May 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

Maxwell Contributes to Volume on Popular Culture in Ancient World

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell at Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell at Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell‘s “Popular Theology in Late Antiquity” was published as part of Popular Culture in the Ancient World, edited by Lucy Grigg (Cambridge University Press, 2016). 

The volume as a whole aims at taking “popular culture” in classical Greek and Roman antiquity more seriously, with many of the chapters geared toward breaking down the conceptual divide between “high culture” and “lower culture.”  

Maxwell is Associate Professor in both the History Department as well as Classics & World Religions Department at Ohio University.

Her chapter argues against the tendency among scholars to separate theological discussions from so-called popular religion (e.g., folklore, festivals, superstitions, etc.). She examines sermons preached at well-attended martyr festivals in the late fourth century CE. By doing so, Maxwell demonstrates that ordinary Christians at this time were aware of some basic biblical stories and doctrine, and also engaged with theological concepts such as the origin of evil and the nature of human free will.

For more on Maxwell’s research and teaching, visit her History Department profile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *