Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee of the CISSR Annual Meetings is formed by:

Andrea Annese received his Ph.D. in History of Christianity from Sapienza University of Rome, and is currently Senior Researcher at the University of Bologna (Department of History and Cultures). His main research fields are Christian origins (especially Gospel of Thomas, New Testament, and Christian apocrypha) and the reception of early Christian texts and themes in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among his publications are: Il pensiero estetico di Rosmini (2014); Texts, Practices, and Groups: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus’ Followers in the First Two Centuries (co-ed. with A. Destro, M. Pesce, M. Rescio, L. Walt, and E.R. Urciuoli, 2017); Tra riforma e patristica. Il metodismo in Italia dall’Unità al caso Buonaiuti (2018); Il vangelo di Tommaso. Introduzione storico-critica (2019); and the essays “The Temple in the Gospel of Thomas: An Interpretive Perspective on Some Words Attributed to Jesus” (2017); and “Logion 83 and the ‘Image’ in the Gospel of Thomas: Relationships with Some Pauline and Early Christian Texts” (2017). More info at

Luca Arcari is Associate Professor of History of Christianity and History of Religions at Federico II University of Naples. Between 2013 and 2016 he has served as general director of the FIRB Project – Future in Research 2012 on “The Construction of Space and Time in the Transmission of Collective Identities: Religious Polarizations and/or Cohabitations in the Ancient World (1st-6th Centuries CE)”. He has published two monographs on the relationships between the Book of Revelation and Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, as well as a number of articles on New Testament topics, Early Christianity, Christian Gnosticism, the history of religions, monotheism in the ancient world, and historical-religious historiography during the 19th and 20th century. His most recent book is Vedere Dio. Le apocalissi giudaiche e protocristiane (IV sec. a.C. – II sec. d.C.) (2020). More info at

Peter Arzt-Grabner is Associate Professor of Papyrology and New Testament Studies and chair of the Research Unit on Papyrology at the University of Salzburg, Austria. He is one of the founding editor of the international series “Papyrologische Kommentare zum Neuen Testament” (PKNT, Papyrological Commentaries on the New Testament), published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (Göttingen, 2003–). His work focuses on the use of documentary papyri to illumine the language, society, and thought of New Testament texts, especially of Pauline letters. Among his many publications: Philemon (PKNT 1, 2003), 1. Korinther (PKNT 2, with Ruth E. Kritzer, Amphilochios Papathomas, and Franz Winter, 2006), Light from the East: Papyrologische Kommentare zum Neuen Testament (co-ed. with Christina M. Kreinecker, 2010), and 2. Korinther (PKNT 4, 2014).

Francesco Berno received a Ph.D. in History of Christianity from Sapienza University of Rome, defending a dissertation concerning the influence of apocalyptic literature on Valentinian texts. Currently he is Research Fellow for the ERC-Project “PAThs: Tracking Papyrus and Parchment Paths: An Archaeological Atlas of Coptic Literature. Literary Texts in their Geographical Context: Production, Copying, Usage, Dissemination and Storage” (Principal Investigator: Paola Buzi). His main research interests include Early Christianity, apocrypha, Gnosticism, Coptic literature, and the history of modern Christianity. Among his recent publications, L’Apocrifo di Giovanni. Introduzione storico-critica (2019); and L’Atto di Pietro e le origini della comunità cristiana di Roma (2022).

Adriana DestroAdriana Destro has worked as Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Anthropology of Religions at the University of Bologna. Recent books: Antropologia e religioni (2005); Forme culturali del cristianesimo nascente (with M. Pesce, 2008); Encounters with Jesus: The Man in his Place and Time (with M. Pesce, 2011); I volti della Turchia (2012); La morte di Gesù (with M. Pesce, 2014); Le récit et l’écriture. Introduction à le lecture des évangiles (with M. Pesce, 2016); From Jesus to His Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity (with M. Pesce, 2017); Texts, Practices, and Groups: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus’ Followers in the First Two Centuries (co-ed. with M. Pesce and others, 2017); Il potere delle cose ordinarie. Sguardi antropologici (2019); Il Battista e Gesù. Due movimenti giudaici nel tempo della crisi (with M. Pesce, 2021). Personal website:

