Smith, Kyle

Associate ProfessorHistorical Studies - History of Religions

Contact Information

NE 4276
Mailing Address: 
3359 Mississauga Rd.
Postal Code: 
L5L 1C6
Office Hours: 
Kyle Smith
Introduction to Christianity

Kyle Smith, Associate Professor of Historical Studies (UTM) and Religion (St. George), studies early Christianity. His primary research focus is late ancient Syriac Christianity in Roman Mesopotamia and Sasanian Persia. 

Currently, he is working on two book projects: a translation of a medieval Syriac martyrdom narrative called the History of Mar Behnam and Sarah (with Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent of Marquette University) and a spatial-theoretical study of texts about martyrs' shrines and place-making in northern Iraq. 

Smith holds a BA in philosophy and peace studies (University of Notre Dame, 2000), an MA in early Christian studies (University of Notre Dame, 2003) and a PhD in early Christianity (Duke University, 2011). In 2003-04 he was a Fulbright Research Fellow at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem.

Current Courses: 


  • RLG340H5: Topics in Christianity:  Christmas: A History
  • RLG440H5: Topics in Christianity: Women and Gender in Early and Medieval Christianity


  • RLG203H5: Introduction to Christianity



Constantine and the Captive Christians of Persia: Martyrdom and Religious Identity in Late Antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.

Syriac Encounters: Papers from the Sixth North American Syriac Symposium at Duke University, 26-29 June 2011ed. M. Doerfler, E. Fiano, and K. Smith. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2015.

The Martyrdom and the History of Blessed Simeon bar ṢabbaʿePersian Martyr Acts in SyriacText and Translation. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2014.

The History of the Great Deeds of Bishop Paul of Qenṭos and Priest John of EdessaTexts from Christian Late Antiquity, vol. 29 (with H. Arneson, E. Fiano, and C. Luckritz Marquis). Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2010. 

Articles and Book Chapters

 “The Synod of Mar Dādišoʿ — 424 CE.” In Corpus Christianorum Conciliorum Œcumenicorum Generalium Decreta, vol. VI, ed. A. Melloni and F. Lauritzen. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers (forthcoming).

‘A Last Disciple of the Apostles’: The ‘Editor’s’ Preface, Rabbula’s Rules, and the Date of the Book of Steps.” Pp. 72-96 in Breaking the Mind: New Studies in the Syriac Book of Steps, ed. R. Kitchen and K. Heal. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2013.

Constantine and Judah the Maccabee: History and Memory in the Acts of the Persian Martyrs.” Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies 12 (2012): 16-33.

"Dendrites and Other Standers in the History of the Exploits of Bishop Paul of Qanetos and Priest John of Edessa." Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 12 (2009): 117-34.

Book Reviews

“How Christians Became Iranian.” Review of R. Payne, A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2015). Marginalia Review of Books, forthcoming.

Review of G. Herman, ed., Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians: Religious Diversity in a Sasanian Context (Gorgias Press, 2014). Journal of Late Antiquity, forthcoming.

Review of P. Wood, The Chronicle of Seert: Christian Historical Imagination in Late Antique Iraq (Oxford University Press, 2013). Journal of Early Christian Studies 23 (2015): 322-23.

Review of C. Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Traditions (Yale University Press, 2012). Journal of Early Christian Studies 21 (2013): 466-68.

“Porphyry’s Persecution.” Review of E. Digeser, A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (Cornell University Press, 2012). The Classical Review 63 (2013): 169-71.


Early Christianity; Martyrdom, Asceticism, and Monasticism in Late Antiquity; Syriac Historiography.
Ph.D., Duke University (2011)
M.A., University of Notre Dame (2003)
B.A., University of Notre Dame (2000)