Professor Schor teaches ancient Mediterranean history with particular interests in the Roman Empire and Roman-era religious communities. Professor Schor regularly teaches the first half of the Western Civilization survey, as wells as courses on ancient Greece, the Roman world, late antiquity (from the later Roman Empire to the rise of Islam), ancient social and economic history, and the development of ancient religious communities, including the Christian church. His publications include Theodoret’s People: Social Networks and Religious Conflict in Late Roman Syria (2011) and “Conversion by the Numbers: Benefits and Pitfalls of Quantitative Modeling in the Study of Early Christian Growth” (in the Journal of Religious History, 2009), along with several other articles.
I am currently working on several aspects of religious conflict and community in the Eastern Mediterranean between the second and sixth centuries. I generally use anthropological and sociological theory to examine the links between what ancient people claimed to believe and whom they knew. At present, I am finishing a project on the formation of competing religious parties among Christian clerics in the fourth and fifth centuries. I am also beginning a new project about the patterns of social connections found in various Roman-era “religious” associations (from philosophic schools and pagan cultic organizations to rabbinic Jewish circles and Christian sects). With these studies I hope to better explain the forces that supported, shaped, and fragmented the Christian church and other ancient communities of faith.