University of Pittsburgh
three small photographs depicting various religious icons

Department of Religious Studies


Rebecca Denova

Senior Lecturer
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1994

2612 Cathedral of Learning


Hellenistic Judaism, the historical Jesus, Gospels, Paul, Jewish-Christian relations in antiquity, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greco-Roman culture and religions, women in early Judaism and early Christianity, Gnosticism, biblical literary-criticism and textual studies,


Origins of Christianity and the New Testament, Varieties of Early Christianity, Construction of Evil in the Western Tradition, Death in the Name of God: Martyrs and Martyrdom, Religions of Ancient Egypt, Greco-Roman Religions, Dualism in the Ancient World, Body and Society in Late Antiquity, Death in the Mediterranean World, and other thematic courses on aspects of world religions and the evolution of ancient religious concepts and their modern counterparts

Selected Publications

Passionate Dialogues: Critical Perspectives on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Mise, 2005 [coeditor with Daniel Burton].

"A Historical and Literary Understanding of the Passion Narratives in the Gospels," Ibid.

'The Things Accomplished Among Us': Prophetic Tradition in the Structural Pattern of Luke-Acts, Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 4, Sheffield Academic Press, 1997.

Honors and Awards

Students' Choice Award, CGS, 2014, 2015.

Fulbright-Hays participant in summer institute in Egypt on "Islam, the West, and the Muslim World," 2007.

Current Projects

"Religions of Ancient Eqypt" (book ms)

Community Service

Rebecca Denova lectures frequently in the Pittsburgh area, particularly for synagogue and interfaith communities. She has offered courses for the Academy of Lifelong Learning, the American-Jewish Committee, the Jewish Education Institute, Mount Lebanon Public Library, and the Osher Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She helped to organize a city-wide conference on Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” has lectured on the controversial “The Da Vinci Code,” and is a frequent contributor on religious issues to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her previous teaching experience includes eight years as an associate professor (tenured) at Bethany College in West Virginia. She has taught at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and as a visiting professor at Boston University.

Revised 08/05/16 | Copyright 2007 | Site by UMC WebTeam