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Dr. Richard S. Ascough

I am a Professor in the School of Religion and cross-appointed to the Department of Classics.

My research focuses on the history of early Christianity and Greco-Roman religious culture with particular attention to various types of associations. I have published ten books and more than forty articles and book chapters, thirty-one contributions to reference tools such as encyclopaedias and dictionaries, and over two hundred book reviews and book notes.

I am currently researching the dynamics of religious interaction and community development in small religious associations in the Greco-Roman world. My project is part of a larger movement that is exploring modern theories of Christian origins. With John Kloppenborg (uToronto) and Philip Harland (uYork), I published a Sourcebook and accompanying webpage for understanding the many small, unofficial associations in Greco-Roman antiquity. The sourcebook includes English translations of 332 inscriptions and papyri documents, along with descriptions of association buildings, translations from literary documents, and an extensive annotated bibliography.

I regularly teach courses on religion in Greek and Roman antiquity, with particular emphasis on the first two centuries of the development of what will come to be called “Christianity.” Not wanting to remain solely in antiquity, I have also taught coureses on religion and film and religion and business ethics. I have published seven articles on teaching and learning and regularly offer workshops and consultations through the Wabash Centre for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

I have been recognized for my creative and innovative approach to teaching through a number of teaching awards at Queen’s and beyond: Queen’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching (2002); Queen’s Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award (2009); Queen’s AMS Frank Knox Award for Excellence in Teaching (Fall 2016); and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017). Most recently I was selected to receive the D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning (2017), an international award recognizing “innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.”