Kim Haines-Eitzen

Paul and Berthe Hendrix Memorial Professor


Kim Haines-Eitzen (Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1997) is a Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions with a specialty in Early Christianity, Early Judaism, and Religion in Late Antiquity in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Her first book Guardians of Letters: Literacy, Power and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature (Oxford University Press, 2000) is a social history of the scribes who copied Christian texts during the second and third centuries. She holds joint appointments in the Religious Studies Program and the Department of Classics.   Her most recent book, The Gendered Palimpsest: Women, Writing, and Representation in Early Christianity, deals with the intersection of gender and text transmission (Oxford University Press, 2012).    Currently, she is working on a new project, entitled A Sacred and Sonorous Desert in Late Antiquity, which focuses on the desert monastic literature of late antiquity and its attention to sensory landscapes, especially the acoustic dimensions of the desert environment.     To learn more, visit her website:

Courses Taught

  • History and Literature of Early Christianity
  • Gnosticism and Early Christianity
  • Introduction to Christian History
  • The New Testament/Early Christian Literatures
  • Sound, Silence, and the Sacred
  • Theory and Method in Near Eastern Studies
  • Introduction to Religious Studies: Sensational Religion
  • Desert Monasticism

Research Focus

  • Early and Late Ancient Christianity
  • Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions in Late Antiquity
  • Early Judaism
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Orality and Literacy in Antiquity
  • Manuscript studies and papyrology


Books and Edited Works

  • The Gendered Palimpsest: Women, Writing, and Representation in Early Christianity (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Boundaries and Bodies in Late Antiquity, co-edited with Georgia Frank, special issue of The Journal of Early Christian Studies 17 (2009).
  • Guardians of Letters: Literacy, Power, and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Selected Articles

  • “The Sound of Angels’ Wings in Paradise: Religious Identity and the Aural Imagination in the Testament of Adam,” in Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Shira Lander et all (Brown University Press, forthcoming)
  •   “Geographies of Silence,” in Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium, ed. Susan Ashbrook Harvey and Margaret Mullett (Dumbarton Oaks Publications, forthcoming)
  • "The Future of Patristics," in Blackwell Companion to Patristics, ed. Ken Parry (Blackwell, forthcoming)
  • “Literacy and Education, Hellenistic and Roman Period,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology, ed. Daniel Master and L. Michael White (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • "The Social History of Early Christian Scribes," in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, ed. Bart D. Ehrman and Michael Holmes (Leiden: Brill, 2013).
  • "Scribes, Greece, and Rome," "Gospel Book," "Codex" in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, ed. Roger Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige Champion, Andrew Erskine, and Sabine Huebner (Oxford: Blackwell, 2012).
  • “Imagining the Alexandrian Library and a ‘Bookish’ Christianity,” in Reading New Testament Papyri in Context, ed. Claire Clivaz and Joseph Verheyden (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2011) 207-218.
  • "Introduction," co-written with Georgia Frank for special issue of The Journal of Early  Christian Studies 17 (2009) 167-169.
  • “Textual Communities in Late-Antique Christianity” in A Companion to Late Antiquity, ed. Philip Rousseau (London: Basil Blackwell, 2009) 146-157.
  • "Engendering Palimpsests: Reading the Textual Tradition of the Acts of Paul and Thecla," in The Early Christian Book, ed. William Klingshirn and Linda Safran (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 2007) 177-193.
  • “Coptic Language” (Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, ed. Josef Meri [Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2006]).
  • “The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles on Papyrus: Revisiting the Question of Readership and Audience,” in New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World, ed. Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Niklas; TENT 2; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2005/6.
  • “Engendering Palimpsests: Gender, Asceticism, and the Transmission of the Acts of Paul and Thecla,” in The Early Christian Book, ed. William Klingshirn and Linda Safran.  Catholic University of America, 2005.
  • “Ancient Judaism Imagined Through the Lens of Early  Christianity: The Work of James Rendel Harris, 1852-1941,” in Studies and Texts in Jewish History and Culture. University Press of Maryland/CDL Press, 2003.
  • “‘Girls Trained in the Art of Beautiful Writing’: Female Scribes in Roman Antiquity and Early Christianity,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 6 (1998) 629-646.

In the news

Courses - Spring 2022