Cristiana Facchini is an Associate Professor at the University of Bologna where she teaches History of Christianity and Religious Studies; she is also a Fellow at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies of the University of Erfurt. She has studied in Bologna and specialized in Oxford and Jerusalem. She earned her PhD in Jewish Studies at the University of Turin. She has been awarded many fellowship and grants, while pursuing her research in Paris, Budapest, New York and Berlin. She extensively wrote on history and theories of religions, with special regard both to Christianity and Judaism. She is editing two collections of articles on scholarship of the historical Jesus in the early modern and modern period: one with Paola von Wyss-Giacosa (2019) and one with Annelies Lannoy (Brepols 2020). Her current research projects focus on historiography of Judaism and Christianity as entangled and estranged religious forms and, in association with the Max Weber Kolleg in Erfurt, on religious diversity and the city in historical perspective. For a complete CV and list of publications see her personal website.

Dario Garribba is Professor of Biblical Greek at the Pontifical Faculty of Southern Italy, Naples. His work focuses on first-century Judaism and the relationship between Judaism (especially Diaspora Judaism) and the Roman Empire. Among his recent publications, “Il Tempio e la morte di Gesù”, in G. Bellia and D. Garribba (eds.), La Riscoperta del Gesù ebreo, “Ricerche Storico-Bibliche” 29 (2017).

Claudio Gianotto is Professor of Early Christian Studies at the University of Turin, Italy (Department of History). His work focuses on the problem of historical Jesus and his movement, marginal groups in early Christianity (“gnostics”, Jewish believers in Jesus, etc.), early Christian interpretation of the Bible, Christian apocryphal literature. Among his publications: Melchisédek (NH IX,1). Oblation, baptême et vision dans la gnose séthienne (with W.P. Funk and J.-P. Mahé, 2001); L’enigma Gesù. Fonti e metodi della ricerca storica (with E. Norelli, M. Pesce, and E. Prinzivalli, 2008); I vangeli apocrifi (2009); Ebrei credenti in Gesù. Le testimonianze degli autori antichi (2012); Giacomo, fratello di Gesù (2013); Pietro, il primo degli apostoli (2018); Il Vangelo di Marcione (with A. Nicolotti, 2019).

Dorota Hartman (Ph.D., 2013) is Senior Researcher in New Testament Philology and Exegesis at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. Her research focuses on Luke-Acts, on the Judaean Desert documentary papyri and on the reception of the Septuagint in early Christian writings. Among her recent publications: Archivio di Babatha. Testi greci e Ketubbah (vol. 1, 2016); Le parabole della fonte L. Studio sulle parabole peculiari del vangelo di Luca (2018); and Emozioni nella Bibbia. Lessico e passaggi semantici fra Bibbia ebraica e LXX (2019).

John S. Kloppenborg is Professor and Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of Clare Hall (Cambridge), and a Research associate of the University of Pretoria. He has taught at the University of St. Michael’s College and the University of Windsor, and was visiting Professor at the Claremont Graduate University. He is associate editor at several academic journals in the area of the study of religion. His most recent publications are Christ’s Associations: Connecting and Belonging in the Ancient City (2020); James (New Testament Guides) (2017); Synoptic Problems: Collected Essays (2014); Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace, vol. 1 of Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations, and Commentary (with Richard S. Ascough, 2011); Q, The Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Sayings and Stories of Jesus (2008); The Tenants in the Vineyard: Ideology, Economics, and Agrarian Conflict in Jewish Palestine (2006), Excavating Q: The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel (2000); and The Critical Edition of Q (with James M. Robinson and Paul Hoffmann, 2000).

Mauro Pesce, Professor of History of Christianity at the University of Bologna from 1968 to 2011, is President of the CISSR and author of several publications on the historical Jesus, early Christianity, the history of biblical interpretation, and the relations between science and theology in the modern age. Since 1984 is editor-in-chief of the journal “Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi”. Recent books: Come nasce una religione (with A. Destro, 2000); Le parole dimenticate di Gesù (2004); L’ermeneutica biblica di Galileo e le due strade della teologia cristiana (2005); Encounters with Jesus (with A. Destro, 2011); Da Gesù al cristianesimo (2011); La morte di Gesù (with A. Destro, 2014); Le récit et l’écriture. Introduction à le lecture des évangiles (with A. Destro, 2016); From Jesus to His Followers: Continuity and Discontinuity (with A. Destro, 2017); Texts, Practices, and Groups: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus’ Followers in the First Two Centuries (co-ed. with A. Destro and others, 2017); Il cristianesimo, Gesù e la modernità. Una relazione complessa (2018); Gesù e i suoi seguaci. Identità e differenze (2020); Il Battista e Gesù. Due movimenti giudaici nel tempo della crisi (with A. Destro, 2021). Personal website:


Mara Rescio earned a first Ph.D. in Cultural Sciences at the Fondazione Collegio San Carlo, Modena (2004), and a second Ph.D. in Religious Studies: Social Sciences and Historical Studies of Religions at the University of Bologna (2008). After various research periods spent in Italy, Israel, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, she recently worked as a DFG Research Fellow at the University of Regensburg, Germany, with a project on documentary papyri and the Synoptic miracle stories. Her research areas include the history of early Jewish and Christian groups, the question of the historical Jesus, the anthropological study of early Christian texts (esp. the Gospel of Mark), papyrology and ancient social history. Among her publications: La trasmissione delle parole di Gesù nei primi tre secoli (co-ed., 2011); La famiglia alternativa di Gesù. Discepolato e strategie di trasformazione sociale nel Vangelo di Marco (2012); Texts, Practices, and Groups: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus Followers in the First Two Centuries (co-ed., 2017); and ‘Non Uno Itinere’: Ebraismi, Cristianesimi, Modernità. Studi in onore di Mauro Pesce (co-ed., 2022). More info at

Sarah E. Rollens is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College, Memphis TN, USA. Her research concerns the social setting of the Jesus movement in the first century and the intellectual and social processes that facilitated its spread. Her first monograph Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project of the Sayings Gospel Q (2014) examined the authors of the Q source in cross-cultural comparison to better understand their political and ideological interests. She has also published articles on the historical Jesus, violence in early Christianity, voluntary associations, and the synoptic problem. Her work routinely engages with critical methods and theories in the academic study of religion.


Daniele Tripaldi is Senior Assistant Professor of Ancient Christian Literature at the University of Bologna. His work focuses on visionary texts authored by Jews and Christians from the 4th century BCE until the end of the first millennium CE, as well as on the origins of Christianity in Egypt. He is now mainly writing on Gnostic literature and ritual praxis in the first two centuries and the canonical Revelation to John. More info at

Daniel Ullucci is the W.J. Millard Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College, Memphis TN, USA. His work focuses on the development of early Christianity and the interaction between early Christian groups and traditional Mediterranean religions. His 2012 monograph The Christian Rejection of Animal Sacrifice examined the process by which some early Christian groups rejected sacrificial offerings. His current project Funding Spiritual Offerings: Social Networks, Wealth, and the Spread of Early Christianity (forthcoming from OUP), analyzes the Christian discourse on ‘spiritual’ sacrifice in relationship to monetary giving by Roman elites.

Emiliano Rubens Urciuoli is Senior Assistant Professor of History of Religions at the University of Bologna. His research interests focus on the history of early Christ religion and the methodological advancements in the study of ancient Mediterranean religious groups and traditions. The title of his second monograph (2018) is Servire due padroni. Una genealogia dell’uomo politico cristiano (50-313 e.v.). His current project, Citifying Jesus: The Making of an Urban Religion in the Roman Empire develops a socio-spatial analysis of early Christians’ religious communication in city-spaces. More info at


Luigi Walt is Senior Researcher in History of Religions at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Italy. His research interests focus on the dynamics of production, transmission, and reception of biblical and apocryphal texts, on media cultures and the history of religions in late antiquity, and, more generally, on issues of method and theory in the cross-cultural study of religions. Among his publications: Paolo e le parole di Gesù. Frammenti di un insegnamento orale (2013); Texts, Practices, and Groups: Multisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus’ Followers in the First Two Centuries (co-ed., 2017); Sceptic and Believer in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (co-ed., 2020); Paolo traduttore. Sulla distinzione tra spirito e lettera (2021); and the first Italian edition of collected essays by J.Z. Smith, Una questione di classe. Saggi sulla comparazione storico-religiosa (forthcoming 2023). More info at his personal website.