I am presently Associate Professor in the Humanities Division at York University in Toronto, where I teach in both the Religious Studies and Ancient History programs (click here to email Harland). For several years I taught in the Religion Department of Concordia University, Montreal. I received my bachelor’s degree in both History and Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Toronto. My master’s degree and doctorate in Christian origins and the religions of antiquity come from the Centre for the Study of Religion. Previously, I was teaching at several universities in Ontario, including Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, and McMaster University. My teaching and research focus on the comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and other religions in ancient society, as well as the social history of the Greco-Roman world generally. I am especially interested in the light that archeological and epigraphic evidence can shed on early Jewish and Christian history and literature.
Harland’s abbreviated curriculum vitae
- 1994-99 Ph.D. (Religious Studies, University of Toronto)
Specialization: Early Christianity
Cognate Areas: Jewish diaspora and Greco-Roman religions
Dissertation: “Claiming a Place in Polis and Empire: The Significance of Imperial Cults and Connections among Associations, Synagogues and Christian Groups in Roman Asia.” (John S. Kloppenborg, Peter Richardson, and Roger Beck, committee; dissertation nominated for Governor General’s Gold Medal award)
- 1993-94 M.A. (Religious Studies, University of Toronto)
Specialization: Early Christianity
Thesis: “The Economy of Roman Palestine (i-iii c.e.).”
- 1988-93 B.A. (History and Religious Studies, University of Waterloo)
- 2006-present: Associate Professor (July 2008-present), Assistant Professor (July 2006 -June 2008), Division of Humanities and Ancient History (graduate program), York University, Toronto
- 2001-2006: Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal
- 1999-2001: Sessional lecturer at various Ontario Universities, including York University, University of Toronto, McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and University of Waterloo
Academic Honours, Awards, and Research Grants
- 2012: York University Minor Research Grant (“Online Research Tool for the Study of ‘Associations in the Greco-Roman World’”) ($4,000)
- 2010: Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Aid to Scholarly Publications Program grant (for publication of Travel and Religion in Antiquity with Wilfrid Laurier University Press)
- 2010: Norman E. Wagner Award, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (for innovative use of technology relating to biblical scholarship in connection with the websites and podcast at www.philipharland.com)
- 2006: York University research grant ($6,000)
- 2004-07: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Individual Research Grant (value $43,940 for three years)
- 2004: F. W. Beare Book Award, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (for Associations, Synagogues and Congregations)
- 2003-06: Fonds Quebecois de la recherche sur la société et la culture – Nouveaux chercheurs (value $41,550 for three years)
- 2002-03: Concordia University Research Grant, Bridge Funding (for those in SSHRC category 4a; value $6,000)
- 2001-02: Concordia University FRDP Grant (value $15,000)
For a list of publications and for online articles, go to Harland’s publications page.
Papers Presented at Conferences and Colloquia
- April 2013 “Associations and the Economics of Group Life: A Case Study of Asia Minor and Aegean Islands.” Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Exzellenzcluster: Religion und Politik, Münster, Germany (by invitation, visiting scholar April 8-19)
- Oct. 2012 “The Economics of Ritual in the Associations.” Associations in Context, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (by invitation)
- July 2012 “Associations and the Economics of Group Life: A Case Study of Asia Minor and Aegean Islands.” Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (Society for New Testament Studies), Social History of Early Christianity section, Leuven, Belgium (by invitation)
- Nov 2010 “Diversity in the Classroom: A Canadian Perspective.” Exploring Issues in Pedagogy session, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia (by invitation)
- Nov 2010 “Response to Reviews of Dynamics of Identity by James Crossley and Wolfgang Stegemann.” Construction of Christian Identities session, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Georgia (by invitation)
- Oct 2010 “Multiple Affiliations and Identities in Associations: Implications for Competition.” The Transformation of Religious Identity in the Hellenistic-Roman world (100-600 CE) Velux Workshop, University of Aarhus, Denmark (by invitation)
- July 2009 “Dynamics of Identity: Judeans and Christians in the Context of Associations and Cultural Minorities.” Greco-Roman World section, International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Rome, Italy
- May 2009 “Journeys in Pursuit of Divine Wisdom: Stories of Thessalos and Other Seekers.” Travel and Religion in Antiquity Seminar, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Carleton University
- March 2009 “Dynamics of Identity: Judeans and Christians in the Context of Associations.” Context Group, Stella, New York (by invitation)
- March 2008 “’The days seemed like years’: Thessalos’ Journeys and Preparations to Meet an Egyptian God.” Culture and Religion in Antiquity Seminar, University of Toronto (by invitation). (Also presented at the York University Classics Seminar, April 2008.)
