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Eric Stewart

Eric Stewart

Professor of Religion

My research centers on understanding various early Jewish and Christian groups within the ancient Mediterranean world. My first book, Gathered Around Jesus: An Alternative Spatial Practice in the Gospel of Mark, uses models and methods from cultural geography and postcolonial theory in order to consider how Mark's understanding of the spaces in which Jesus traveled, lived, and worked relate to other types of literary presentations of geography in antiquity. My second book, Peter: First Generation Member of the Jesus Movement, describes the various ways in which Peter was characterized by New Testament authors. These various rhetorical presentations of Peter show how Peter's reputation changed in different times and places through the first hundred years of the Jesus Movement. 

My recent work focuses on masculinity in early Christianity, ritual in early Christian literature, and further work on spatiality in early Christianity. Most recently, I delivered a paper at a ritual studies conference at the University of Rostock entitled, “‘Who Submits to Whom? Ritual and Masculine Performance in Josephus’ Account of the Meeting of Alexander and the Judean High Priest Jaddua in Ant. 11.302-347”. In 2014, I presented a paper on Jesus' masculinity in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and, in 2015, I presented a paper on Jesus' trial as ritual failure in the Paradosis Pilatou at the University of Gloucestershire at Cheltenham in England. I have also presented papers at the University of Pretoria and in Finland. 

While my research focus is largely on early Christianity and early Judaism, my teaching covers a much wider range. In the Religion Department, I teach Christian Origins, Jewish and Christian, Religion and Film, Scriptures, Jesus of Nazareth, and Gender and the Bible, and Theorizing Religion. For the WGSS program, I teach Masculinity in American Culture and for the Honors Program, I teach Reason.

Apart from my academic interests, I served as an assistant soccer coach for the men's team at Augustana College for five years. I have coached soccer for most of my adult life, having been a high school coach at Trinity School at Greenlawn in South Bend, Ind., for which I was named the Northern Indiana High School Boys Coach of the Year in 2003, an Olympic Development Program coach in Indiana, a member of Indiana Soccer's Coaching Education staff, and the Director of Coaching for Michiana Echo Soccer Club. 

I talked about gender in the ancient world as a guest on the ROI Relevant or Irrelevant radio show in April 2016. My updated list of publications and presentations can be found at this link

Specializations: Christian origins, New Testament, Gospels, Jesus, Theory of religion, Ritual


  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame