M.T.S. - The Methodist Theological School in Ohio
M.Div. - The Methodist Theological School in Ohio
B.A. - Taylor University
My research interests range from world of Hellenistic Judaism, through New Testament and Early Christian studies and into Late Antiquity, though they tend to settle on issues regarding the cultural diversity of Greek-speaking world under Roman rule (what is sometimes called the "Second Sophistic".) I have researched on topics ranging from some commonalities between Lucian of Samosata and the rabbinical midrash Genesis Rabbah, to an analysis of the ritual logic of the passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark as seen through the performance of the Roman Triumph.
My interests tend to coalesce on the experience, expression, and self-construal of those diverse, ancient characters who attempted to negotiate religious claims, cultural diversities, and social constraints under the continual shadow of Roman power and authority.
My dissertation research has approached these themes through an analysis of how competition in the cultural and religious arenas was a vehicle for cultural and religious production. Where scholarship has tended to see identity as a descriptive category of largely fixed, definitional terms, I hope that focusing on competition and the inevitable effects that competitive agents have on one another will unseat the rigidity associated with identity and describe the way that the cultural and religious realities that result from competition (realized in metaphors, analogies, rhetorical postures, claims and counter-claims, and the like) are greater than the sums of their parts. Competition is a mechanism for development, evolution, and creative exchange. I will be focusing on competition among Greek-speaking authors and texts including Lucian of Samosata, Favorinus of Arlete, the discourses of exile in the Roman period, the re-presentation of Paul the Apostle in the canonical Acts as well as the Pastoral epistles, Justin in his Dialogue with Trypho, the apologist Tatian, and the martyr narrative of 4 Maccabees.
More broadly I have taught and instructed in courses on the New Testament, Classic Jewish Texts (including rabbinical commentaries and the Talmud), the Life of Paul, the gospel of John, early Christian sacred texts (from the 1st through the 5th centuries), as well as introduction to theology and theological methods that has engaged with classic theological reflections and their resonances in popular culture, especially comic books. I am interested in the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu,Clifford Geertz, and Peter Berger, the impact of Michel Foucault and the rise of critical theory, as well as the aesthetic critiques of the Frankfurt school. I am also interested in the importance and development of game theory as a tool for analysis in history and the humanities.