The Catholic University of America

 

Philip Rousseau's Graduate Students

 

Applicants to the "Early Christian Studies" program (as well as other applicants who would like to work with me) will find ample opportunity to complete their Ph.D. dissertations under my direction, especially in the fields of late Roman asceticism and Greek and Latin Patristics (although, as an historian, I have also directed work on other topics roughly in the period 300-600).  A substantial body of other Faculty work in these and associated fields, our own library is well endowed with edited sources and secondary works of relevance and provides access to several other university libraries in the DC area, and the proximity of the Library of Congress and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library is a special bonus.  There is a lively group of graduate students in various Schools and Departments with whom you will able to share these enthusiasms.

In addition to giving regular seminar courses to students preparing for their Comprehensive Examinations, I also direct History students in particular interested in completing a "Late Antique Minor" and frequently teach students in Independent Study courses.

Although I have limited competence in Syriac, Coptic, or other languages of the Oriens christianus, applicants should also be aware of the wealth of published and manuscript material and of Faculty expertise in the University's Institute for Christian Oriental Research (ICOR), housed in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures.  Many of the graduates listed below have availed themselves of the opportunities it provides.

Recent Successes

(A selection, in reverse chronological order)

 

Sean Moberg ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In April 2016, Sean successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "The Apophthegmata patrum and the Greek Philosophical Tradition."  His other examiners were Dr Janet Timbie (Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures; dissertation director) and Dr Edward Watts, Alkiviadis Vassiladis Professor of Byzantine Greek History at the University of California, San Diego.

Laura Hohman (Department of History)

In April 2016, Laura successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Carolingian Sermons: Religious Reform, Pastoral Care, and Lay Piety."  Her other examiners were Dr Jennifer Davis (Department of History; dissertation director) and Professor Katherine Jansen (Chair, Department of History).  She had received in 2011 a Council for European Studies (Columbia University) Pre-Dissertation Fellowship.

Laura is Assistant Professor of History in the School of Social and  Behavioral Sciences in Trivecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN.  She has published "Carolingian Educational Strategies and Pastoral Care," Perspectives on Europe 42 (2012): 

Dana Robinson ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In December 2015, Dana successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Food and Lay Piety in Late Antiquity" (directed by myself) and did so "with distinction."  Her other examiners were Dr Janet Timbie (Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures) and Professor Kimberly Bowes (Director, American Academy in Rome).

Dana has published "Letter to the Priest Apa Theodosios (P. Stras. Kopt 177)," in A. Boud'hors, A. Delattre, C. Louis and S. Richter (eds), Coptica Argentoratensia: Conférences et documents de la 3e université d’été en papyrologie copte (Strasbourg, 18-25 juillet 2010) (Paris: Éditions de Boccard, 2014).  She is currently preparing for publication a recent Byzantine Studies Conference paper, “Feeding the Twenty Thousand: Shenoute’s Monastic Hospitality as a Model for Lay Commensal Practices.”

Dana has since been appointed a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Honors Program of the School of Philosophy at Creighton University, Omaha, NE.

Allison Ralph (School of Theology and Religious Studies)

In December 2015, Allison successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Metaphors of Sickness and the Social Body in the Constantinian Era."  Her other examiners were Dr Susan Wessel (Area Director, Church History, School of Theology and Religious Studies; dissertation director) and Dr Robin Darling Young (School of Theology and Religious Studies).

Lionel Yaceczko (Department of Greek and Latin)

In December 2015, Lionel successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Ausonius of Bordeaux: Grammar, Rhetoric and the Establishment of a Christian Culture in the Late Roman West."  His other examiners were Professor William E. Klingshirn (Department of Greek and Latin, and Director of the Center; dissertation director) and Dr William J. McCarthy (Department of Greek and Latin).

Ky Heinze ("Early Christian Studies" Program)
 
In April 2015, Ky successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Sacrifice to Demons in Porphyry and Origen" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Dr Robin Darling Young (School of Theology and Religious Studies) and the Revd J. Rebecca Lyman, Garrett Professor Emerita of Church History at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA.
 

Ky has since been appointed Professor of Classics at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Barry’s Bay, Ontario.

Josh Brockway (School of Theology and Religious Studies)
 
In April 2015, Josh successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "The Ritual Dimension of John Cassian's Asceticism" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Dr Susan Wessel and the Revd Dr Dominic Serra, both Area Directors within the School.
 
Josh is a Minister in the Church of the Brethren, resident in Elgin, IL, and Director there of Spiritual Life and Discipleship.  The Brethren's purpose, "through religious and educational activities, is to empower people to discern the things that make for peace - in ourselves, within families, in our global environment, between nations - and to advocate peace and justice, seeking the realization of God's will on earth as in heaven."
 

