Professor Candida Moss

Professor Candida Moss

Department of Theology and Religion
Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My work primarily focuses on ideas about martyrdom, death, suffering, and afterlife in the New Testament and literature of Early Christianity. I have additional interests in disability theory and theology, religion and public life, the Bible and education, and cultural heritage.

Feedback and office hours

I am available for Office Hours by appointment. For US based postgraduate students office hours can be scheduled in the afternoons and early evening (Eastern Standard Time).


  • BA (Oxon)
  • MAR (Yale Divinity School)
  • MPhil (Yale)
  • PhD (Yale)


Candida Moss: my research

I read theology as an undergraduate at Oxford, before moving to the United States to pursue post-graduate work in Biblical Studies at, first Yale Divinity School and, later, Yale Graduate School. In 2008, I moved to the University of Notre Dame to teach classes in the departments of Theology, Classics, and History before coming to Birmingham in 2017. 

While my academic work is primarily historical, I work in the public sphere as s Papal news commentator for CBS news, a cultural commentator and columnist for The Daily Beast, and a religion news commentator and writer for CNN, BBC, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and others. A great deal of my recent work has focussed on the intersection of religion and politics and the influence of certain religious ideas on international relations, policy making, and education.


  • Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • Martyrdom
  • Disability Theology

Postgraduate supervision

  • Gospel of Mark
  • Early Christianity
  • Martyrdom
  • Resurrection and Afterlife in the New Testament and Early Christianity
  • Reception History
  • Ancient Medicine and the New Testament
  • Disability Studies and the Bible
  • Greco-Roman influence on the New Testament and Early Christianity
  • Influence of the Bible in contemporary affairs

Find out more - our PhD Theology and Religion  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I am currently completing a book, based on the 2017 Cadbury Lectures, on Resurrection on the New Testament, Ancient Medicine, Disability, and Constructions of the Bodies.

Other ongoing projects include the Hermeneia Commentary on Second Century Martyrdom Accounts and a Bestiary of the Bible

Other activities


  • Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby. With Joel S. Baden. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017.
  • “Matthew and Mark.” In Disability and the Bible – A Commentary. Edited by Amos Yong, Sarah Melcher, and Mikeal C. Parsons. Waco, Tx: Baylor University Press, 2017.
  • The Other Side: Apocryphal Perspectives on Early Christian Orthodoxies. Co-edited with Tobias Nicklas, Christopher Tuckett, and Jos Verheyden. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017.
  • “The Cult of the Martyrs and Donatism.” In Donatism. Edited by Richard Miles. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017.
  • “Christian Funerary Banquets and Martyr Cults.” In Sacred Meal, Communal Meal, Table Fellowship, and the Eucharist. Late Antiquity, Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Edited by David Hellholm. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.
  • “A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma: Ignatius, To the Romans, the Antiochean Acts of Ignatius, and the Remaking of Ignatius and Paul.” In Intertextuality in the Second Century: The Apostolic Fathers. Edited by Jeffrey D. Bignham and Clayton Jefford. Bible in the Second Century Series; Leiden: Brill, 2016.
  • Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness. With Joel S. Baden. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2015.
  • “The Redemption of Suffering in Christianity.” in Religion: Perspectives from the Engelsberg Seminar 2014. Edited by Kurt Almquist and Alexander Linklater. Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, 2015.
  • “Roman Imperialism and the Political Context of the Early Christian Apocrypha.” In The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha. Edited by Andrew F. Gregory and Christopher Tuckett. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • “Constructing Insiders and Outsiders in the Acts of the Martyrs.” Pages 146-160 in Sensitivity to Outsiders: Exploring the Dynamic Relationship Between Mission and Ethics in the New Testament and Early Christianity. Edited by Kobus Kok and Tobias Nicklas, Dieter T. Roth, and Christopher M. Hays. WUNT 2.364. Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen, 2013.
  • “The Justification of the Martyrs,” Pages 104-118 in Tertullian and Paul. Vol. 1 of Paul Among the Fathers. Edited by David E. Wilhite and Todd Still. New York: T & T Clark, 2013.
  • “Nailing Down and Tying Up: Lessons in Intertextual Impossibility from the Martyrdom of Polycarp.” Vigiliae Christianae 67:2 (2013): 117-136.
  • The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Dangerous Legacy. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2013. Paperback 2014.
  • “Resisting Pain in Early Christian Martyrdom: Miracles, Philosophy, and Physiology,” Pages 284-302 in Credible, Incredible. The Miraculous in the Ancient Mediterranean. Edited by Tobias Nicklas and Janet Spittler. WUNT 1.321. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.
  • “Current Trends in the Study of Early Christian Martyrdom.” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 41:3 (2012): 22-29.
  • “Christly Possession and Weakened Bodies: A Reconsideration of the Function of Paul's Thorn in the Flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-10).” Journal of Religion Disability and Health 16:4 (2012): 319-333.
  • “Polycarphilia and the Origins of Martyrdom.” Pages 342-354 in The Rise and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries C.E. Edited by Jens Schröter and Clare K. Rothschild. WUNT 1.301. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.
  • “The Discourse of Voluntary Martyrdom: Ancient and Modern.” Church History 81:3 (2012): 531-551.
  • “Standing at the Foot of the Staircase: Christology and Narrative Structure in Heb 1:1-4” Pages 319-333 in Portraits of Christ: Essays in Christology. Edited by Susan E. Myers. WUNT 2.321. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.
  • “The Devastation of Darkness: Disability in Exodus 10:21-23, 27, and the Intensification of the Plagues.” Co-authored with Jeffrey Stackert. Journal of Religion 92:3 (2012): 362-372.
  • “1 Thess 4:13-18 in Rabbinic Perspective.” Co-authored with Joel S. Baden. New Testament Studies 58 (2012): 1-16.
  • Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Ideologies, and Traditions. Yale Anchor Reference Library. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2012.
  • “Blurred Vision and Ethical Confusion: The Rhetorical Function of Matt 6:22-23.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73:4 (2011): 757-76.
  • “The Origin and Interpretation of sara ‘at in Leviticus 13-14.” Co-authored with Joel S. Baden. Journal of Biblical Literature 130:4 (2011): 643-661.
  • “Heavenly Healing: Eschatological Cleansing and the Resurrection of the Dead in the Early Church.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 79: 3 (2011) 1-27.
  • Disability Studies and Biblical Literature. Co-Edited with Jeremy Schipper. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • “On the Dating of Polycarp: Rethinking the Place of the Martyrdom of Polycarp in the History of Christianity.” Early Christianity 1:4 (2010): 539-574.
  • “The Man with the Flow of Power: Porous Bodies in Mark 5:25-34.” Journal of Biblical Literature 129:3 (2010): 507-519.
  • “Blood Ties: Martyrdom, Motherhood, and Family in the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas.” Pages 183-202 in Women and Gender in Ancient Religions: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Edited by Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll, James A. Kelhoffer, Paul A. Holloway. WUNT 1.263. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010.
  • The Other Christs:  Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.  Paperback edition 2012.
  • “The Transfiguration:  An Exercise in Markan Accommodation.” Biblical Interpretation 12:4 (2004): 69-89.

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