The following is a selection of books published by the Professors in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies.

Latest Publications

The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs book cover

The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs

In the 1640s—a decade of epidemic and warfare across colonial North America—eight Jesuit missionaries met their deaths at the hands of native antagonists. With their collective canonization in 1930, these men, known to the devout as the North American martyrs, would become the continent’s first official Catholic saints. In The Death and Afterlife of the North American Martyrs, Emma Anderson untangles the complexities of these seminal acts of violence and their ever-changing legacy across the centuries. While exploring how Jesuit missionaries perceived their terrifying final hours, the work also seeks to comprehend the motivations of the those who confronted them from the other side of the axe, musket, or caldron of boiling water, and to illuminate the experiences of those native Catholics who, though they died alongside their missionary mentors, have yet to receive comparable recognition as martyrs by the Catholic Church. 

Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity book cover

Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity

While religious conflict receives plenty of attention, the everyday negotiation of religious diversity does not. Questions of how to accommodate religious minorities and of the limits of tolerance resonate in a variety of contexts and have become central preoccupations for many Western democracies. What might we see if we turned our attention to the positive narratives and success stories of the everyday working out of religious difference? Through the stories of ordinary people, this book traces deep equality, which is found in the respect, humour, and friendship of seemingly mundane interactions. Deep Equality in an Era of Religious Diversity shows that the telling of such stories can create an alternative narrative to that of diversity as a problem to be solved. It explores the non-event, or micro-processes, of interaction that constitute the foundation for deep equality and the conditions under which deep equality emerges, exists, and flourishes. 

Religion in the context of globalization book cover

Religion in the Context of Globalization

Peter Beyer has been a central figure in the debate about religion and globalization for many years. Religion in the Context of Globalization is a collection of essays on the relation between religion and globalization with special emphasis on the concept of religion, its modern forms and on the relation of religion to the state. 

Making Amulets Christian book cover

Making Amulets Christian

Making Amulets Christian: Artefacts, Scribes, and Contexts examines Greek amulets with Christian elements from late antique Egypt in order to discern the processes whereby a customary practice—the writing of incantations on amulets—changed in an increasingly Christian context. It considers how the formulation of incantations and amulets changed as the Christian church became the prevailing religious institution in Egypt in the last centuries of the Roman empire. Theodore de Bruyn investigates what we can learn from incantations and amulets containing Christian elements about the cultural and social location of the people who wrote them. He argues for ‘conditioned individuality’ in the production of amulets. On the one hand, amulets manifest qualities that reflect the training and culture of the individual writer. On the other hand, amulets reveal that individual writers were shaped, whether consciously or inadvertently, by the resources they drew upon—by what is called ‘tradition’ in the field of religious studies 

Histoire d'une réincarnation book cover

Histoire d'une réincarnation

(Content in French only)

Histoire d’une réincarnation : Sur la route des routes des derviches. Montréal, Éditions Rouge, 2013. Prix littéraire Jacques-Poirier - Salon du livre de l’Outaouais 2014. 

Le voyage initiatique de Daniel Simon, étudiant à la faculté de médecine de Montpellier, débute avec l’épidémie de peste de 1378. L’histoire le transporte ensuite à Gênes, puis à Smyrne. Le destin de Daniel finira par heurter de plein fouet celui de Tamerlan, l’un des plus sanguinaires despotes de l’histoire de l’humanité. Durant sa captivité, le protagoniste de l’histoire rencontre une pléiade de personnages pittoresques. Sa vie sera transformée par la rencontre d’un chaman converti à une mystérieuse confrérie soufie. Ce roman historique décrit le triste sort réservé à ceux et à celles qui se trouvent sur la route des derviches. 

* Prix littéraire Jacques-Poirier - Salon du livre de l’Outaouais 2014.

Mosaics of Time book cover

Mosaics of Time

Chronicles seem to be everywhere in ancient and medieval history. Now for the first time, R. W. Burgess and Michael Kulikowski present a diachronic study of chronicles, annals, and consularia from the twenty-fifth century BC to the twelfth century AD, demonstrating the origins and interlinked traditions of the oldest and longest continuing genre of historical writing in the Western world. This introductory volume of Mosaics of Time provides both the detailed context for the study of the Latin chronicle traditions that occupies the remaining three volumes of this series as well as a general study of chronicles across three millennia from the ancient Egyptian Palermo Stone to the medieval European chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux and beyond. The work is an essential companion to ancient and medieval history, historiography, and literary studies.

De l'enseignement à l'exégèse book cover

De l'enseignement à l'exégèse

(Content in French only)

Longtemps considérée comme l’héritière du dialogue philosophique, générateur de pensée innovatrice, la littérature par questions et réponses est envisagée dans De l’enseignement à l’exégèse sous l’angle de l’instruction dans un univers christianisé. Les textes formulés en questions et réponses dans un but pédagogique ont en effet connu une grande popularité et se sont développés au point de ne plus être ni un révélateur de pensée, comme le fut le dialogue philosophique, ni un instrument de mémorisation, comme l’étaient les questions sur les œuvres d’Homère, mais plutôt en vue de rassembler des collections de mini-traités ou de commentaires sur l’Écriture ou des enseignements sur la vie du fidèle. Les textes réunis dans ce volume explorent la portée didactique du genre des questions et réponses exégétiques, du dialogue dans la littérature initiatique chrétienne gnostique, valentinienne, ou dans la littérature pédagogique tardive, afin de cerner les procédés didactiques, mais aussi le ton et le public auquel s’adressent ces enseignements.

Dialogues d'histoire ancienne book cover

Dialogues d'histoire ancienne

Dès les origines, dans l’Athènes des sophistes et de Périclès, la rhétorique entretient des relations complexes avec le pouvoir politique. L’histoire, dans ses premières manifestations, n’est pas étrangère non plus à une certaine alliance du discours et du politique. Les contributions réunies par D. Côté et P. Fleury (dir.) dans Discours politique et Histoire dans l’Antiquité, fruits de la réflexion de spécialistes canadiens et européens, proposent d’examiner les rapports qui existent entre le discours politique et l’histoire dans l’Antiquité. Quelle prise de position politique se dessine derrière le récit de l’historien? Quelle manipulation de l’histoire se déploie à travers le discours de l’orateur? Voilà quelques-unes des questions que soulèvent les auteurs de cet ouvrage en faisant porter leur enquête aussi bien sur Athènes que sur Rome et jusqu’aux rivages lointains de Constantinople.

The Coptic Life of Aaron book cover

The Coptic Life of Aaron

Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary 
Authors: Jacques van der Vliet and Jitse Dijkstra 

The Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.

Religion as a Category of Governance and Sovereignty book cover

Religion as a Category of Governance and Sovereignty

Religious-secular distinctions have been crucial to the way in which modern governments have rationalised their governance and marked out their sovereignty – as crucial as the territorial boundaries that they have drawn around nations. The authors in Religion as a Category of Governance and Sovereignty provide a multi-dimensional picture of how the category of religion has served the ends of modern government. They draw on perspectives from history, anthropology, moral philosophy, theology and religious studies, as well as empirical analysis of India, Japan, Mexico, the United States, Israel-Palestine, France and the United Kingdom.

More recent publications

The World of Procopius book cover

The World of Procopius

This book draws together contributions from twenty specialists in Procopian studies. They throw interesting new light on a range of topics, concerning both the author himself and the world he inhabited. The volume is divided into four sections, covering 6th-century society, the past and present in Procopius’ works, Procopius and military history and his treatment of foreign peoples. From it emerges a well-rounded portrait both of the author and of the society in which he lived and wrote. 

Apocryphités book cover


(Content in French only)

Les vingt-une études dans Apocryphités représentent le fruit de vingt-cinq ans de recherches consacrées aux phénomènes scripturaires du judaïsme et du christianisme anciens, qu’il s’agisse de la mise en chantier des différentes éditions du livre de Jérémie et de ses réécritures « apocryphes » (l’Histoire de la captivité babylonienne et les Paralipomènes de Jérémie), de l’évolution de la littérature « apocalyptique » judéenne et chrétienne (du 1er Hénoch à l’Apocalypse de Paul, en passant par le 4e Esdras et l’Apocalypse de Pierre), de la retranscription des traditions mémorielles au sujet de Jésus (dans l’Évangile selon Thomas et dans les dialogues de révélation de Nag Hammadi) et de leurs réécritures ultériures (dans le Livre du coq et autres évangiles tardo-antiques de la Passion), voire de leur réinvention moderne (comme dans le cas de certaines productions romanesques contemporaines ou dans celui beaucoup plus délicat de l’Évangile secret de Marc). Ces études démontrent qu’à l’instar de leurs collègues judéens, les narrateurs chrétiens n’ont eu de cesse de réactualiser les récits sur les origines du mouvement de Jésus, et que, contrairement aux idées reçues, la frontière entre canonicité et apocryphité a toujours été (et continue d’être) extrêmement poreuse et fluctuante.

