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Faculty of Divinity



On the rugged and ravishing coast of the North Sea, rests one of Scotland’s illustrious institutions: the University of St Andrews. Cloistered by mediaeval castle and cathedral ruins, I spent a formative period here reading ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. But I also became fascinated by Christianity’s emergence and evolution from Judaism.

So I left the brisk breeze of the Scottish coast for academical Disneyland: Oxford. Tutored by historians of religion Professor Martin Goodman and Professor Markus Bockmuehl, I read widely—from the Maccabees to the Mishnah (yes, I’m shamelessly stealing Prof. Shaye Cohen’s snappy saying). And I realised how the conquests and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome deeply affected Judaism and Christianity. Eager to learn more, I turned traitor (!) and read Classics at ‘the other place’: Cambridge.

In this enriching degree, I learnt Latin and perused the poetry of ancient Greece. I also trained under Professor Gábor Betegh and Professor James Warren. Guided by these historians of philosophy, I mused and meditated on the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics—noticing, in particular, similarities between Stoicism and early Christianity. This observation inspired my doctoral research at Cambridge, co-supervised by historian of religion Professor George van Kooten (also a past pupil of Prof. Martin Goodman!) and precited historian of philosophy Professor Gábor Betegh.

I’m grateful to the Kirby Laing Foundation, managed by the Laing Family Trusts, and the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge for electing me a Kirby Laing Scholar of New Testament and fully funding my doctorate.


Thanks to professorial polymath Anders Klostergaard Petersen, I’m engrossed by the following question: how did religion emerge and evolve amongst humans? At the moment, I’m thinking through this by studying the formation and development of Christianity. This entails inquiry into the philosophies from which Christianity emerged, especially (but not only) Judaism, Platonism, and Stoicism. In my research, therefore, I compare early Christian writings with other ancient Mediterranean literature—keeping in mind the sundry settings (material, political, economic, etc.) of each text. I also read broadly in the biological and social sciences to contextualise my findings within our hominid history.

My doctoral thesis compares the political philosophies of early Christians with a Stoic teaching known as cosmopolitanism. By ‘cosmopolitanism’, I mean this: humans may simultaneously live in two communities, a local city (polis) and a universal city (cosmopolis); divine and rational beings inhabit the latter. There’s more to it. But that’s the gist. Now, I may be a bit more precise. I explore how the Letter to the Hebrews, an anonymous and ancient Christian homily, may evoke and engage with Stoic cosmopolitanism when expressing its own political philosophy—which includes ideas about law, reason, citizenship, ethics, physics, and more. I’ve tentatively titled this project ‘The Christian Cosmopolis: Political Philosophy in the Stoa and the Letter to the Hebrews’.


Key publications: 

I’m currently revising three articles in the fields of Religion, Classics, and Philosophy. In the first, I explore the bond between demons and darkness in Judaism and Christianity, foregrounding the Gospel according to Mark. In the second, I examine how Greek tragedy resonates in Stoic philosophy, concentrating on Philo of Alexandria’s allusions to Euripides. And in the third, I compare Greek poetry and philosophy to show how Plato rewrites Hesiod’s story about the origin of the universe.

The breadth of my work is intentional. In my education, I’ve endeavoured to acquire interdisciplinary range as well as intra-disciplinary focus. I’m convinced that scholarship may be enriched when disciplinary bounds are transgressed, when historians of religion join forces with classicists and philosophers, for example—and even when scholars in the humanities collaborate with colleagues in the social and biological sciences.

Other publications: 

‘Philo and Josephus in their Educational Context’. Reviewing E. Koskenniemi, Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus: A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2019. The Classical Review 70.1 (2020): 55–8. Hyperlink

Other Professional Activities

Whew. You’ve made it to the last tab. Well done. Should you like more ‘deets’ (as the youths say), please consult the attached curriculum vitae. 

Historian of Religion and Philosophy
Kirby Laing Scholar in New Testament

Contact Details

Email address: 
Cambridge, England
Not available for consultancy




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