Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies, funded by the Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity
- DegreePh.D., Religious Studies, Duke University, 2021DissertationCyril against Julian: Traditions in ConflictResearch ProjectEmperor Julian, Cyril of Alexandria, and the Narrative Conflict of Traditions
Brad Boswell’s research focuses broadly on Christian thought and practice in late antiquity and specifically on apologetics and inter-religious intellectual conflict. He received his Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Duke University’s Graduate Program in Religion (2021) and a Masters of Theological Studies from Boston College (2014). During his Ph.D., he was a Jr. Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and a Dolores Zohrab Liebmann fellow. Before coming to Princeton, he was an Associate in Research in Duke Divinity School. His articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Journal of Early Christian Studies, Studia Patristica, and the Classical Quarterly.
About the Research Project
Emperor Julian, Cyril of Alexandria, and the Narrative Conflict of Traditions
While a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Seeger Center, Brad will be finishing a book on the fifth-century bishop Cyril of Alexandria’s Against Julian, a lengthy response to the anti-Christian treatise of the Emperor Julian (Against the Galileans) from the prior century. In the long history of religious disagreement in late antiquity, Julian and Cyril offer the earliest opportunity to analyze explicit, substantive, two-way disagreement between a representative Christian and Hellene (as Julian would call himself). The book draws on Alasdair MacIntyre’s writings about traditions in conflict to develop an argument that Julian and Cyril were engaged in “narrative conflict”—each disputant was attempting to out-narrate his rival by reconstruing the details of that rival’s traditional thought and practice within a more expansive counter-narrative.