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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 specialist in late antique Christianity. His main interests include the Bible and its reception, the history of scholarly practices and education, as well as the programs of innovative and influential scholars, especially Origen of Alexandria and the so-called Antiochene theologians of the fourth and fifth centuries. He is also interested in displaced peoples in the modern world (his ancestors have often been on the move) and university strategy. Professor Martens is a philologist, an editor and interpreter of texts, which makes him feel at home in a number of humanities disciplines.

His current project is a book-length study of the roles that scholars adopt towards texts – postures that range from criticism to enchantment, caution to confidence, and curation to creativity. The focus is on biblical scholarship from the first millennium, but the topic and thesis are oriented to modern notions of criticism, contemporary textual practices in the humanities, deep reading in a technological era, and the role of philology in the formation of liberal citizens.



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)