Goff Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
A.B., Ph.D., Harvard University
Bentley Layton teaches the literary, intellectual, and social history of ancient Christianity in the Mediterranean regions; and the Coptic language. His specializations include gnosticism and heresies, asceticism and monasticism, textual editing and manuscript studies, and Coptic linguistics. Before coming to Yale in 1976, he taught in Jerusalem at the École biblique et archéologique française and worked in Cairo for the UNESCO Technical Subcommittee for Publication of the Nag Hammadi Manuscripts. Among his publications are textual editions of fifteen works found in the ancient Gnostic manuscripts of Nag Hammadi; Catalogue of Coptic Manuscripts in the British Library; The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations; A Coptic Grammar with Chrestomathy and Glossary: Sahidic Dialect; Coptic-Gnostic Chrestomathy; and technical articles on ancient Christian texts, literature, thought, and history. He is currently writing on the social history of ancient monasteries, and editing works of the ancient monastic leader Apa Shenoute. He is past President of the International Association of Coptic Studies and has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Harvard Society of Fellows.