The Samaritans: A Profile book cover

The Samaritans: A Profile

In The Samaritans: A Profile, Reinhard Pummer, one of the world’s foremost experts on Samaritanism, offers a comprehensive introduction to the people identified as Samaritans in both biblical and nonbiblical sources. Besides analyzing the literary, epigraphic, and archaeological sources, he examines the Samaritan’ history, their geographical distribution, their version of the Pentateuch, their rituals and customs, and their situation today.

Ciaphas the High Priest Book cover

Caiaphas the High Priest

As the Roman-appointed high priest who had a hand in orchestrating Jesus’s Crucifixion, Caiaphas secured his place in infamy alongside Pontius Pilate. But without Caiaphas’s actions Christianity would not exist as it does. And so his place in biblical and historical narratives of Jesus warrants understanding. Viewing Caiaphas as more than just a one-dimensional villain, Adele Reinhartz offers a thorough reconsideration of representations of Caiaphas in the Gospels and other ancient texts as well as in subsequent visual arts, literature, film, and drama. The portrait that emerges challenges long-held beliefs about this New Testament figure by examining the background of the high priesthood and exploring the relationships among the high priest, the Roman leadership, and the Jewish population. Reinhartz does not seek to exonerate Caiaphas from culpability in the Crucifixion, but she does expand our understanding of Caiaphas’s complex religious and political roles in biblical literature and his culturally loaded depictions in ongoing Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Ageless Arete book cover

Ageless Arete

Arete is a crucial concept in ancient Greek culture that defies simple translation. In general, it indicates excellence—especially of human beings, but also of animals, institutions, even objects. It is linked to important concepts such as glory, justice, truth and harmony. It influences important activities such as religion, athletics, politics, and education. This collection demonstrates the length and breadth of arete’s importance in ancient Greek and Roman culture, from its prehistorical etymological roots to its mystification in pre-Christian theology and even its manifestation in the career of a modern archaeologist. These essays explore arete in Presocratic philosophy, classical oratory, epinician poetry, tragic drama, ancient Sicilian history, Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Neoplatonic thought. To many, arete was inherited by blood from the Homeric heroes, a birthright of social elites used to reinforce traditional hierarchies in the classical polis. To others, arete was an achievement distinct from social advantage but expected to advantage society. To understand arete philosophically, we must explore its wider cultural function—and vice versa. Arete is an enduring—even ageless—concept that, properly understood, may benefit humanity even today.

Animals and the Human Imagination book cover

Animals and the Human Imagination

Animals and the Human Imagination, an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collection edited by A. Gross and A. Vallely, reflects the growth of animal studies as an independent field and the rise of “animality” as a critical lens through which to analyze society and culture, on a par with race and gender. Essays consider the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human; the worldviews of indigenous peoples; animal-human mythology in early modern China; and political uses of the animal in postcolonial India. They engage with the theoretical underpinnings of the animal protection movement, representations of animals in children’s literature, depictions of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Derrida. The strength of this companion lies in its timeliness and contextual diversity, which makes it essential reading for students and researchers while further developing the parameters of the discipline. 

Livy book cover


Edited and translated by J. C. Yardley 

Livy (Titus Livius), the great Roman historian, was born at Patavium (Padua) in 64 or 59 BC, where after years in Rome he died in AD 12 or 17. Livy’s history, composed as the imperial autocracy of Augustus was replacing the republican system that had stood for over 500 years, presents in splendid style a vivid narrative of Rome’s rise from the traditional foundation of the city in 753 or 751 BC to 9 BC and illustrates the collective and individual virtues necessary to achieve and maintain such greatness. 

Of its 142 books, conventionally divided into pentads and decads, we have 1–10 and 21–45 complete, and short summaries (periochae) of all the rest except 41 and 43–45; 11–20 are lost, and of the rest only fragments and the summaries remain. The fourth decad comprises two recognizable pentads: Books 31–35 narrate the Second Macedonian War (200–196) and its aftermath, then Books 36–40 the years from 191 to 180, when Rome crushed and shrank Antiochus’ empire to extend and consolidate her mastery over the Hellenistic states. 

This edition replaces the original Loeb edition by Evan T. Sage.