Derek Krueger

Derek Krueger


Professor of Religious Studies
Ph.D. Religion, Princeton University 1991
Office Hours: Mondays 1-2 and by appointment

Areas of Academic Interest:

  • Religion in Late Antiquity
  • Early Christianity
  • Byzantine Studies
  • Gender Studies

Personal Statement:

A historian of Christian culture in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, Professor Krueger has written extensively about the practice of Christianity in the pre-modern Eastern Mediterranean. He studies saints’ lives as a literary genre, the history of monasticism, the everyday religion of lay Christians, the reception of the Bible, Christian art and material culture, Christian ritual practices, and Orthodox Christian hymns. He is the author of three books, and the editor of three others. He’s published over forty essays on various topics.

He received his AB from Amherst College in 1985 and his PhD from Princeton University in 1991. He has taught at UNCG since then, and served as Department Head from 2004 to 2010. He’s been cross-appointed in Women’s and Gender Studies since 2009.

His research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ; the American Council of Learned Societies; the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem; the European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS); and the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, D.C.

He served as President of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America, 2011-13, as Chair of the United States National Committee for Byzantine Studies (2016-22), and as a Senior Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks (2015-2021).

He is working concurrently on two projects. The first is a book-length study entitled Monastic Desires about how ascetic culture in Byzantium produced ideas about masculinity, gender, sexuality, friendship, love, and God. The second explores the history of Byzantine Christian hymns, composers, and singers.




Symeon the Holy Fool: Leontius’s Life and the Late Antique City (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996; paperback 2019).

Writing and Holiness: The Practice of Authorship in the Early Christian East (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004; paperback 2011).

Byzantine Christianity, edited by Derek Krueger. A People’s History of Christianity 3 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006; paperback 2010).

Liturgical Subjects: Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, October 2014; paperback 2018).

The NeTestament in Byzantium, edited by Derek Krueger and Robert S. Nelson (Dumbarton Oaks Press, 2017).

Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th Centuries, edited by Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony and Derek Krueger (Routledge, 2017).

Krueger Book Krueger Book 


Selected articles and chapters:

Many available at

“Liturgical Emotion: Joy and Complexity in a Hymn of Romanos the Melodist for Easter.” In Managing Emotion in Byzantium: Passions, Affects, and Imaginings, edited by Margaret Mullett and Susan Ashbrook Harvey. Studies in Byzantine Cultural History. London: Routledge, 2022, 347-74.

“Byzantine Spacetime: A Rough Guide for Future Tourists to the Past.” Co-authored with Adam J. Goldwyn. In Spacialities of Byzantine Culture from the Human Body to the Universe, edited by Myrto Veikou and Ingela Nilsson. Leiden: Brill, 2022, 656-65.

“Of Semen and Tears: Senses, Substances, and the Boundaries of the Body in the Three Hundred Chapters of Niketas Stethatos.” In Rituels religieux et sensorialité (Antiquité et Moyen Age): Parcours de recherches, edited by Béatrice Caseau and Elisabetta Neri. Silvana Editoriale, 2021, 51-61.

“Mary and Adam on the Threshold of Lent: Counterpoint and Intercession in a Kanon for Cheesefare Sunday.” In The Reception of the Virgin in Byzantium: Marian Narratives in Texts and Images, edited by Thomas Arentzen and Mary B. Cunningham. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, 180-91.

“Divine Fantasy and the Erotic Imagination in the Hymns of Symeon the New Theologian.” In Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium, edited by Bronwen Neil and Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides. Leiden: Brill, 2018, 315-41.

“Beyond Eden: Placing Adam, Eve, and Humanity in Byzantine Hymns.” In Placing Ancient Texts: The Rhetorical and Ritual Use of Space, edited by Mika Ahuvia and Alex Kocar. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018, 167-78.

“From Comedy to Martyrdom: The Shifting Theology of the Byzantine Holy Fool from Symeon of Emesa to Andrew.” In Holy Fools and Divine Madmen: Sacred Insanity Through Ages and Cultures, edited by Albrecht Berger and Sergey Ivanov. Münchner Arbeiten zur Byzantinistik. Munich: Institute of Byzantine Studies, 2018, 31-49.

“Healing and Salvation in Byzantium.” In Life Is Short, Art Long: The Art of Healing in Byzantium: New Perspectives, edited by Brigitte Pitarakis and Gülru Tanman. Istanbul: Istanbul Research Institute and the Pera Museum, 2017, 1-14.

“New Testaments of Byzantium: Seen, Heard, Written, Excerpted, Interpreted.” Coauthored with Robert Nelson. In The New Testament in Byzantium, edited by Derek Krueger and Robert Nelson. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Press, 2017, 1-20.

“The Hagiographers’ Bible: Intertextuality and Scriptural Culture in the Late Sixth and the First Half of the Seventh Century.” In The New Testament in Byzantium, edited by Derek Krueger and Robert Nelson. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Press, 2017, 177-89.

“The Transmission of Liturgical Joy in Byzantine Hymns for Easter.” In Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th Centuries, edited by Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony and Derek Krueger. London: Routledge, 2017, 132-50.

