In a chapter in the edited volume, Jesus and Mary Reimagined in Early Christianity, I capitalize on close textual analysis of two early Christian compositions (the Gospel of Luke and the Protevangelium of James) and explore the relationship between them. I argue that the depiction of Mary in the Protevangelium of James not only emphasizes her virginity, but also her distinctive role as mother.
My first book, The Function of Sublime Rhetoric in Hebrews: A Study of Hebrews 12:18–29, was published by Mohr Siebeck in 2018 in their series, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament (WUNT). In this work, I draw on the first-century literary treatise, On the Sublime, to re-evaluate the nature of Hebrews's rhetorical program. The perspective provided by On the Sublime enables me to describe the nature of sublime rhetoric in Hebrews and its function in assisting the author achieve his rhetorical and hortatory goals.
Emerging from my dissertation research, my article, "(Religious) Language and the Decentering Process: McNamara and De Sublimate on the Ecstatic Effect of Language," published in the Journal of Cognitive Historiography outlines areas of overlap between ancient notions of religious experience and the treatise's understanding of the effects of great literature.
As a scholar of New Testament and early Christianity, my approach to research combines close textual analysis, historical consciousness, methodological dexterity, and interdisciplinary engagement. Doctoral training at Emory University has provided a broad understanding of the social, cultural, and religious character of the Ancient Mediterranean World and the place of early Christianity within it. Broadly speaking, my research interests shed new light on areas of scholarly consensus and disagreement by asking new questions of old texts and by bringing interdisciplinary perspectives to inform them.
Several of my previous publications demonstrate my approach to research. My first article was published in Novum Testamentum, the leading international journal devoted to the study of the New Testament. In it, I re-assess the meaning of an important word (ἡ πάρεσις, “incapacitation”) in a central section of Paul’s letter to the Romans. The article not only challenges a long-standing scholarly consensus about the word’s range of meaning; it also has significant implications for how to best understand key themes and ideas of the epistle as a whole.