Selected Publications:
“The Episcopal Career of Gregory of Elvira” Journal of Ecclesiastical History (to appear April 2014).
“The Patristic Reception of Luke and Acts: Scholarship, Theology and Moral Exhortation in the Homilies of Origen and John Chrysostom”, in Issues in Luke-Acts (ed. S. Adams and M. Pahl; Gorgias Press, 2012), pp. 263-86.
“Irenaeus’ Contribution to Early Christian Interpretation of the Song of Songs”, in Irenaeus and His Traditions (ed. P. Foster and S. Parvis; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012).
“Origen and the Tractatus de Epithalamio of Gregory of Elvira” Studia Patristica 50 (Leuven: Peeters, 2011), pp. 189-203.
“Cyprian of Carthage’s Writings from the Rebaptism Controversy: Two Revisionary Proposals Reconsidered” Journal of Theological Studies 61/2 (2010), pp. 627-43.
“Entering the Story: Origen’s Dramatic Approach to Scripture in the Homilies on Jeremiah” Studia Patristica 46 (Leuven: Peeters, 2010), pp. 235-40.
“The Doctrine of the False Pericopes and Other Late Antique Approaches to the Problem of Scripture’s Unity”, inPlots in the Pseudo-Clementine Romance (ed. F. Amsler et al.; Prahins, Switzerland: Éditions du Zèbre, 2008), pp. 437-45.

First Name: 
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Computing ID: 
Office Address: 

Department of Religious Studies
PO Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126

Karl Shuve

Bachelor of Arts (BA), McMaster University
Master of Arts (MA), McMaster University
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh


I am a historian who studies the development of Christian culture and thought, especially in the world of Late Antiquity. My work attends, in particular, to questions of identity and authority: How did Christians understand their place in society—both as individuals and as a collective church—and what tools did they use to construct, legitimate and disseminate their views? I am, therefore, keenly interested in studying the ways that early Christians interacted with their sacred texts and employed them in establishing normative practices and beliefs. Much of my research in recent years has focused on the role played by the Song of Songs in shaping attitudes towards the church and the body. I am presently completing a monograph, The Song of Songs and the Fashioning of Identity in Early Latin Chrsitianity, which employs social anthropological theory to explain the emergence of ascetic readings of the Song in the fourth-century Western Roman Empire. This work on the Song has led me to begin writing a cultural history of the nuptial metaphor (the identification of the church/soul/virgin as the bride of Christ) in Late Antiquity, which focuses especially on theoretical issues pertaining to the representation of women in literature and art.
Every year, I have the privilege of teaching the entire two-thousand year history of Christianity, offering The Rise of Christianity in the Fall semester and The Reform and Global Expansion of Christianity in the Spring. My interests lie broadly in scriptural interpretation, monasticism and asceticism, gender and sexuality, wealth and poverty, and Christology/Trinitarian Theology and I routinely teach upper-year and graduate seminars on these themes. I am also in the process of developing a course on religious interaction in Late Antiquity, both within and beyond the borders of the Roman Empire.

Office Hours: 

Office: Gibson Hall, S-238

Faculty Type: 
Associate and Affiliate Faculty