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Peter W. Martens, Ph.D.

Professor of Early Christianity

Office Hours

T,Th: 10-12 a.m.

Courses Taught

Theological Foundations, The Bible's First Experts: Alexandrians, Antiochenes, and Beyond


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 2004

Research Interests

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).

Select Essays 
“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)