, ed. Kimberly Stratton and Dayna Kalleres. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.

“The Problem of Bad Baptisms: Unclean Spirits, Exorcism, and the Unseen in Second-Century Christianity.” In Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies in Honor of Elaine Pagels, ed. Lance Jenott, Nicola Denzey Lewis, Philippa Townsend and Eduard Iricinschi, 187-203. Berlin: Mohr-Siebeck, 2013.

“Death on the Nile: Egyptian Codices, Gnosticism, and Early Christian Books of the Dead.” In Practicing Gnosis: Ritual, Magic, Theurgy and Liturgy in Nag Hammadi, Manichaean and Other Ancient Literature: Essays in Honor of Birger A. Pearson, ed. April DeConick and Gregory Shaw. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 85, 161-80. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

“Roses and Violets for the Ancestors: Gifts to the Dead and Ancient Roman Forms of Social Exchange.” In The Gift in Antiquity, ed. Michael Satlow. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

“‘Facing the Beast’: Justin Martyr, Seneca, and the Emotional Life of the Martyr.” In Stoicism and Early Christianity, ed. Ismo Dunderberg and Tuomas Rasimus, 43-59. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2011.

“Fate and the Wandering Stars: Determinism in the Gospel of Judas and Jewish Apocalyptic Literature.” In The Codex Judas Papers: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Tchacos Codex Held at Rice University, Houston, Texas, March 13-16, 2008, ed. April DeConick, 289-304. Leiden: Brill, 2009.

“The Bible in Film,” and “Nonbiblical Narrative in Film,” co-authored with Patrick Gray. In Teaching the Bible Through Popular Culture and the Arts, ed. Patrick Gray and Mark Roncace, 97-174. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Five short teaching pieces in Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction, ed. Mark Roncace and Patrick Gray. New York: Oxford University Press for the Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

“Bardaisan of Edessa.” In A Companion to Second-Century
Christian “Heretics,” ed. Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen, 159-84. Leiden: Brill, 2005).

“Women and the Bible.” In The Bible as Literature, ed. John Gabel, Anthony York and David Citino, 5th edition, 327-58. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

“A New Star on the Horizon: Astral Christologies and Stellar Debates in Early Christian Discourse.” In Prayer, Magic and the Stars, ed. Scott Noegel, Brannon Wheeler, and Joel Thomas Walker, 207-21. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003).

“The Limits of Ethnic Categories.” In A Handbook of Early Christianity: Social Science Approaches, ed. Anthony Blasi, Paul-André Turcotte, and Jean Duhaime, 489-507. Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2002).


Book Reviews, Film Reviews, and Encyclopedia Articles

“Realm of the Dead,” “Cult of the Dead,” “Domestic Religion,” and “Cemeteries” for the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

“Gnosticism,” “Catacombs, Roman,” “Salvation,” and other brief entries for the Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, ed. Eric Orlin, Michael Satlow, Liz Fried and Jennifer Knust. New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2015.

“Popular Religion and Magic in the Roman World.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Bible and Gender Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015.

“Death and Burial in the Roman World.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2014.

“Gnosticism.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online in Early Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Review of Laura Salah Nasrallah, Christian Responses to Roman Art and Architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) in College Art Association Reviews. Online at http://www.caareviews.org/reviewers/1466.

Review of Kathleen E. Corley, Maranatha: Women’s Funerary Rituals and Christian Origins (Philadelphia: Fortress, 2010) in Catholic Biblical Quarterly (2012).

Review of Kate Cooper and Julia Hillner, Religion, Dynasty, and Patronage in Early Christian Rome, 300-900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) in Classical Review 60 (2010): 251-3.

“Catacombs.” In the Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Review of Birger Pearson, Ancient Gnosticism (Philadelphia: Fortress, 2008) in Biblical Theology Bulletin 39:1 (2009): 49.

“Alchemy.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009.

“The Shepherd of Hermas.” In The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Review of Amy-Jill Levine, ed., A Feminist Companion to Matthew (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2001) in The Review of Biblical Literature (2006). Online at http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=4313.

Review of Kathleen E. Corley and Robert L. Webb, eds., Jesus and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (New York: Continuum, 2004) for the Review of Biblical Literature, (2005). Online at http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=4438&CodePage=4438

Review of Carl B. Smith II, No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004) in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly (2005).

Review of Geza Vermes, Jesus and the World of Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press) in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies (2004).

Review of Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Christ in Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003) in Studies of Religion/Sciences Réligieuses 32/4 (2003): 522-24.

Review of Philip A. Harland, Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations: Claiming a Place in Ancient Mediterranean Society (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2003) in Studies in Religion/Sciences Réligieuses 32 (2003): 376-79.

Review of Karen L. King, What is Gnosticism? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2003). Online at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2003/2003-07-26.html.

Film Review of “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” in The Journal of Religion and Film 5/2 (2001). Online at http://www.unomaha.edu/~wwwjrf/tombraid.htm.

 Review of Paul-Hubert Poirier, ed., Le Tonnerre, Intellect Parfait in Journal of the American Oriental Society 120/4 (2001): 77-8.

“John of Nikiu.” In Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World, ed. Glen Bowersock, Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar, 527. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).

Review of Birger Pearson, ed., Nag Hammadi Codex VII, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 118/4 (1998): 589-90.

 

Invited Lectures

“Lived Religion in the City of the Dead: Fourth-Century Christianity in the Roman Catacombs.” For the Lived Religion in Antiquity (LAR) Project at the Max-Weber Kolleg, University of Erfurt, June 25 2014.

“Lived Religion in the City of the Dead: Fourth-Century Christianity in the Roman Catacombs.” The Ohio State Lecturer-at-Large Series. Ohio State University, October 24, 2013.

“The Mummy, the Book, and the Tomb: Rereading Early Egyptian Christianity Through Its Artifacts.” The Annual Lora Bryning Redford Lecture in Archaeology. University of Puget Sound, March 1, 2012.

“The Mummy, the Book, and the Tomb: Rereading Early Egyptian Christianity Through Its Artifacts.” Department of Near Eastern Studies and Classics, University of Washington, Seattle, February 29, 2012.

“Codex II and Egyptian Christian Books of the Dead: Rethinking the Provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices.” Department of Religion, Princeton University, November 2011.

“Modesty’s Priestesses: Meaning and Gender in Early Christian Art.” 2010 Annual McMartin Lecture. Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, January 2010.

“Hercules, Histrionics, and a Dead Husband: Reading Cubiculum N in Rome’s Via Latina Catacombs.” University of Texas, Austin, February 2009.

Guided tour of Rome’s necropoleis as Site Specialist for the Colloquium on Mediterranean Culture and Religion under the aegis of the University of Texas, Austin. Rome, July 2009.

“Modesty’s Priestesses: Meaning and Gender in the Orans of Early Christian Art.” Colloquium on the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean. Brown University, September 2009.

“Women of Faith, Women of Power: Women’s Sacred Space in Late Ancient Rome.” Massachusetts Bible Society. Boston, June 2008.

“Death and the Maidens: Rediscovering Lost Women in Rome’s Ancient Underground.” University of New Hampshire, March 2007.

“Rome’s Via Latina as Memory Theater.” University of New Hampshire, March 2007.

“Death on the Nile: Christian ‘Books of the Dead’ and Burial Practices in Late Antique Egypt.” Ohio State University, May 2005.

“Women’s Religion in the Via Latina Catacombs.” Kraft-Hiatt Lecture. Brandeis University, April 2005.

“Death and the Maidens: Finding Lost Women in Rome’s Ancient Underground.” Lecture for the benefactors of Harvard’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program. Denver, April 2005.

“The Ophite Diagram and Ancient Cosmologies.” Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. University of Pennsylvania, March 2005.

