Theodore DE BRUYN


Theodore DE BRUYN
Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses and Chair of Department of Classics and Religious Studies, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies - Religious Studies

1995 - DPA, Carleton University
1987 - PhD, University of St. Michael's College
1981 - MTS, Calvin Theological Seminary USA
1979 - BA, Calvin College

Desmarais Building, Room 10101 B

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Theodore de Bruyn


Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

Theodore de Bruyn has studied aspects of Christianity from antiquity to the early modern period. His doctorate focused on the interpretation of Paul’s letter to the Romans at the beginning of the fifth century. From 1987 to 1992 he was an assistant professor of the history of Christianity at Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax. After moving to Ottawa, he developed an interest and an expertise in HIV/AIDS, health, and human rights. He worked for several years as a Senior Policy Analyst with Health Canada, and then as a researcher and consultant with governmental and non-governmental organizations. His current research projects include a study of Christian motifs in protective charms in antiquity (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and a translation with introduction and notes of Ambrosiaster’s commentary on Paul’s letter to the Romans. He was President of the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion from 2009 to 2012, and since 2011 he has served as President of the International Association of Patristic Studies.

Courses taught

  • SRS 2112 Religions of the World I
  • SRS 2382 Bible and Culture II: Texts and Traditions of Early Christianity
  • SRS 2383 Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity
  • SRS 2398 Religion and Health
  • SRS 2783 Juifs et chrétiens de l’Antiquité tardive
  • SRS 2780 La religion au Moyen Âge
  • SRS 3317 Christianity
  • SRS 3717 Le christianisme
  • SRS 4107 Religion and Human Rights
  • SRS 4302 Text, Context and History in the Study of Religion
  • SRS 5115/8115 Seminar on Religion, Cognition, and Culture
  • SRS 5320 Seminar on Ritual and the Formation of Religious Identity in the Roman Empire
  • SRS 5909 Seminar on the Origins of the Cult of Mary
  • SRS 5926 Seminar on Magic in Late Antiquity

Selected publications

Bitton-Ashkelony, B., de Bruyn, T.S., and Harrison, C. (eds.). Patristics in the Twenty-first Century: Proceedings of a Conference to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the International Association of Patristic Studies. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

“Appeals to the Intercessions of Mary in Greek Liturgical and Paraliturgical Texts from Egypt,” in P. Allen, A. Külzer and L.M. Peltomaa (eds.), Presbeia Theotokou: The Intercessory Role of Mary across Times and Places in Byzantium (4th – 9th Century), 139-155. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015.

“Christian Apocryphal and Canonical Narratives in Greek Amulets and Formularies in Late Antiquity”, in P. Piovanello and T. Burke (eds.), Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Texts and Traditions, 153-174. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.

“A Late Witness to Valentinian Devotion in Egypt?”, Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum/Journal of Ancient Christianity 18 (2014): 120-133.

“A Puzzle,” in F. Reiter (ed.) Literarische Texte der Berliner Papyrussammlung: Zur Neueröffnung des Ägyptischen Museums, 237-241.Berliner Klassiker Texte 10; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013.

“Greek Amulets from Egypt Invoking Mary as Expressions of ‘Lived Religion’,” Journal of the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies 3-4 (2012): 55-69.

“Ambrosiaster’s Interpretations of Roman 1:26-27,” Vigiliae Christianae65 (2011): 463-483.

with J.H.F. Dijkstra, “Greek Amulets and Formularies Containing Christian Elements: A Checklist of Papyri, Parchments, Ostraka, and Tablets,” Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 48 (2011): 163-216.

“Ambrosiaster’s Revisions of His Commentary on Romans and Roman Synodal Statements about the Holy Spirit,” Revue d’études augustiniennes et patristiques 56 (2010): 45-68. 

"Ancient Applied Christology: Appeals to Christ in Greek Amulets in Late Antiquity," in E. Leonard and K. Merriman (eds.), From Logos to Christos: Essays in Christology in Honour of Joanne McWilliam, 3-18.Editions SR. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010.  

"Papyri, Parchments, Ostraca, and Tablets Written with Biblical Texts in Greek and Used as Amulets: A Preliminary List," in T.J. Kraus and T. Nicklas (eds.), Early Christian Manuscripts: Examples of Applied Method and Approach, 145-190.Texts and Editions for New Testament Study 5. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

"Appeals to Jesus as the One ‘Who Heals Every Illness and Every Infirmity’ (Matt 4:23, 9:35) in Amulets in Late Antiquity," in L. DiTommaso and L. Turcescu (eds.), The Reception and Interpretation of the Bible in Late Antiquity. Proceedings of the Montréal Colloquium in Honour of Charles Kannengiesser, 11-13 October 2006, 65-81.  Leiden: Brill, 2008.

"The Use of the Sanctus in Christian Greek Papyrus Amulets," in F. Young, M. Edwards, and P. Parvis (eds.), Papers Presented at the Fourteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2003: Liturgia et Cultus, Theologica et Philosophica, Critica et Philologica,Nachleben, First Two Centuries, 15-20. Leuven: Peeters, 2006.

"P. Ryl. III.471: A Baptismal Anointing Formula Used as an Amulet,"Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 57 (2006): 94-109.

"Philosophical Counsel versus Customary Lament in Fourth-century Christian Responses to Death," in W. Braun (ed.), Rhetoric and Reality in Early Christianities, 163-188. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2005.

"Naming Religious Groups in the Late Roman Empire," Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses 33 (2004): 147-156.

A Plan of Action for Canada to Reduce HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma and Discrimination. Montréal: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2004.

"HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination - The Epidemic Continues,"Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review 7(1) (2002): 8-14.
de Bruyn, T. S., Elliott, R., “Compulsory HIV Testing after an Occupational Exposure,” Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review 6(3) (2002): 24-31.

Testing of Persons Believed to Be the Source of an Occupational Exposure to HBV, HCV, or HIV: A Backgrounder. Montréal: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2001.

Pelagius’s Commentary on St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993; rpt. 1998, 2002.

Fields of Interest

  • Christianity in Late Antiquity
  • Ritual and Religious Identity
  • Religion and Health
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