Jonathan Henry entered Princeton’s program in Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity in 2014. Jonathan received a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2012. Prior to this, he was a visiting student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he continues to participate in the Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins. He also holds a Master of Divinity and a B.A. in Humanities. Jonathan has served as a research assistant to Peter Schafer on two projects, including the forthcoming Toledot Yeshu publication.
Jonathan is primarily focused on the development, function, and propagation of early Christian literature, with particular interest in the intersection of authority, epistemology, and identity formation. His research on these concerns ranges to the wider field of Mediterranean religion, including Judaism, Greek or Roman forms of piety and divination, and some of the religious traditions that are typically viewed as heterodox outliers to Christianity. Jonathan is currently researching the ways authors claim knowledge about demonic entities as a means of employing these figures as rhetorical instruments to fortify social cohesion or adherence to community standards of ethics and morality. Jonathan hopes to describe the philosophical network connecting such concepts as fundamental nature, free will, demonology, and the encratic demands of early Christianity. As part of this project, he has worked in ancient Syriac documents, looking primarily through the lens of The Acts of Thomas, with an eye to other Syriac texts. His research is now extending to the ways in which these philosophical concepts operate within the New Testament, patristic writings, early Jewish texts, and prominent philosophies of the broader cultural milieus of Hellenic and “barbarian” antiquity.
More information about publications, presentations, and other interests may be found on Jonathan’s webpage at http://princeton.academia.edu/JonathanHenry.