Sycamore Hall 209A
My teaching and research lie at the intersections of Religious Studies, Ancient History, Philosophy, and Literature. My courses focus on the cultural, social, and literary histories of religion and religions in the late-ancient and early medieval Mediterranean and Near East. I encourage an eclectic approach to the study of ancient religions, encouraging students to to consider the ways in which different theories and methods—traditional and avant-garde—can inform one another.
My research aims, broadly, at examining the place of religion and philosophy in the intellectual, cultural, and political transformations of the Mediterranean and Near East in the 1st-10th centuries CE. My work considers several interrelated topics: 1) the formation of religious, cultural, and ethnic identities in late antiquity, 2) the intersections of philosophical and religious discourses and the politics of Roman imperialism, and 3) the history of intellectual and literary production—Christian, Jewish, and “pagan”—in antiquity. I also explore the ways in which the study of ancient religions contributes to trans-disciplinary conversations about the formation and contestation identities, the comparative study of imperialism, and the histories of intellectual culture and western literature.
At present, I am researching the history of textuality—ways of thinking and doing the work of reading, writing, and interpreting—in late antiquity.
I am currently completing a monograph, Eusebius of Caesarea: Textuality and Tradition in Late Ancient Christianity. Because so much of what we know of the first three centuries of Christian history is mediated through Eusebius’ work, his triuphalist narrative has cast a long shadow on the study of early Christianity and late-ancient history. My study focuses on Eusebius as a reader and a writer to reveal the extent to which he developed innovative ways of addressing the practice and theory of reading and writing. I draw on theories of intertextuality, post-colonial theory, and contemporary theoretical work on the history of books and reading to situate Christian literary production in relation to a complex constellation of forces at work in the early fourth century.
Eusebius of Caesarea: Tradition and Innovations, Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, (Harvard University Press/Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013).
Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)
“Plotinus’ Portrait and Pamphilus’ Prison Notebook: Neoplatonic and Early Christian Textualties at the Turn of the Fourth Century C.E.,” Journal of Early Christian Studies, forthcoming Fall 2013.
“Textuality and Territorialization: Eusebius’ Exegeses of Isaiah, and Empire,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture,> Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).
“Afterword: Receptions,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture,> Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).
“Eusebius’ Christian Library and the Construction of ‘Hebrews,’ ‘Jews,’ and ‘Hellenistic Judaism’,” Special Issue: Revisiting the “Judeo-Christian” Tradition,” Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception 2 (2012), 265-280.
“Eusebius’ Panegyric on the Building of Churches (HE 10.4.2-72): Aesthetics and the Politics of Christian Architecture.,” Reconsidering Eusebius. A Fresh Look at His Life, Work, and Thought, S. Inowlocki and C. Zamagni, eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 177-197.
“Philosophies of Language, Theories of Translation, and Imperial Intellectual Production: The Cases of Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Eusebius,” Church History 78:4 (2009), 855-861.
“Living Like a Christian, but Playing the Greek”: Accounts of Apostasy and Conversion in Porphyry and Eusebius,” Journal of Late Antiquity 1.2 (2008), 258-277.
“Heresiology as Universal History in Epiphanius’ Panarion,” Zeitschrif für Antike Christentum: Journal of Ancient Christianity 10 (2007), 546-563.
“Lactantius, Porphyry, and ‘Pagan Monotheism,’” Studia Patristica XL (2006), 239-244.
“Porphyry on Christians and Others: ‘Barbarian Wisdom,’ Identity Politics, and Anti-Christian Polemics on the Eve of the Great Persecution,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 13:3 (2005), 277-314.
“Founding Platonopolis: The Platonic Politeia in Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Eusebius,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11 (2003), 501-531.