Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Michael Peppard

Assistant Professor

New Testament, Early Christian Studies, Religion and Public Life
Duane Library 136  
(718) 817-3248
Twitter @MichaelPeppard

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. - Yale University
M.A.R. - Yale Divinity School 

Certificate - Yale Institute of Sacred Music
B.A. - University of Notre Dame

Research interests
* New Testament Studies – Gospels; Christology; Parables; Rhetoric.
* Early Christianity – Art, Ritual and Material Culture; Coptic studies; Jewish and Christian Identity Formation; Roman Religion; Papyrology; Early Christian Women.
* Reception History of the Bible – liturgical, artistic, 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 Christian sources in their social, political, artistic, and ritual contexts. He frequently offers commentary on current events at the nexus of religion, politics, and culture for venues such as Commonweal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and MSNBC.

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. Scholarly articles have appeared 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. Course topics include the New Testament, early Christianity, art and ritual, religion and politics, and the languages of Greek and Coptic.

Several of his current research projects deal with early Christian art, ritual, and material culture. Regarding the rituals of initiation, his second book manuscript reinterprets the artistic remains from (and textual traditions proximate with) the third-century house-church at Dura-Europos, Syria. For his contributions on this topic, he received a research grant (2013) from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Dr. Peppard also trained as a papyrologist with materials in both Greek (under Ann Ellis Hanson) and Coptic (at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek).

Other active research projects include: early Christology; Christian interaction with Roman imperial rhetoric and ideology; early Christian texts in Coptic; and the reception history of Jesus’ parables. As a break from studying the past, Dr. Peppard participates in the campus conversation about religion in public life, in part through his affiliation with the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.

Regarding current events, he writes frequently for Commonweal, and he has also provided commentary for The New York Times, The Washington Post and made several appearances on MSNBC.  He was proud to conceive and thrilled to help orchestrate “The Cardinal and Colbert,” which The New York Times called perhaps “the most successful Roman Catholic youth evangelization event since Pope John Paul II last appeared at World Youth Day.” Away from campus, Dr. Peppard does practical work in interreligious relations, especially Jewish-Christian dialogue. In 2012, he was invited to teach a nine-week course on the New Testament at a conservative synagogue in Manhattan. 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.

Selected publications

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. 


FALL 2014

THEO 6196-R01: Early Christian Ritual
THEO 3200-R01: Intro to the New Testament

Site  | Directories
Submit Search Request