Biblical Theology, New Testament, Early Christian Studies
Duane Library 136
Ph.D. - Yale University
M.A.R. - Yale Divinity School
Certificate - Yale Institute of Sacred Music
B.A. - University of Notre Dame
* New Testament Studies
– Gospels; Christology; Parables; Rhetoric.
* History of Early Christianity
– Early Christian Ritual and Material Culture; Coptic studies; Jewish and Christian Identity Formation; Roman Religion and Ideology; Papyrology; Early Christian Women.
* Reception History of the Bible
– liturgical, theological, material.
* Contemporary Issues
– Catholicism in American public life; Jewish-Christian relations; Religion and American Politics.
Dr. Peppard is a scholar and teacher whose work brings to light the meanings of the New Testament and other early Christian sources in their social, political, and ritual contexts. His first book, The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in Its Social and Political Context
(Oxford, 2011), was a recipient of the Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise, sponsored by the University of Heidelberg. His scholarly articles have appeared or are forthcoming in: Journal of Biblical Literature
; New Testament Studies
; Journal of Early Christian Studies
; Catholic Biblical Quarterly
; Journal for the Study of the New Testament
; Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
; Studia Liturgica
; and Judaism
. Dr. Peppard offers courses in the New Testament, the history of early Christianity, religion and politics, and the languages of Greek and Coptic.
His first book, The Son of God in the Roman World
, is a scholarly work of biblical and historical theology that focuses on the concept of divine sonship in the ancient social and political context of powerful father-son relationships. In order to understand the fuzzy boundary between humanity and divinity in the Roman worldview, the book examines the two most influential figures who collapsed that dichotomy: the Roman emperor and Jesus Christ, both called “son of god.” The newly emphasized social context opens up the theological metaphors of “begotten” and “adoptive” sonship to new interpretations, and fresh readings of early Christian texts from the first Gospel to the late fourth century are offered. The book thus contributes to our understanding of incipient Trinitarian theology, even as it grounds that theology in the concrete social practices of its day.
Several of his current research projects deal with early Christian ritual and material culture. Regarding the rituals of initiation, his second book manuscript reinterprets the material remains from (and textual traditions proximate with) the third-century house-church at Dura-Europos, Syria. For his contributions on this topic, he has received a research grant (2013) from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Dr. Peppard trained as a papyrologist with materials in both Greek (under Ann Ellis Hanson) and Coptic (at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek).
Other active research projects include: New Testament Christology; metaphors of inheritance in early Christianity; Christian interaction with Roman imperial rhetoric and ideology; early Christian texts in Coptic; and the reception history of Jesus’ parables.
His analyses of current events in religion, politics, and culture are featured frequently in Commonweal
, and he has also written commentary for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Dr. Peppard does practical work in interreligious relations. He is a facilitator and teacher in Jewish-Christian dialogues at universities, synagogues, and churches. He also has published a series of articles about allegations of religious abuse against Muslims in U.S. military detention facilities. Dr. Peppard hails originally from Colorado and currently lives in the Bronx with his wife and daughter.
The Son of God in the Roman World: Divine Sonship in its Social and Political Context
. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
“Illuminating the Dura-Europos Baptistery: Comparanda for the Female Figures.” Journal of Early Christian Studies
20 (2012): 543-74.
“The Eagle and the Dove: Roman Imperial Sonship and the Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1.9-11).” New Testament Studies
56 (2010): 431-51.
"‘Poetry,’ ‘Hymns,’ and ‘Traditional Material’ in New Testament Epistles, or How to Do Things with Indentations.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament
30 (2008): 319-42.
“Do We Share a Book? The Sunday Lectionary and Jewish-Christian Relations.” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
1 (2005-6): 89-102.
Faculty Fellowship Spring 2013
Faculty Fellowship Fall 2013