Melanie Johnson-Debaufre's work extends beyond the classroom and library, into churches, popular media, and community groups and architectural sites in Turkey. Through her research, teaching, and speaking, she explores how the study of early Christianity and its context in the Roman Empire provides insight into contemporary debates about the Bible, religion, sexuaity, and globalization.
Her scholarship centers around the traditions of the earliest Christianities (historical Jesus, Q, Pauline communities) in the context of the Roman empire, with interest in both the ethics and practices of historiography and contemporary reconstructions of Christian origins; feminist and liberationist hermeneutics; and rhetorical analysis of biblical texts and their histories of interpretation. She is currently working on a book that draws on theories of space and place, postcolonial and feminist thought, and material culture to think about how Paul’s letters, read spatially, map out the complex and contested emergence of the material and discursive space "Christian" over the course of the first century.
Dr. Johnson-DeBaufre holds a master's degree and doctorate from Harvard Divinity School and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches, USA.