Jennifer Wright Knust

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate Division of Religious Studies

Curriculum Vitae

An Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Boston University, I hold joint appointments in the School of Theology and the Departments of Religion and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. My research and teaching interests include ancient rhetoric, the transmission of the Gospels, and sexuality and the Christian Bible, leading to by first two books, Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity(Columbia University Press, 2005) and Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions on Sex and Desire (HarperONE, 2011). My broader interest in ancient religions, their practices, and their place in contemporary theories of religion is evident in two edited volumes, Ancient Mediterranean Sacrifice, edited with Zsuzsanna Varhelyi (Oxford University Press 2011), and the Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited with Eric Orlin, Michael Satlow and Lizbeth Fried (forthcoming 2015). Most recently, I have been tracing early Christian ideas about sacred text by examining late antique and early medieval manuscripts, which I place in their liturgical and institutional contexts. At BU, I teach courses on women and religion, the New Testament, the history of Christianity, and Jesus, among other topics, and am part of the teaching team for the WGS Interdisciplinary Introduction.

Selected Works in Progress

Jesus, an Adulteress, and a History of John 7:53-8:11, with Tommy Wasserman, under review.

Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited with Eric Orlin, Michael Satlow and Lisbeth Fried. New York and London: Routledge, in preparation (2015).

“Who’s Afraid of Noah, Ham, and Canaan? A Paranoid Reading of a Terrorizing Text.” Biblical Interpretation, in press.

“Miscellany Manuscripts, the Dishna Papers, and the Christian Canonical Imaginary.” In Ritual Matters: Material Residues and Ancient Religions, ed. Jennifer Knust and Claudia Moser. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, in preparation (2015)

“The Rise of the Maccabean Martyr Cult: Belief and Practice in Christian Late Antiquity.” In Belief and Its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion, ed. Ralph Anderson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, in press.

Selected Publications

Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2011.

Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity. Gender, Theory, Religion; New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

“The Biblical Odes and the Text of the Christian Bible: A Reconsideration of the Impact of Liturgical Singing on the Transmission of the Gospel of Luke,” with Tommy Wasserman. Journal of Biblical Literature 133.2 (2014): 341-65.

“Jesus’ Conditional Forgiveness.” In Ancient Forgiveness. edited by Charles Griswold and David Konstan, 176-94. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

“In Pursuit of a Singular Text: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Desire for the True Original.” Religion Compass 2/2 (2008): 180-94.

Selected Fellowships and Awards

Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, 2013-2014

Frederick Burkhart Fellow, ACLS/Residency at the American Academy in Rome, 2012-2013

Fellow, Henry Luce III Foundation Fellows in Theology, 2007-2008

Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2003-2004

ACLS/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Junior Faculty, 2003-2004