After an appointment as a Junior Fellow with the Society of Fellows at Harvard (1993-96), Christine Thomas joined the Department of Religious Studies at Santa Barbara in 1998. A veteran of twenty years of fieldwork in Southwestern Turkey, she has been a member of the excavation team of the Austrian Archaeological Excavations at Ephesos, and has directed a project with the Metropolis Excavations at Torbali, outside of Izmir. For the past ten years with the Colloquiua on Material Culture and Ancient Religion (COMCAR), she leads study seminars for scholars of Early Christianity to the major archaeological sites of the Mediterranean. She was a Visiting Scholar for the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 2013-14, and the Secretary of Council on the Executive Committee of the Society of Biblical Literature from 2010-2016. At UCSB, she is actively involved in the Ancient Mediterranean Studies program, an interdisciplinary working group among the departments of Religious Studies, Classics, History, Art History, and Anthropology. She has written extensively on ancient Christian literature and on the religions of Asia Minor in the Roman Imperial Period. Most recently, her research has focused on theoretical issues surrounding the use of archaeological evidence for the study of religion; material aspects of religion in the Roman Empire (spaces, objects, practices); and the urban context of early Christianity.
Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2023