Portrait of Nicola Denzey Lewis

Nicola Denzey Lewis joined CGU’s Religion Department in 2017 as the Margo L. Goldsmith Chair in Women’s Studies in Religion. Her research has followed two separate but, at times, interrelated tracks: the study of Gnosticism from the second to the fourth century—a key period of Christianization—and the social history of ordinary citizens, particularly women, in the Roman Empire from the High Empire to Late Antiquity periods. Her courses at CGU include proseminars on women and religion, and specialized courses in Roman social history and the process of Christianization of the empire.

Before coming to CGU, Denzey Lewis was a faculty member at Skidmore College and Bowdoin College, and then a visiting faculty member at Harvard and Brown. She has received major research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, along with additional support from, among other sources, the American Academy of Religion and the International Catacomb Society, where she was a Shohet Fellow. She serves on the editorial boards of Gnosis and the Journal of Early Christian Studies and on the Society for Biblical Literature’s Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Denzey Lewis also actively works as a public intellectual, having consulted on and appeared in two seasons of CNN’s popular series, Finding Jesus. She has also appeared in numerous shows for the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and Discovery, along with live news appearances for NBC and CNN and CBC Radio Canada’s Religion news show, Tapestry, focusing on her work on Mary Magdalene. Her written work for a general public has appeared in, among other places, the Society for Biblical Literature’s Bible Odyssey project, of which she was a founding contributor and writer.

Denzey Lewis has published three single-author monographs including the popular The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women (Boston: Beacon, 2007), and served as an editor for another volume of scholarly essays. Her next book, The Early Modern Invention of Late Antique Rome, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press (2018). She is at work on two other books: editing a Cambridge Companion to Gnosticism, and a monograph entitled Ordinary Christianity in the Age of Constantine.

Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

Introduction to “Gnosticism”: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. (Translated into Italian as I Manoscritti di Nag Hammadi. Una biblioteca gnostica del IV secolo. Trans. Matteo Grosso. Milan: Frecce, 2014)

The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007.

Co-edited with Lance Jenott, Philippa Townsend, and Eduard Iricinschi. Beyond the Gnostic Gospels: Studies in Honor of Elaine Pagels. Berlin: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

The Early Modern Invention of Late Antique Rome. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018.

Women and Religion: Proseminar
Lived Religion in the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity
Roman Catacomb Studies
Women in Early Christianity: Textual, Visual, and Epigraphical Studies