Professor Emerita of Religious Studies


Ross S. Kraemer, Professor of Religious Studies, specializes in early Christianity and other religions of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, including early Judaism. While much of her research focuses on aspects of women's religions in the Greco-Roman world, particularly Christian and Jewish women, her interests also extend to questions of theory and method in the academic study of religion, the study of women and religion cross-culturally and trans-historically, and even religion and modern media (she has taught courses on Religion and Film, Star Trek and Religion, and Jesus in Contemporary Cinema). Before coming to Brown in 2000, she taught most recently at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her publications include Her Share of the Blessings: Women's Religions Among Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman World (Oxford University Press, 1992), When Aseneth Met Joseph: A Late Antique Tale of the Biblical Patriarch and His Egyptian Wife, Reconsidered , (Oxford, 1998); Women and Christian Origins , edited with Mary Rose D'Angelo (Oxford, 1999); Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books and the New Testament , edited with Carol Meyers and Toni Craven (Houghton-Mifflin, 2000; Eerdmans, 2001 [paperback]); and Women's Religions in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook , (Oxford, 2004), a greatly revised and expanded version of Maenads, Martyrs, Matrons, Monastics: A Sourcebook of Women's Religions in the Greco-Roman World , originally published by Fortress Press in 1988. Her most recent book Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (Oxford, 2011) considers the effects of ancient gender constructions on ancient narratives about women's religions and the use of such narratives as evidence for actual practices. It won a 2011 American Academy of Religion Prize for Excellence. She is the author of numerous journal articles and other publications, and has lectured throughout the United States and abroad.

At Brown, she is currently the Director of Graduate Studies in Religious Studies. She has been Acting Chair of the department (Fall, 2002), a co-editor of Brown Judaic Studies, a Freshman Advisor, a co-chair of the Seminar on Culture and Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean (CRAM), a member of the university Committee on Academic Standing and the University Resources Committee, and a speaker at various student and faculty gatherings. She is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, where she has served on numerous committees. Her current research project investigates the fate of Greek-speaking Jewish communities in the ancient Mediterranean at the end of late antiquity.

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Research Areas