My current book project, Orthodox Bodies: Claiming Philosophy in Late Antiquity, traces competing images of the ideal philosopher in the second half of the fourth century CE. In antiquity, the philosopher served for centuries as an important marker of cultural capital, and Christians and pagans alike claimed themselves as philosophers to distinguish themselves as legitimate intellectuals. In the fourth century, however, culture wars between rising Christian elites and traditional worshipers of the Greco-Roman gods created new questions about what god or gods a “proper” philosopher should worship. Orthodox Bodies takes a new approach to the study of these culture wars by exploring how Christians and pagans adapted the image of a philosopher to fit their own purposes. By drawing distinctions between “genuine” and “fraudulent” philosophers based on class and religion, Christians and pagans alike sought to claim the cultural capital that had long been associated with the image of a philosopher in antiquity. In doing so, they transformed ancient conceptions of philosophy and religion in ways that would continue to affect these categories for centuries.
Fields of Study: Late Antiquity (ca. 200-700 C.E.), Roman History, Ancient Mediterranean
Research Interests: Late Antique Intellectual Culture (paideia), Identity Formation in Late Antiquity, Greek and Roman Education, Greek Culture under the Roman Empire, Sensory History
Ph.D: University of Tennessee, 2017
M.A. History and Classics: The Pennsylvania State University, 2011
B.A. Classics (magna cum laude): University of Colorado at Boulder, 2008
“Religious Education and the Health of the Soul according to Basil of Caesarea and the Emperor Julian,” Studia Patristica (in press, forthcoming Fall 2017)