Tuesday 10:00am - 12:00pm in person, or by appointment (either in person or via Zoom)
Maria E. Doerfler serves as Assistant Professor of Eastern Christianity in Yale University’s Department of Religious Studies. Before joining the Yale faculty, she held the position of Assistant Professor of Christianity in Late Antiquity at Duke Divinity School, as well as serving as director of the Duke/UNC Center for Late Ancient Studies. Her work focuses on the interpretation of authoritative texts, of law, philosophical writings, and scripture, in the second through sixth centuries C.E., with particular emphasis on how contexts of personal or communal crisis shape exegesis. Her most recent monograph, Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son: The Death of Children in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2020), won the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions Prize. She has recently completed a monograph on the intersection of writing law and creating sacred histories, and is working on a book on Syriac funerary hymnography as a lens into literary and socio-historical practices surrounding ethics, spiritual disciplines, and emotional communities. She also writes about Roman law in late antiquity and its reception in later Christian settings, as well as on gender and asceticism. She holds a Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Duke University, a J.D. from UCLA, and a B.A. in political science from Princeton University.