Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow
(September 2017 to May 2018)
Born in Northern Ontario, Christopher Cornthwaite began his B.A. in history at Laurentian University and completed it at the University of Western Ontario. He went on to earn M.Div. and M.A. Degrees in Religion, with an M.A. thesis studying different attitudes towards Greek culture in the Jewish writings of Philo and 4 Maccabees. He is now a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has been a visiting researcher at the Humboldt University of Berlin and this year holds the Neda and Franz Leipen Fellowship at the Canadian Institute.
His Ph.D. thesis uses literature and epigraphy to compare the movement of religion among four diaspora groups, Thracians, Syrians, Phoenicians, and Jews, into Athens, Delos, and Corinth. It shows that the movement of religion through diaspora communities in antiquity was usually driven by socio-economic and political motivations, and that religion was especially effective in creating social and economic trust between groups from different cultural backgrounds. His other publications have used epigraphy and papyrology to enrich our understanding of religious movements and he has worked on the forthcoming Egypt and Delos volumes of Graeco-Roman Associations.
It is expected that the Homer and Dorothy Thompson Fellowship will be awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year.