I am an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. My research and teaching interests focus on Greek and Roman Religions, early Judaism, and early Christianity from the height of the Roman Empire to the end of antiquity. I am particularly interested in the interaction between material culture, landscapes, the built environment, and religious practices.
My past research has focused on archaeological and literary evidence for the veneration of angels among Christians, Jews, and followers of traditional Greek and Roman religions in late antiquity (from about 200-600 CE). That research included studies of the invocation of angels on protective amulets and the production of pilgrimage souvenirs featuring angels — topics which I am still pursuing. My previous publications and a link to my book about angel veneration can be found under the tab “Publications.”
My current projects include a book-length study of pilgrimage in the late Roman and early Christian periods, which I will be working on while a 2017-2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. That project examines the evolving models of pilgrimage in late antiquity and the economic consequences of pilgrimage in the late Roman and early medieval worlds.
I am also in the early stages of planning an additional book-length project that examines changing attitudes towards the dead in late antiquity, consequent changes in the placement of the deceased, and the effects that such changes had on urban environments. That project draws on some of my research into pilgrimage to the remains of saints in urban and rural environments in the late Roman and early medieval periods.