Peter W. Martens, Ph.D.
Professor of Early Christianity
T,Th: 10-12 a.m.
Theological Foundations, The Bible's First Experts: Alexandrians, Antiochenes, and Beyond
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2004
Martens is a scholar of late antique Christianity with a special interest in how early
Christians engaged their past in order to shape their present and future. This past
included their Scriptures, the memories and traditions surrounding Jesus and the martyrs,
and the textual strategies of a growing body of biblical experts from the third through
sixth centuries. His scholarship traverses a number of disciplinary cultures, but
he thinks it could be fairly described as “philological” in the broadest sense of
that term. Martens' expertise ranges from Greek paleography and manuscript studies
through the contextualized analysis of late antique texts attuned to what we today
commonly call their “theological” voice. Throughout much of his work lies a commitment
to identifying how our organization of the past is indelibly tied to our own often
shadowy, usually unexamined, commitments. In recent years, Martens has begun to develop alternative designs for the humanities
experience of today's American university.
Research interests include early Christianity and reception history of the Bible.
Publications and Media Placements
Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012; Spanish translation with Editorial Sígueme, 2018.
Adrian's "Introduction to the Divine Scriptures": An Antiochene Handbook for Biblical Interpretation. Study, Edition and Annotated Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).
“Embodiment, Heresy and the Hellenization of Christianity: the Descent of the Soul in Plato and Origen.” Harvard Theological Review 108 (2015): 594-620.
“Adrian’s Introduction to the Divine Scriptures and Greco-Roman Rhetorical Theory on Style.” Journal of Religion 93 (2013): 197-217.
Honors and Awards
Martens has received fellowships from the NEH, DAAD, Fulbright Commission and Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University). He is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Professional Organizations and Associations
- Society of Biblical Literature
- American Academy of Religion
- North American Patristics Society
- History of Human Freedom and Dignity (Innovative Training Network)