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Christine Shepardson

Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee

Tina Shepardson studies the history of early Christianity, particularly the Mediterranean world in the period of late antiquity. Her most recent book project, "A Memory of Violence: The Radicalization of Religious Difference in the Middle East (431-750)," focuses on early Syrian Orthodox Christianity, and the political and theological conflicts that consumed the eastern Mediterranean during the fifth and sixth centuries. She is the author of two other 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 Patters of Response to Religious Rivalry in Late Antiquity and Beyond_. 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.


  • –present
    Religious Studies Professor of Early Christianity, University of Tennessee


  • 2003 
    Duke University, PhD/Religious Studies