John Ladouceur is a first-year student in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity subfield. He is interested most broadly in the nature, function, and negotiation of religious identity in the late Roman world at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ritual practice, and political and social history. Much of his research has centered on the role of intellectual culture and literary production in the formation, maintenance, and contestation of religio-imperial discourses. Some of his recent projects have examined: the ‘culture wars’ of the Second Sophistic in the anti-gnostic polemics of Plotinus and Origen; the school edict of the emperor Julian ‘the Apostate’ in the Christian imagination; the appropriation of the Jewish and Christian apologetical tradition in Constantinian rhetoric; early Christian ethnographies of religion and their reception in early modern colonial contexts.
John graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a B.A. in History. As an undergraduate, he participated in the excavation of a 5th-century C.E. synagogue in Israel’s Lower Galilee region and assisted site historians Ra’anan Boustan and Karen Britt in research for their book The Elephant Mosaic in the Synagogue at Huqoq: Official Publication and Initial Interpretations (Journal of Roman Archaeology 2017). He published his senior paper, “Christians and Pagans in Roman Nea Paphos: Contextualizing the ‘House of Aion’ Mosaic,” in UCLA’s graduate historical journal. Before coming to Princeton, he earned an MA in Early Christian Studies from the University of Notre Dame.