Edward Naumann (Department of Greek and Latin)

In April 2015, Ed successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Augustine the Pastor and the Judgment of God" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Professor William E. Klingshirn (Department of Greek and Latin) and Dr Tarmo Toom (School of Theology and Religious Studies).

Ed, a Lutheran priest within the Missouri Synod, has since been appointed Theological Educator to South Asia.  He will begin his duties in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but expects to move within a couple of years to southern India, probably Nagercoil, a city in the state of Tamil Nadu of great traditional and cultural significance.

Sr Maria M. Kiely, O.S.B. (Department of Greek and Latin)

In 2013, Sister Maria successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Ambrose the Pastor and the Image of the 'Bride': Exegesis, Philosophy, and the Song of Songs" (directed by myself) and did so "with distinction."

This was her fifth degree, her third at graduate level.  She had already published an article on Paulinus of Nola: "The Interior Courtyard: The Heart of Cimitile/Nola," Journal of Early Christian Studies 12 (2004): 443.

Sister Maria teaches Greek and courses on Christian humanism at Catholic.  She is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Committee for English in the Liturgy.

Robert Simkins (School of Theology and Religious Studies)

In 2013, Robert successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Palladius and Ascetic Siocial Engagement" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Professor James Wiseman, O.S.B. and Dr Thomas Schärtl (both of the School of Theology and Religious Studies).

Stuart Squires (School of Theology and Religous Studies)

In 2013, Stuart successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Augustine, Cassian, and Jerome on the Possibility of a Sinless Life" (directed by myself).  He is currently Assistant Professor of Theology at Brescia University, Owensboro, KY.

Stuart has published several articles in Augustiniana, Augustinianum, Cistercian Studies Quarterly, and the Scottish Journal of Theology.  He is now completing a book, Enemies of Grace: An Introduction to the Pelagian Controversy.

Jared Ortiz (School of Theology and Religious Studies)

In 2012, Jared successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Creation in Saint Augustine's Confessions" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Dr Tarmo Toom and Msgr Paul McPartlan (both of the School of Theology and Religious Studies).  He is now Assistant Professor of Religion at Hope College, Holland, MI.

His dissertation has since been published: "You Made Us For Yourself": Creation in St. Augustine's Confessions (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016).  He is currently editing a series of papers entitled Deification in the Latin Patristic Tradition.

Sidney R. Banks ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In May 2011, Rob successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Blazing Walls, Blazing Brothers: Monks and the Making of the Demon in the Pachomian Koinonia" (directed by myself).  His other examiners were Dr Janet Timbie (Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures) and Professor David Frankfurter (Department of Religion, Boston University).

Anne Seville ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In October 2008, Anne successfuly defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "Ascetics and Society in Nilus of Ancyra: Old Testament Imagery as a Model for Personal and Social Reform" (directed by myself).

Anne teaches in the Department of Theology at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD.

Joel Kalvesmaki ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In May 2006, Joel successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Formation of the Early Christian Theology of Arithmetic: Number Symbolism in the Late Second and Early Third Century", directed by Dr William J. McCarthy (Department of Greek and Latin).  His other examiners were Dr Susan Wessel (School of Theology and Religious Studies), Professor Dr Christian Markschies (Professor of Ancient Christianity at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin), and myself.  He is Editor in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington, DC.

His dissertation was subsequently published, The Theology of Arithmetic: Number Symbolism in Platonism and Early Christianity (Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2013).  In addition to a range of articles and papers, he has edited with Dr Robin Darling Young (School of Theology and Religious Studies) Evagrius and His Legacy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2016).

Eric Phillips (School of Theology and Religious Studies)

In May 2006, Eric successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation, "Man and Salvation in Theodore of Mopsuestia" (directed by myself).  He is Pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) in Nashville, TN.

Sr Lois Farag ("Early Christian Studies" Program)

In May 2003, Sister Lois successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation, "St Cyril of Alexandria, a New Testament Exegete: His Exegetical Method and Theology as Presented in his Commentary on the Gospel of John" (directed by myself).  After teaching at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD and at the Ecumenical Institute at St Mary's Seminary and University, she was appointed to Luther Seminary, St Paul, MN, where she is now Associate Professor of Early Church History.  She is a monastic of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Her dissertation was subsequently published: St Cyril of Alexandria, a New Testament Exegete: His Commentary on the Gospel of John (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2007).  She has since published Balance of the Heart: Desert Spirituality for Twenty-First Century Christians (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012) and edited the collection The Coptic Christian Heritage: History, Faith, and Culture (London: Routledge, 2014).  She continues her work on both Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria.