2013 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium Profiles: David Eastman

This year's York Christian Apocrypha Symposium, “Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha in North American Perspectives,” is now only two weeks away (September 26–28, 2013). If you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible (remember, it's free for students, but you should register if you want to receive the papers ahead of time). For more information, see the Symposium's web page (HERE).

David Eastman, “Confused Traditions? Peter and Paul in the Apocryphal Acts”

David Eastman teaches courses in New Testament, Christian history, and western religions in the Department of Religion and the Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Ohio Wesleyan University. A graduate of Yale University (PhD, M.Phil, M.A.), his first book, Paul the Martyr: The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West (Brill, 2011) was on the early Christian veneration of the apostle Paul.

In addition to his work on Paul, he is interested in the ancient Christian cult of the saints and contemporary portrayals of antiquity in popular media (especially Jesus films). He is currently working on two book projects: one on the ancient Greek, Latin, and Syriac accounts of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, and another on the formation of early Christian identity in Rome. He serves on the Society of Biblical Literature’s Career Development Committee, the program committee for the Society of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, and is the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Early Christian Studies.

“My study of these texts comes from an interest in reception history,” Eastman says. “What the apostles may have really said or done is far less important for the development of early Christianity than what people thought they said or did. The stories created by the apocryphal authors irreversibly influenced the ways in which later authors understood and interpreted figures like Paul and Peter and the texts ascribed to them.”

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