Stephen Shoemaker (Ph.D. ’97, Duke University) teaches courses on the Christian traditions. His primary interests lie in the ancient and early medieval Christian traditions, and more specifically in early Byzantine and Near Eastern Christianity. His research focuses on early devotion to the Virgin Mary, Christian apocryphal literature, and the relations between Near Eastern Christianity and formative Islam. Prof. Shoemaker is the author of The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad's Life and the Beginnings of Islam (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), a study of the "historical Muhammad" that focuses on traditions about the end of his life. He has also published numerous studies on early Christian traditions about Mary (especially in apocrypha), including The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption (Oxford University Press, 2002), a study of the earliest traditions of the end of Mary's life that combines archaeological, liturgical, and literary evidence. This volume also includes critical translations of many of the earliest narratives of Mary's Dormition and Assumption, made from Ethiopic, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, and Greek. Prof. Shoemaker has recently published a translation of the earliest Life of the Virgin attributed to Maximus the Confessor (Yale University Press, 2012), a pivotal if overlooked late ancient text that survives only in a Georgian translation. Currently he is working on a book on early Marian piety as evidenced by ancient Christian apocrypha and the translation of several eighth-century Christian martyrdoms from the early Islamic Near East. In addition, he is preparing a new critical edition of the early Syriac Dormition narratives. Prof. Shoemaker has been awarded research fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
REL 102: World Religions: Religions of Near Eastern Origin
Narratives of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary
sshoemak (at) uoregon (dot) edu