Mundus Muliebris: A Devotee of Ceres and Her Daughter in the Via Latina Catacombs.” Princeton University, March 2005.

“Uncovering Women’s Lives in Antiquity: The Catacomb Evidence.” Harvard Divinity School, March 2005.

“Death and the Maidens: Using the Catacombs of Rome as a Source for Women’s History.” Episcopal Divinity School. Cambridge, February 2005.

“Women of Faith, Women of Power: Women’s Sacred Space in Late Ancient Rome.” Plenary presentation for the benefactors of Harvard’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program. Harvard University, January 2005.

“Christ, the Dark Star: Astrology in Early Christianity, 150-500 CE.” Skidmore College, April 2000.

“Dismembering the Saints: Relics and Recollection in the Early Middle Ages” (Lecture Series). Bowdoin College Art Museum, October and November 1997.

 

Selected Papers Presented at Professional Meetings

“The Myth of Conversion: Christian Adherence, Group, and Religious Identity in Second-Century Rome.” For Shared Lives, Different Religions? The Roman Empire in the First Two Centuries. Joint session of the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions and the Graeco-Roman Religions sections. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Baltimore. November 2013.

“Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, Apocrypha: Bridging Disciplinary Divides.” York Christian Apocrypha Symposium. York University, Toronto, Sept. 28, 2013.

“Two Books on the Gospel of Thomas: Mark Goodacre, Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Synoptics (Eerdmans, 2012) and Simon Gathercole, The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas: Original Language and Influences (SBL Monographs Series, 2012).” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Chicago. November 2012.

“Reinterpreting ‘Pagans’ and ‘Christians’ from Rome’s Late Antique Mortuary Evidence.” “Pagans” and “Christians” in Late Antique Rome: Interpreting the Evidence. Accademia dell’Ungaria, Rome, Sept. 23, 2012.

“Popular Christianity and Lived Religion in Late Antique Rome.” Locating Popular Culture in the Ancient World. University of Edinburgh, July 5, 2012.

“Death on the Nile: Egyptian Christianity, Codicology, and the Christian ‘Book of the Dead’ as Cultural Commodity.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. San Francisco, November 2011.

“Gnosticism without Heresiarchs: Rebuilding Early Christianity without Categories.” Erasure History: Pedagogical Askesis in Historiography. University of Toronto, November 11, 2011.

“The Crafting of Memory in Late Roman Mortuary Spaces.” Memoria Romana/Roman Memory Conference. University of Texas, Austin, April 2010.

“Roses and Violets for the Ancestors: Gifts to the Dead and Ancient Roman Forms of Social Exchange.” The Gift in Antiquity. Brown University, May 2010.

“Valentinian Exegesis, Community, and the Problem of Spiritual Gifts.” Biannual Meeting of the International Society of Literature, Culture, and Society. St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, September 2010.

“Seeing Women’s Ways: Women, Wealth and Self-Representation in Late Antique 
Commemorative Spaces.” Ways of Religious Seeing in Late Antiquity. University of Kentucky, March 2008.

“Fate and the Wandering Stars: Debates on Determinism in the Gospel of Judas and Other Early Christian Texts.” The Gospel of Judas in International Perspective. Rice University, March 2008.

“Ceres, Persephone, and a Late Roman Woman’s Rites of Passage in the Via Latina Catacombs.” Rites of Passage of the Life Cycle in Antiquity. Getty Villa in Malibu, California, April 2007.

“Crafting Memory in the Catacombs.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. San Diego, November 2007.

“Rome’s Hypogeum of the Via Latina as a Memory Theatre.” History and Histrionics in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. University of British Columbia, October 2006.

“Missing Martyria, Derelict Relics, and the Case of the Vanishing Holy Woman in Late Antique Rome.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Philadelphia, November 2005.

“The Catacombs as mundus muliebris: Ceres, Proserpina, Mothers, and Daughters in Via Latina.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Philadelphia, November 2005.