“Romanos in Manuscript: Some Observations on the Patmos Kontakarion.” Co-authored with Thomas Arentzen. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Belgrade, 22 – 27 August 2016: Round Tables, edited by Bojana Krsmanović, Ljubomir Milanović, and Bojana Pavlović. Belgrade: Serbian National Committee of the AIEB, 2016, 648-54.

“Scripture and Liturgy in the Life of Mary of Egypt.” In Education and Religion in Late Antiquity: Reflections, Social Contexts and Genres, edited by Peter Gemeinhardt, Lieve van Hoof, and Peter van Nuffelen. London: Routledge, 2016, 131-41.

“Biblical Quotations and Liturgical Echoes in Leontios of Neapolis’s Life of Symeon the Fool: Scriptural Familiarity and the Culture of Reference in Seventh-century Cyprus.” In Κυπριακή Αγιολογία: Πρακτικά Αʹ διεθνούς συνεδρίου, Παραλίμνι, 9-12 Φεβρουαρίου 2012 [Cypriot Hagiology: Proceedings of the First International Conference], edited by Theodoros X. Giankou and Chrysostomos Nassis. Ayia Napa-Paralimni, Cyprus: Diocese of Constantia-Ammochostos, 2015, 267-80.

“Liturgical Time and Holy Land Reliquaries in Early Byzantium.” In Saints and Sacred Matter: The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond, edited by Cynthia Hahn and Holger A. Klein. Washington: Dumbarton Oaks, 2015, 111-31.

“Authorial Voice and Self-Presentation in a 9th-Century Hymn on the Prodigal Son.” In The Author in Middle Byzantine Literature: Modes, Functions, and Identities, edited by Aglae Pizzone. Byzantinisches Archiv. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2014, 105-18.

“The Great Kanon of Andrew of Crete, the Penitential Bible, and the Liturgical Formation of the Self in the Byzantine Dark Age.” In Between Personal and Institutional Religion: Self, Doctrine, and Practice in Late Antique Eastern Christianity, edited by Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony and Lorenzo Perrone. Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages 15. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013, 57-95.

“The Internal Lives of Biblical Figures in the Hymns of Romanos the Melodist,”Adamantius 19  (2013): 290-302.

Mary at the Threshold: The Mother of God as Guardian in Seventh-Century Palestinian Miracle Accounts.” In The Cult of the Mother of God in Byzantium.  Edited by Leslie Brubaker and Mary Cunningham.  Farnham: Ashgate, 2011, 31-38.

“Between Monks: Tales of Monastic Companionship in Early Byzantium,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 20 (2011): 28-61.

“The Religion of Relics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium,” in Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe, ed. Martina Bagnoli, Holger A. Klein, C. Griffith Mann and James Robinson [exhibition catalogue].  Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2010, 5-17.

“The Liturgical Creation of a Christian Past: Identity and Community in Anaphoral Prayers,” in Unclassical Traditions: Alternatives to the Classical Past in Late Antiquity, ed. Richard Flower, Christopher Kelly, and Michael Stuart Williams, Cambridge Classical Journal Supplementary Volume 35. Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society, 2010, 58-71.

Early Byzantine Historiography and Hagiography as Different Modes of Christian Practice.” In Writing “True Stories”: Historians and Hagiographers in the Late Antique and Mediaeval Near East, edited by Arietta Papaconstantinou, with Muriel Debié and Hugh Kennedy, Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages 9. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010, 13-20.

Healing and the Scope of Religion in Byzantium: A Response to Miller and Crislip.” In Healing in Byzantium. Edited by John Chirban with an introduction by Jaroslav Pelikan. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2010, 119-130.

“The Old Testament in Monasticism,” in The Old Testament in Byzantium, ed. Paul Magdalino and Robert Nelson. Washington: Dumbarton Oaks, 2010, 199-221.

The Unbounded Body in the Age of Liturgical Reproduction,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 17 (2009): 267-279.

Romanos the Melodist and the Christian Self in Early Byzantium,” Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies, London, 2006,  vol. I, Plenary Papers. Edited by Elizabeth Jeffreys. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006, 247-266.

“Homoerotic Spectacle and the Monastic Body in Symeon the New Theologian,” in Toward a Theology of Eros: Transfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline, edited by Virginia Burrus and Catherine Keller (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006), 99-118

Selected Courses Taught:

  • REL 104: Religion, Ritual, and the Arts
  • REL 201: The Bible in Western Culture
  • REL 204: New Testament and the Origins of Christianity
  • REL 210: Christianity to the Reformation
  • REL 301: Early Christianity
  • REL 303: Christianity in Byzantium
  • REL 310/WGS 310: Christianity and Gender
  • REL 311: Jewish and Christian Biblical Interpretation (with Prof. Ellen Haskell)
  • REL 314/Art 301:  Saints and Relics: Art and Devotion in the Middle Ages (with Prof. Heather Holian)
  • REL 323:  The Christian Monastic Tradition
  • REL 503/HIS 514: From Constantinople to Istanbul: A City and Its Monuments (2015); Cyprus and the Medieval Mediterranean (2018) (with Prof. Asa Eger)