Assistant Professor of Religion
Campus Phone: Ext. 5272
Campus Mail: P.O. Box 5052
Office: Garland Library 129
Campus or Site Location: Greeneville
Dr. Travis B. Williams is an assistant professor of Religion at Tusculum, teaching many of the Hebrew and Christian Traditions courses as well as various electives within the Religious Studies curriculum. Along with his experience in the Residential Program, he also commonly works with the Graduate and Professional Studies Program.
His research interests include: the epistles of 1-2 Peter & Jude; patronage and benefaction in the Greco-Roman world; modern hermeneutical approaches to New Testament interpretation (e.g., social-scientific criticism; postcolonial criticism, etc); the authority & transmission of scripture in ancient Judaism and early Christianity; and the persecution of early Christians in the Roman empire.
One of Dr. Williams’ primary areas of specialty is the letter of 1 Peter. Aside from publishing a number of articles and essays on this New Testament epistle, he has also produced two major monographs. The first is entitled Persecution in 1 Peter: Differentiating and Contextualizing Early Christian Suffering (NovTSup 145; Leiden: Brill, 2012). It explores the participation (or lack thereof) of early Christians within Greco-Roman society and the resultant conflict which emerged with outsiders. Building from this study, the second monograph (Good Works in 1 Peter: Negotiating Social Conflict and Christian Identity in the Greco-Roman World [WUNT 1.Reihe; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014]) examines the letter’s social strategy of good deeds using recent insights from postcolonial theory and social psychology. At the moment, Dr. Williams is working on a major exegetical commentary on 1 Peter. In collaboration with David G. Horrell (University of Exeter), he is co-authoring the 1 Peter volume in the prestigious International Critical Commentary (ICC) series.
Aside from his efforts in 1 Peter, Dr. Williams is also exploring the question of civic benefaction in the Greco-Roman world and in the New Testament. In collaboration with Arjan Zuiderhoek (University of Ghent), he has recently begun a volume entitled Civic Benefaction in the Greco-Roman World: Texts, Translations, and Commentary (Berlin: Walter De Gruyter), which is meant to serve as a sourcebook for the study of euergetism (i.e., an ancient gift-exchange in which a member of the local or provincial elite used his (or her) private wealth or power to benefit a city, its citizenry, or a group of citizens, and in return, received reciprocal recognition of the contribution as a benefaction). This study relates to his interests in, and will serve as a precursor for further study on, the economic ideas and practices of the earliest Christians.
To view samples of his published work, visit http://tusculum.academia.edu/TravisWilliams