Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
Tina Shepardson studies the history of early Christianity, particularly the Mediterranean world in the period of late antiquity. She is the author of two books: Controlling Contested Places: Fourth-Century Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy, which demonstrates the ways in which contests over local places shaped the development of religious orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the late Roman Empire; and Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem’s Hymns in Fourth-Century Syria, which examines Ephrem, a fourth-century church leader from Syria, and the role his sharp anti-Jewish language played in an intra-Christian theological struggle. She is also the co-editor of two other volumes: Invitation to Syriac Christianity: An Anthology, and Dealing with Difference: Christian Patterns of Response to Religious Rivalry in Late Antiquity and Beyond. She is currently finishing a project on early Syrian Orthodox Christianity, and the political and theological conflicts that consumed the eastern Mediterranean during the fifth and sixth centuries. In teaching about the history of early Christianity, she demonstrates the effects that early Christian arguments continue to have in the modern world, as well as the rich diversity of early Christian history. She is the winner of a 2016-2017 NEH Fellowship, a 2009-2010 ACLS Fellowship, a 2008 NEH Summer Stipend, and a 2008 Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. Each year she presents her work at academic conferences and also around the Knoxville area. When not researching, writing, and teaching, she loves hiking in the Smokies.
- Ph.D. in Early Christianity, Duke University, Graduate Program in Religion
- Graduate Certificate, Program in Women’s Studies, Duke University
- M.T.S. in Biblical Studies, Boston University School of Theology
- B.A. in Religion and English, Swarthmore College