Margaret M. Mitchell

Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature; also in the College

MA, PhD (University of Chicago)

Margaret M. Mitchell is a literary historian of ancient Christianity. Her research and teaching span a range of topics in New Testament and early Christian writings up through the end of the fourth century. She analyzes how the earliest Christians literally wrote their way into history, developing a literary and religious culture that was deeply embedded in Hellenistic Judaism and the wider Greco-Roman world, while also proclaiming its distinctiveness from each. Special interests include the Pauline letters (both in their inaugural moments and in the history of their effects), the poetics and politics of ancient biblical interpretation, and the intersection of text, image, and artifact in the fashioning of early Christian culture.

Prof. Mitchell is the author of four books: Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation (1991); The Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation (2000); The “Belly-Myther” of Endor: Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church (with Rowan A. Greer, 2007), and Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Christian Hermeneutics (2010).  The first volume of her collected essays, Paul and the Emergence of Christian Textuality: Early Christian Literary Culture in Context, will appear in autumn, 2017.  She is also the coeditor of two volumes, including, with Frances M. Young, The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1: Origins to Constantine (2006).  Prof. Mitchell is currently completing a volume, John Chrysostom on Paul: Praises and Problem Passages, to be published in the Writings from the Greco-Roman World series (Society of Biblical Literature), and, among other projects, engaging in research on the newly discovered Greek homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria. 

Prof. Mitchell’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Luce, Mellon and Guggenheim foundations.  She is an elected member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, l’Association internationale d’études patristiques, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

 

Select work: 

"The Abercius Inscription"

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"Archaic Mark: A Remarkable Manuscript Treasure or a Modern-Day Counterfeit?"

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Current and Upcoming Courses
  • "Christians" and "Jews," Rhetoric and Reality (HCHR/BIBL 45250)
  • Galatians and James: Traditions in Conflict? (HCHR/BIBL 52100)
  • Introduction to the New Testament: Texts and Contexts (BIBL 32500)
  • The Pastoral Epistles (BIBL 43600)