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Department of

Theology and Religious Studies

Jeannie Constantinou

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Theology and Religious Studies

Jeannie Constantinou, PhD, has enjoyed USD from both sides of the desk, first as a college student, then as a graduate student, and now as a post-doctoral Fellow in the Theology and Religious Studies Department where she teaches Biblical Studies and Early Christianity. She credits much of her academic success to the good education and the supportive faculty at USD. Her current research efforts at this time focus on the Apocalypse in the ancient Church and Apocalypticism in the history of Christianity. She also has a very strong interest in early biblical interpretation and in first century Roman law. She is also devoted to presenting a historical understanding of the bible to a wider audience beyond the campus, especially Eastern Orthodox Christians, and to this end she records a weekly podcast which has attracted an international following.

Education

Ph.D., Université Laval, Theology (2008)
Th.M., Harvard Divinity School (1998)
Th.M., Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Orthodox Theology and Patristics (1996)
M.A., University of San Diego, Practical Theology (1992)
J.D., Pepperdine University (1985)
B.A., University of San Diego, Religious Studies  (1980)

Scholarly and Creative Work

Constantinou’s research thus far has been focused on the interpretation and use of the Apocalypse from 100 - 600 C.E. and its reception into the canon of Scripture, especially in Eastern Christianity. She translated the most important early Eastern commentary on Revelation by Andrew of Caesarea from the original Greek to create the first translation of this influential commentary in a modern language (forthcoming from Catholic University of America Press.) She also extensively analyzed the commentary and is the first person to propose a specific date for the commentary’s composition (611), the first to suggest the possible original recipient of the commentary and the first to posit the political and theological motivations for its composition. Her future research plans combine her interest in the history of Christianity and biblical studies. This intersection consists of how biblical interpretation has created, shaped, impacted and motivated the formation of various Christian traditions and groups, the rise of theological and political movements, the development of doctrine and theological conclusions, and the bible’s impact on law and society in general. She would also like to expand and publish on her Master’s thesis for Harvard Divinity School on Roman criminal law in the provinces during the first century.

Teaching Interests

Constantinou primarily teaches Biblical Studies and Early Christianity. In the area of biblical studies, Constantinou likes to focus on helping students understand each biblical book in its original historical context, the motivation of the author and the impact of the text on the community which received it as well as its function in and use by subsequent communities of faith.  Avoiding narrow-mindedness and chronological prejudice, while developing an appreciation for the viewpoints, contributions and intelligence of ancient peoples, is also important in the Early Christianity class which relies heavily upon reading primarily source materials. Students are encouraged to understand each document as a product of its time, analyzing it objectively and responding as a 21st century person, but without dismissing or devaluing it, its author or its community by imposing the presumptions and biases which operate as our cultural and historical norms.