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Ancient City in Turkey is Topic of Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Thursday

January 28, 2014 — New evidence about life in the ancient city of Ephesos along the west coast of Turkey will be the focus of a visiting Phi Beta Kappa lecture Thursday, Jan. 30, at 4:10 p.m. in Room 302 of the University of Wyoming Classroom Building. The talk is free and open to the public.

Christine Thomas, a professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will discuss “Finding Paul in the Landscape of the Ancient City: Urban Space at Ephesos, Real and Imagined.” The talk is based on recent survey work at Ephesos, where archaeologists have unearthed impressive marble buildings in its urban center, locations dominated by the monuments of the wealthy and powerful. 

The surveys, Thomas says, provide a more complete picture of the urban landscape, and a more promising location for the social classes from which the first Christians were drawn. 

“With the early Christian texts found in the New Testament, this evidence provides a vision of the city that is radically different from its official and visible monuments, an ‘invisible city’ existing alongside it,” she says.

Thomas has written extensively on ancient Christian literature and on the religions of Asia Minor in the Roman Imperial Period. She conducts field work in Turkey, and her current research deals with theoretical issues surrounding the use of archaeological evidence to study religion and on the material aspects of religion in the Roman Empire.

Christine Thomas

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