First, I’d like to thank you for your time in answering these questions for us. Also, thank you for joining Imzy’s Academic Biblical Studies community and we hope to hear from you there in the future.
Chris: What was one significant aha! moment you had when studying early Christianity?
Andrew: An “aha” moment for me was when I was touring the ancient city of Priene in eastern Turkey. Priene was a small city and almost the entire city grid is still visible today. I was able to walk down an ancient street from a late antique synagogue in one part of town to a late antique Christian basilica just a few minutes away on the other side of town, and both structures were probably in use contemporaneously. This short trip alone opened my eyes to the daily life of late antique individuals…how Jews, Christians, and “pagans” lived side by side in these cities. I sometimes feel ancient historians don’t give enough thought to the “lived experience” of people in antiquity.
Chris: If you could witness any event in the past, what would it be and why?
Andrew: I would love to go back in time and witness what went on inside the so-called “house church” in Dura-Europos. How was the space used? What did the wall frescos look like in their hey-day? Was the liturgy being performed there similar to later centuries?
Chris: What are your career plans after receiving your PhD?
Andrew: I’m aiming to stay in academia if I can. My PhD is in religious studies and my speciality is late antique Christianity, so I’ll be applying primarily to religious studies departments though also possibly classics and history programs. The job market, of course, is brutal though.
Chris: What is something that is unknown about early Christianity that you believe further research will one day reveal?
Andrew: Northern Syria is covered in hundreds of late antique Christian towns (4th – 6th centuries CE). Some of the houses are in near perfect condition, only lacking the wood and thatch roof they probably used to have. If things settle down in Syria in the coming decades, this is a huge wealth of archaeological knowledge just waiting to be discovered.
Chris: What do you enjoy doing with your free time (i.e. hobbies)?
Andrew: I spend my free time on my YouTube channel Religion for Breakfast, researching topics, filming, and editing.
Learn more from/about Mr. Andrew Mark Henry at the following: