I am a historian of early Christianity and religious cultures of late antiquity. I have taught at the University of California, Riverside; Scripps College; and Harvard Divinity School. As of June 1, 2019, I am a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. On this site you can find information about my publications, teaching, and ongoing research.

You can contact me at: andrew [at] andrewjacobs [dot] org

You can find me on Twitter: @drewjakeprof

You can find me at the Humanities Commons: https://hcommons.org/members/drewjake/


The Garb of Being
The Garb of Being: Embodiment and the Pursuit of Holiness in Late Ancient Christianity, co-edited with Georgia Frank and Susan R. Holman (Fordham University Press, 2019) (purchase link)

Epiphanius of Cyprus: A Cultural Biography of Late Antiquity, Christianity in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2016) (purchase link)
WINNER: 2017 Philip Schaff Prize from the American Society of Church History

Christ Circumcised: A Study in Early Christian History and Difference, Divinations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) (purchase link)

Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity, Divinations (Stanford University Press, 2004) (purchase link)

Christianity in Late Antiquity, 300-450 CE: A Reader, co-edited with Bart D. Ehrman (Oxford University Press, 2003) (purchase link)

The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas in Late Antiquity by
The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas in Late Antiquity, ed. L. Stephanie Cobb with translations by L. Stephanie Cobb and Andrew S. Jacobs (University of California Press, 2021) (purchase link)

For other works, click on the Humanities Commons link above; for my complete curriculum vitae, click here.


Gospel Thrillers: Conspiracy and the Bible in U.S. Culture.

Beginning during the Cold War, a genre of novel began appearing in the U.S. following a common theme: a new, first-century gospel has been found (or is rumored to exist) that explodes everything we think we know about Christ and Christianity and threatens to topple Western civilization. Our hero finds himself in a race against time, and a conflict with shadowy political and religious forces, to discover the truth. This study asks what these dozens of novels, which continue to appear, can tell us about U.S. cultural fears and desires surrounding the Bible.

In addition to the book in progress, I am also constructing a companion website which you can visit here.

Ex-Jews: Conversion in Late Antiquity

This study explores narratives of Jews converting to Christianity in the first seven Christian centuries to ask how "conversion," the self-conscious change in religious status, emerges as a distinctive way of imagining identity in late antiquity. Engaging with a variety of literary and social genres—law, hagiography, history, dialogues, sermons, and letters—this series of case studies insists on the public nature of conversion as an external narrative that allows for the creation, transformation, and subversion of social roles. The conversion of Jews in particular allowed for a rising Christian empire to produce, patrol, and interrogate boundaries of identity; the persistent figure of the ex-Jew, however, could not help but trouble and even dissolve those boundaries.

Elements: Religion in Late Antiquity (editor)

This series from Cambridge University Press takes a holistic and comparative approach to what is typically categorized as “religion” in roughly 100-800 C.E. throughout the Mediterranean and Near East.  Individual volumes, ca. 20,000 – 30,000 words in length, will be organized around three themes: Frameworks (modern and ancient); Sources (texts, objects, and spaces); and People (authorities and outsiders). They will serve as points of entry on an array of topics for students and scholars of late ancient religious worlds at all levels. Ideally, they will also advance the higher-order questions and debates that have emerged from the broadening of horizons in the study of late antiquity in recent years. Volumes will aim to identify the particular themes that characterize religion in late antiquity and will often cross traditional disciplinary lines. The series will, thus, be composed of contributions from classical studies, Early Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, among other fields. Collaborative volumes by scholars who work in different fields are therefore especially encouraged. Published online and available as print-on-demand paperbacks, the series can accommodate graphic elements such as images, charts, and tables.


You can also find on this website a series of translations of Greek and Latin texts I have found useful in my teaching and research. Click here to find texts about pilgrimage, ritual, conversion, and embodiment.


Over the past twenty years I have taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Because I believe that university instruction is a collaborative endeavor, I make all of my course syllabi publicly available. I encourage all to browse, borrow, and make what use you can of my instructional efforts.

A catalogue of my past and present courses is available here.


I coordinate two professional meetings focused on new scholarship in early Christianity and late antiquity. If you are interested in attending either meeting, or being put on the email list to be kept apprised of meetings and topics, please contact me: andrew [at] andrewjacobs [dot] org.

Boston Area Patristics Group (Patristica Bostoniensia). Founded in the 1970s to give Boston-area scholars the opportunity share and discuss new works-in-progress, meets monthly during the academic year. Local scholars at all career stages, as well as those temporarily in the area for various reasons, are warmly welcomed.

Models of Piety in Late Antiquity. Founded in the 1990s as part of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity at the Claremont Graduate University, Models of Piety is now an independent, annual meeting of scholars dedicated to the exploration of late ancient religious life. We meet in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion to discuss primary sources, works-in-progress, and recent publications led by new volunteers every year.

background image: Paris Coislin 299, Doctrina Jacobi Nuper Baptizati incipit