Since arriving at the Mississauga campus of the University of Toronto in 1999, I have taught, and continue to develop, a wide variety of courses in the area of the history of Christianity. My aim in all these courses is to invite students to explore how Christians developed their own particular beliefs and practices not in isolation, but in constant dialogue with their cultural, political, and social contexts. I have a particular interest in the ways in which the tradition of (pagan) classical learning has been absorbed, transmitted, and transformed by Christianity throughout its entire history. Closely related to this is a strong interest in how Christianity has shaped, and been shaped by, the study of the natural world (including, of course, modern science). My research focusses on Syriac Christianity, which flourished on the eastern edge of the Roman world and beyond, a distinct expression of the tradition alongside the more familiar Greek and Latin branches. After extensive work on Aphrahat, an important early 4th century Syriac author, my attention has turned to John of Apamea, whose writings, a century after Aphrahat, represent a much more hellenized Syriac milieu. I am presently working on a translation of John's commentary on Ecclesiastes.
Beyond my area of specialization, my interests include: the history of Christianity in general; non-Western forms of the religion; interactions between religions; pluralism and theology; ecology and spirituality.
Beyond the academic world, I enjoy my family, photography, hiking, tennis, and camping, among other things...