Th.D. Harvard University, New Testament and Early Christianity
B.A. Harvard University, Folkore and Mythology (Ancient Greek)
Professor Ellen Aitken was Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies from 2007–2014. She had been a member of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill since 2004, teaching in the area of Early Christian History and Literature. Prior to coming to McGill, she was on the faculty of The Divinity School, Harvard University. She held degrees from Harvard University and the University of the South, with training in Folklore and Mythology, the Classics, and Religious Studies. Her last research, funded by SSHRC, investigated the relationship between Greco-Roman hero cult and ancient Christianity.
At McGill, Professor Aitken had served on numerous committees, including chairing the B.Th. Committee in the Faculty of Religious Studies and as a member of search committees for the Classics Program. She was a member of McGill's Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) and an honorary faculty member of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College. She was ordained in the Episcopal (Anglican) Church in 1986 and had been recognized widely as a leader in both scholarly and ecclesial communities. She had also received two awards for teaching excellence.
Late Antique Crossroads in the Levant: Space, Rituals, Texts, and Daily Life.
Memorial Tribute to Professor Aitken.
Articles in refereed journals
“The Ordering of Community: New Testament Perspectives.” Anglican Theological Review 85.1 (Winter 2003): 19–34.
“ta drômena kai ta legomena [Greek]: The Eucharistic Memory of Jesus’ Words in First Corinthians,” Harvard Theological Review 90:4 (1997): 259–70.
Books and monographs
Loosening the Roots of Compassion: Meditations for Holy Week and Eastertide. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, in press (forthcoming winter 2006).
Jesus’ Death in Early Christian Memory: The Poetics of the Passion. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus/ Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testament 53. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht and Fribourg: Academic Press, 2004.
Flavius Philostratus: On Heroes (student edition). Translated by Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean and Ellen Bradshaw Aitken. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 3. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature and Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2003.
Flavius Philostratus: Heroikos, with glossary, notes, and introduction. Translated by Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean and Ellen Bradshaw Aitken. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 1. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. 2001.
Articles/chapters in books and monographs
“Tradition in the Mouth of the Hero: Jesus as an Interpreter of Scripture.” Pages 97–103 in Richard A. Horsley, Jonathan A. Draper, and John Miles Foley, eds., Performing the Gospel: Orality, Memory, and Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006.
“Wily, Wise, and Worldly: Instruction and the Formation of Character in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Pages 294–305 in Ian Henderson and Gerbern S. Oegema, eds., The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions in Antiquity. Jüdische Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit, Studien 2; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 10. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2006
“Wily, Wise, and Worldly: Instruction and the Formation of Character in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Pages 294–305 in Ian Henderson and Gerbern S. Oegema, eds., The Changing Face of Judaism, Christianity and Other Greco-Roman Religions in Antiquity. Jüdische Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit, Studien 2; Studies in Christianity and Judaism 10. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus and Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2005.
“‘The Basileia of Jesus is on the Wood’: The Epistle of Barnabas and the Ideology of Rule.” Pages 197–214 in Lawrence Wills and Benjamin Wright, eds., Conflicted Boundaries in Wisdom and Apocalypticism. Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.
“Why a Phoenician? A Proposal for the Historical Occasion for the Heroikos. Pages 267–84 in Philostratus’s Heroikos: Religion, and Cultural Identity in the Third Century C.E. Edited by Ellen Bradshaw Aitken and Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 6. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature and Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004.
“The Hero in the Epistle to the Hebrews: Jesus as an Ascetic Model.” Pages 179–88 in Early Christian Voices: In Texts, Traditions, and Symbols: Essays in Honor of François Bovon. Edited by David Warren, Ann Graham Brock, and David Pao. Leiden and Boston: E. J. Brill, 2003.
“The Landscape of Promise in the Apocalypse of Paul.” Pages 153–65 in Walk in the Ways of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. Edited by Shelly Matthews, Cynthia Kittredge, and Melanie Johnson Debaufre. Harrisburg, Penn.: Trinity Press International, 2003.
“Portraying the Temple in Stone and Text: The Arch of Titus and the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Pages 73–88 in Religious Texts and Material Contexts. Buffalo: State University of New York Press. 2001. Reprinted in Sewanee Theological Review 45 (2002): 135–51; and as pages 131–48 in Gabriella Gelardini, ed. Hebrews: Contemporary Methods—New Insights. Biblical Interpretation Series 75; Leiden and Boston: E. J. Brill, 2005.
“The Cult of Achilleus in Philostratus’s Heroikos: A Study in the Relation of Canon and Ritual.” Pages 127–35 in Between Magic and Religion: Interdisciplinary Studies in Ancient Mediterranean Religion and Society. Edited by Sulochana Asirvatham, Corinne Pache, and John Watrous. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.
“At the Well of Living Water: Jacob Traditions in John 4,” Pages 342–352 in Craig A. Evans, ed., The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity. Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 7. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.
“The Cologne Mani Codex” [translation and notes]. Pages 161–76 in Richard Valantasis, ed., Religions in Late Antiquity in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Biblical Imagination: Scripture and the Life of Faith—Essays in Honor of Christopher Bryan, a special issue of Sewanee Theological Review 50:1 (2006).
Philostratus's Heroikos, Religion, and Cultural Identity in the Third Century C.E. . Edited by Ellen Bradshaw Aitken and Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 6. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature and Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004.
Questions of Mission: On Being the Church—Sewanee Theological Review 40:4 (1997).