“Death on the Nile: Christian ‘Books of the Dead’ and Burial Practices in Late Antique Egypt.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion. San Antonio, November 2004.

“Death and Dying in Late Ancient Rome: The Case of the Catacombs.” The Variationes Lectionorum Classical Studies Colloquium at the University of Mississippi, October 2004.

“Matrons, Memory, and the Politics of the Visual in Third-century Catacomb Art.” Annual Meeting of the North American Patristics Society. Loyola University, Chicago, May 2004.

“Roman Christian Demonological Ascent Formulae in their Mortuary Context.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Atlanta, November 2003.

“Third-century Women Bishops?: Reading the Visual Evidence from Rome’s Cappella Graeca.” Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Patristic Studies. Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 2003.

“Where Were the ‘Heretics’ Buried?: The Curious Case of Rome’s Cappella Graeca.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. Toronto, November 2002.

“Genesis Exegetical Traditions in the Trimorphic Protennoia.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. Toronto, November 2002.

“Early Christians on Ecstasy: Emotional Control as Spiritual Paideia.” Annual Canadian Congress of Learned Societies, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. Quebec City, May 2001.

“A New Star in the Heavens: Astral Cosmologies and Stellar Debates in Early Christianity.” Prayer, Magic and the Stars. University of Washington at Seattle, March 2001.

“‘Under a Pitiless Sky’?: Re-Examining Perceptions of Astral Determinism in Second-Century Gnostic Sources.” International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Helsinki, July 1999.

“‘The Utterance of My Name’: Sound, Salvation, and the Release from Astral Determinism in the Trimorphic Protennoia.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. Orlando, November 1998.

“Pagan Women and Christian Opinion: Constructing Female ‘Divine Men’ in Pagan Neoplatonist Circles.” Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies. Ottawa, May 1998.

“’I Return to the Place From Which I Came’: Gnostic Christian ‘Books of the Dead’ in their Ritual Context.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. New Orleans, November 1996.

 

Selected Panel Presentations and Responses (By Invitation):

Respondent for colloquium on “Marcion as Religious Entrepreneur,” convened by Markus Vinzent and Mattias Klinghardt. University of Erfurt. June 26, 2014.

Panel Respondent, Healing and Funerary Ritual in Text and Practice. Joint session of the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions and the Graeco-Roman Religions sections. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Baltimore. November 21, 2013.

Panel Respondent for special book session featuring my book, Introduction to “Gnosticism”: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds (Oxford, 2013). Gnosticism and Nag Hammadi Section. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Baltimore. November 2013.

Panelist, “Memory and Forgetting in Antiquity.” Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. San Francisco, November 2011.

Panelist, “Thirty Years of Elaine Pagels’ The Gnostic Gospels” (along with Harold Attridge and Luke Timothy Johnson). Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Boston, November 2009.

Panel respondent, “Teaching New Testament.” Best Practices in Teaching Workshop, Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Washington, DC, November 2006.

Panel respondent, “Gnosticism and the Arts.” Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Session. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. San Antonio, November 2004.

Panel chair, “Pilgrimage and Ritual Space.” Annual Meeting of the Eastern International Region of the AAR. Ithaca College, March 2001.

Panel chair, “Theory on Restored, Renewed, and Displaced Ritual Performances.” Annual Meeting of the Eastern International Region of the AAR. Ithaca College, March 2001.

Panelist, “Gender and Technology in the Classroom.” SBL Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession Annual Breakfast Meeting. Nashville, November 2000.

Panel respondent, “Surprised by Technology: The Impact of Technology on Scholarship of Religion.” Special Topics Forum sponsored by the New Technologies Task Force and the Committee on Teaching and Learning, American Academy of Religion. Boston, November 1999.

Panel Respondent, In the Company of Strangers, by Stephen Wilson. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Literature. Ottawa, May 1998.

Panel Respondent, “The Representation of Violence and the Violence of Representation.” Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies. Montreal, June 1994.

 

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