- Dec. 2006 “‘These people are . . . Men Eaters’: Banquets of the Anti-Associations and Perceptions of Minority Cultural Groups.” Oriental Club of Toronto (by invitation)
- Oct. 2006 Response to Steve Mason, “Josephus as Authority for First Century Judaea.”
Seminar on Ancient Judaisms and Christianities, University of Toronto (by invitation)
- July 2006 “Judeans Among Associations of Immigrants in the Greco-Roman World: A Case Study of Syrians Abroad.” Greco-Roman Religions Section, International Society of Biblical Literature Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Nov. 2005 “Culturally Transgressive Banquets in Greco-Roman Associations: Imagination and Reality.” Greco-Roman Meals Seminar, Society of Biblical Literature, Philadelphia (by invitation).
- May 2005 “Pausing at the Intersection of Religion and Travel in Antiquity.” Travel and Religion in Antiquity Seminar, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, University of Western Ontario, London (programmatic paper for the seminar).
- Oct. 2003 “Honouring the Gods, Feasting with Friends: The Purposes of Associations in the Greco-Roman World.” Religious Associations in Context Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (keynote address, by invitation).
- Nov. 2002 “Spheres of Contention, Claims of Preeminence: Rivalries Among Associations in Sardis and Smyrna.” Religious Rivalries, Society of Biblical Literature, Toronto (by invitation). (Also presented, by invitation, at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Religious Rivalries Seminar, Canadian Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, l’Université Laval, Quebec, May 2001).
- May 2002 “Christ-bearers and Fellow-initiates: Local Cultural Life and Christian Identity in Ignatius’ Letters.” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Canadian Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Toronto.
- May 2002 “Succeeding in Academic Interviews.” Concordia University Graduate Student Conference, Montreal (by invitation).
- Nov. 1999 “Honouring the Emperor or Assailing the Beast: Participation in Civic Life Among Associations in Asia Minor and the Apocalypse of John.” John’s Apocalypse and Cultural Contexts: Ancient and Modern, Society of Biblical Literature, Boston, Massachusetts. (Also presented, by invitation, at the Conrad Grebel College Faculty Forum, University of Waterloo, Feb. 2000.)
- June 1998 “The Declining Polis? Religious Rivalries in the Civic Context.” Religious Rivalries Seminar, Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Canadian Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Ottawa (by invitation).
- March 1998 “Models of Decline in the Study of the Greco-Roman City (polis).”
University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier University Biblical Colloquium.
- June 1997 “Greco-Roman Associations and Imperial Facets of Civic Life: Shedding Light on Jewish and Christian Groups in Roman Asia (i-ii c.e.).” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Learned Societies, Memorial University.
- Jan. 1997 “Associations and the Imperial Presence in Civic Life: Revelation and 1 Peter.”
Toronto School of Theology Seminar Series, University of Toronto.
- Nov. 1995 “Imperial Cults and Associations: Revising a Scholarly Paradigm.”
Colloquium on Religion in Antiquity, Centre for the Study of Religion.
- March 1995 “Greco-Roman Associations and Their Significance for the Study of Christianity.” Colloquium on Religion in Antiquity, Centre for the Study of Religion.
Websites and Public Dissemination of Research
- 2013: “Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations (2013 edition)”
Online publication of a second edition of the book, with integrated links to inscriptions on the AGRW website (below).
- 2012: “Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Companion to the Sourcebook”
This website is a companion to the book of the same name, with many new inscriptions (beyond those in the book) with translations.
- 2010 : “Dynamics of Identity in the World of the Early Christians: A Companion to the Book”
This website is a companion to the book of the same name.
- 2006: “Meals in the Greco-Roman World” (Society of Biblical Literature)
This website, which is connected with a seminar in the Society of Biblical Literature, provides photos and papers regarding banqueting and meal-related cultural practices in the Greco-Roman world.
- 2005: “Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean blog”
This weblog is an ongoing series of brief entries and links on social and religious life in the ancient Mediterranean (including Jews, Christians, Greeks, and Romans) and on the cultural history of Christianity aimed at a general audience and at students, as well as scholars.
- 2005: “Travel and Religion in Antiquity” (Canadian Society of Biblical Studies)
This site (linked to a seminar of the same name in the CSBS) explores the ways in which travel and mobility influenced, constrained, and facilitated religious activity and cultural interaction in the Greco-Roman world (including topics such as pilgrimage, ethnography, occupational travel, and immigration).
- 2004: “Virtual Tours of Archeological Museums”
This site provides photographic tours of some of the museum materials in Turkey / Asia Minor (including the museums of Istanbul, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Ephesus, and Smyrna).
- 2003: “Associations, Synagogues, and Congregations” (first edition)
This illustrated site provides an interactive discussion of religious groups and social life in the Greco-Roman world (especially Asia Minor) for a general and scholarly audience.
Teaching and Courses
For recent courses, go to Harland’s courses page.