Historical Studies in Theology and Religion

Course of Study Description

The Historical Studies in Theology and Religion (HS) Course of Study is a focal point for the historical study of religion at Emory. The aim is to enhance each student’s self-critical awareness of the diversity of fields and approaches in historical studies while helping the student to develop specialized competence.

The program focuses on three fields:

  • Early and medieval Christianity
  • Early-modern and modern European thought
  • Religion in America
  • World Christianity (This new emphasis in Historical Studies focuses on the history of Christianity in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Foci include attention to the challenges that World Christianity poses for historiography, understanding societal and cultural configurations, and interpreting religious traditions that differ from those of European Latinate origin.)

Each student specializes in whichever of these fields is best suited to the proposed dissertation topic, and the faculty help plan a curriculum and a set of examinations that prepare the student for scholarship and teaching. The program itself offers courses in the three fields, but the student’s curriculum will normally include courses from other courses of study in the GDR and from other departments of the university. The course of study encourages students to acquire at least introductory competence in the history of a tradition other than Christianity (such as Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism).

The collegial focus of the program is a regular symposium at which faculty and students discuss problems in historiography and other matters of common interest.


Preliminary Examinations

Please consult the chair of the course of study for more information.

Special Requirements

Please consult the chair of the course of study for more information.

Selected Courses

Please consult the chair of the course of study for more information.

Recent Dissertations and Placement:


Robin Neville,
"Miraculous Bodies: Gender, Power and Tropes of Embodiment in Early Medieval Hagiographies from Ireland, Anglo-Saxon England, and Merovingian Gaul"

Marie-Ange Rakotoniaina, "Preaching and Practicing the Sabbath in late antique North Africa"


Brendan Harris,
"The Doctrine of Theosis in the Thought of Gregory of Nazianzus"

Micah Miller,
"Origen of Alexandria and the Theology of the Holy Spirit"


Brian Gronewoller,
"Rhetorical Economy in the Theology of Augustine"


Alexander Ajax Alexander, "Storr's Transfiguration of the Kantian Letter"

Corbin Boekhaus, "The Science of Freedom: Galvanism and Organicism in Schleiermacher's Early Thought"

Sarah Bogue, "Hrotsvit’s Legends as Redemptive Pedagogy: The 'Nectar of Divine Grace" - Reference and Instruction Librarian, Pitts Theological Library, Emory University

Drew Denton, "Manifest Catholicity: Ultramontane Nationalists and American Expansion, 1844-1861," Director of Faith Formation at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Atlanta.

William Love, "The Laws of Christ and Nature: The Biblical Interpretation of John Locke"


William Yoo, "American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Making of a New Religion" - Assistant Professor of American and Religious Cultural History, Columbia Seminary, Assistant Professor