colby-sawyer faculty

Paul Robertson

Assistant Professor, Humanities & Multidisciplinary Studies
(603) 359-3433 |

Joined faculty in 2012-2013 as an adjunct in the Department of Humanities before becoming a teaching fellow in 2013 and an assistant professor in 2014. Received a B.A. in the interdisciplinary Classics/Religion major at Reed College in 2006, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Brown University in 2013. Professor Robertson currently teaches courses in the fields of humanities, religion, literature, writing, and multidisciplinary studies.

His current research explores the letters of the early apostle Paul, using inter-disciplinary theory and quantitative mapping to understand and relate ancient Mediterranean social practices and texts from the purportedly different cultures of Greece, Rome, Judaism, and early Christianity that in fact suggest pan-Mediterranean phenomena. His other interests include early Christian group formation, tracing the origins and developments of Western morality, defining religion, the role of religion in human evolution and cognition, the multi-disciplinary overlaps between the humanities and sciences, and philological projects in Byzantine paleography and early Syriac literature.

Areas of expertise

  • Classics
  • Culture
  • Ethics
  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Writing

Recent Publications

  • "De-Spiritualizing Pneuma: Modernity, Religion, and Anachronism in the Study of Paul." Method & Theory in the Study of Religion (forthcoming).
  • "Pneuma," "Glossalia," "Didymus the Blind." Cambridge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions. Ed. Eric Orlin and others (forthcoming).
  • "Toward an Understanding of Philo's and Cicero's Treatment of Sacrifice." Studia Philonica Annual 23 (2011): 41-67.


  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, 2013, Brown University
  • B.A., Classics/Religion, 2006, Reed College