Dr. Robert Edwards


My research project, supported by Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, is on the School of Antioch: a Christian monastic school of the fourth and fifth centuries, in which prominent priests and bishops were educated in theology and the scriptures. The hard core of this school was the teacher Diodore (later bishop of Tarsus), and the students John Chrysostom and Theodore (later the bishops of Constantinople and Mopsuestia, respectively). A significant part of this project is to uncover the school’s pedagogical activities—including ascetic practices—in addition to what was the content of Diodore and the other teachers’ pedagogy. This school was the first of its kind in Syria, and the Syrian monastic schools further east constituted a major influence in the founding of the first monastic school in Europe (Cassiodorus’ Vivarium), and thus the tradition of the liberal arts. It therefore constitutes an important, but under-studied period in history of education.

The project also raises broader methodological questions about patristic theology and late antique historiography. First, is there such a thing as a monolithic “Antiochene” theology and exegesis, when there is such diversity among Antiochenes? And what relationship does this theology and exegesis have to the school of Diodore, Theodore, and John Chrysostom? Can theological “systems” of Christology or exegesis be rooted geographically? Second, in the historiography of late antiquity, what is the use of thinking with institutions, whether schools, monasteries, libraries, hospitals, etc.? What even is an institution in late antiquity, and what social, political, or ecclesial function do they serve? Through an examination of the school of Antioch, this project examines these larger methodological questions.


2011 Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies, University of British Columbia
2014 Master of Arts in Theology, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
2020 Doctor of Philosophy in Theology, University of Notre Dame
2020–2021 Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, University of Notre Dame, Department of Theology
2021–2023 Research Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Theologische Fakultät


  • “Divine Incomprehensibility and Human Faith in John Chrysostom.” Vigiliae Christianae (forthcoming).
  • “Antiochene Christology and the Gospel of John: The Diverging Cases of Theodore of Mopsuestia and John Chrysostom.” Scottish Journal of Theology (forthcoming).
  • “Providence, Ethics, and Exempla: Reassessing the Stoicism of John Chrysostom’s Quod nemo laeditur nisi a se ipso.” In Greek and Byzantine Philosophical Exegesi s, edited by James Buchanan Wallace and Athanasios Despotis (Paderborn: Schöningh/Brill Deutschland), forthcoming.
  • “Healing Despondency with Biblical Narrative in John Chrysostom’s Letters to Olympias.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 28, no. 2 (2020): 203–31.
  • “Proverbs 8, Christological Controversies, and the Pre-existence of the Son and Torah in the Third and Fourth Centuries.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 51, no. 1 (2020): 67–96.
  • “The Theological Gospel of Peter?” New Testament Studies 65, no. 4 (2019): 496–510.
  • “The Disunity and Unity of the Psalter in the Fathers.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 10, no. 1 (2016): 51–70.
  • “Clement of Alexandria’s Gnostic Exposition of the Decalogue.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 23, no. 4 (2016): 301–28.
  • “Clement of Alexandria’s Anti-Valentinian Interpretation of Gen 1:26–27.” Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 18, no. 3 (2015): 365–89.

  • Rezensionen
  • in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Augustinian Studies, Church History, Review of Biblical Literature, Toronto Journal of Theology, Reading Religion (AAR) , and Anglican Theological Review, among others


  • Canadian Society of Patristic Studies / Association Canadienne des Études Patristiques
  • North American Patristics Society
  • Society of Biblical Literature