Jeremy Schott

Jeremy Schott

Professor, Religious Studies

Adjunct Associate Professor, History

Adjunct Faculty, Borns Jewish Studies Program

Adjunct Faculty, Classical Studies

Affiliate Faculty, Ancient Studies

Affiliate Faculty, Medieval Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., Duke University, 2005
  • B.A., University of Rochester, 1999

About Jeremy Schott

I am a specialist in early Christian literature and culture (1st-10th centuries), with secondary expertise in early Judaism (especially Philo and Josephus), ancient philosophy (especially Platonism), and critical theory. I teach across the full geographic and linguistic range of Christianity in the first millennium, from Gaul to Mesopotamia. My research has focused on the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East, particularly figures and traditions associated with Roman Judaea-Palestine, Egypt, and Syria.

A central aspect of my research has been thinking about difference and belonging in antiquity. My first book, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion and Late Antiquity, and related articles contributed significantly to the study of identity in late antiquity by bringing the insights of post-colonial theory to bear on the study of early Christian literature. My research emphasizes not only the intersection of “religion” and “ethnicity” in antiquity, but the fuzziness of this distinction itself.

My more recent work has turned to consider language and its embodiment in texts. In my translation and commentary work, in several published articles and essays, as well as in a monograph in progress on Origenist Textualities, I study how early Christians—and in turn, those who engage their writings today—theorize the ethics of textuality; that is, ways of thinking and doing writing, reading, interpreting, and book production.

As part of my work on language and textuality, I have produced and have forthcoming several major translation/commentary projects: the first thoroughly annotated translation of Macarius of Magnesia’s Apocriticus, a new annotated translation of Eusebius of Caesarea’s History of the Church, along with a forthcoming complete commentary on the text, and the first translation in English of the Ecclesiastical History of Ps.-Gelasius of Cyzicus. Translation and commentary serves as a fundamental laboratory for my work on early Christian textuality and book history. Scholarship about early Christianity does not stand in isolation from those traditions, but in genealogical relationship with them. The textual traditions of late antiquity were commentary traditions, and the work of commentary and translation should prompt scholars to critical engagement with these genealogical relationships.

Translation also contributes to the democratization of scholarship and learning; it is a way for experts to make the best research widely accessible, inside and outside the academy. While professional scholars can access these sources in original languages, many students and scholars in cognate fields cannot. I am therefore invested in fostering this sort of work in order to challenge barriers between what is often regarded as the work-a-day labor of translation and the “genuine” scholarship of monographs.

I am also beginning a research project that traces my interests in Christian reading and book culture into the middle Byzantine period, to which we owe the manuscripts that preserve the majority of ancient Christian literature (and, indeed, most of classical Greek literature more broadly). Byzantine books occupy a critical place in the transmission and reception of these literatures, but Byzantine scribes, readers, and their books receive little attention beyond specialists in codicology. Despite the flourishing of book history studies—the interdisciplinary field of research on the material, social, and cultural histories of books, readers, and reading—Byzantine book culture remains relatively understudied. This project aims to help us understand how Byzantines read their Bibles and early Christian texts by studying the material traces of their reading practices—namely, the marginalia of Byzantine codices. In addition to shedding important new light on the ways Byzantine readers used their copies of ancient Greek and early Christian literature, this project will in turn consider the ways in which modern receptions of the Bible and the “Church Fathers” depend on and/or diverge from Byzantine practices.

Journal articles & other publications

“Plotinus’ Portrait and Pamphilus’ Prison Notebook: Neoplatonic and Early Christian Textualties at the Turn of the Fourth Century C.E.,” Journal of Early Christian Studies, forthcoming Fall 2013.

“Textuality and Territorialization: Eusebius’ Exegeses of Isaiah, and Empire,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture, Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).

“Afterword: Receptions,” Eusebius and the Construction of a Christian Culture, Aaron Johnson and Jeremy Schott, eds. (Cambridge: Center for Hellenic Studies/Harvard University Press, 2013).

Recent courses

  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Sexuality and Gender in Early Christianity
  • Pilgrims and Exiles: Late-ancient and early-medieval imaginings of travel, territory and identity

Awards & Honors

  • American Academy of Religion Regional Development Grant 2012-2013
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2011-2012
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship
  • Faculty Research Grant, UNC-Charlotte, 2008
  • International Travel Grant, UNC-Charlotte, 2007, 2008
  • Graduate Fellowship, Duke University, 2003-2004
  • Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, 1999-2003

Prospective graduate students

Prospective graduate students interested in the study of the Roman world, late antiquity, and early Christianity should check out the description of the AMNER area (Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions) on the Religious Studies website. Indiana has excellent resources for the study of late antiquity, and prospective students should also take a look at faculty in History, Art History, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the Borns Jewish Studies Program.

Students interested in graduate study in early Christianity and religions of late antiquity should have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. Classics, Near Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, etc.) and good basic coursework in the history and culture of late antiquity and/or premodern Christianity. Students should also be prepared with intermediate reading ability in a relevant ancient language (e.g. Greek, Latin, Syriac), and preferably, at least elementary experience in a second. Reading knowledge of either French or German is strongly recommended as well.