Margaret M. Mitchell
Margaret M. Mitchell
Dean, Divinity School
Professor, New Testament and Early Christian Literature
University of Chicago
Margaret M. Mitchell is dean of the Divinity School and Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago. An alumna of the Divinity School, she joined the faculty in 1998 and, in June 2009, was appointed dean. Her scholarship covers a wide range of topics in the New Testament and early Christian literature through the end of the fourth century, including the cultural context and religious legacy of those early texts. Special interests include the Pauline letters; the poetics and politics of ancient biblical interpretation; and the intersection of text, image, and artifact in the fashioning of early Christian culture.
Before coming to the University of Chicago, Mitchell taught at McCormick Theological Seminary in Hyde Park for 12 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in Religion and English Literature in 1978 from Manhattanville College and the AM in the Study of Religion (1982) and PhD in Biblical Studies (1989) from the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Prof. Mitchell’s most recent book is Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Christian Hermeneutics (2010). In addition, she is the author of four other books: Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation (1991); The Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation (2000); and The "Belly-Myther" of Endor: Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church (with Rowan A. Greer, 2007). She is also the co-editor, with Frances M. Young, of The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1: Origins to Constantine (2006).
With initial funding from the Women’s Board, Professor Mitchell, together with the staff of Regenstein’s Special Collections Research Center, began a process of intensive study of one of the University’s manuscript treasures, the so-called “Archaic Mark.” A multiyear collaborative study including digitization, spectrographic analysis, codicological study and textual criticism has confirmed irrefutably that the manuscript—a miniature copy of the Gospel of Mark—is a forgery produced no earlier than 1874. The results were published last year ["Chicago’s Archaic Mark (ms 2427) II: Microscopic, Chemical and Codicological Analysis Confirms Modern Production (with Joseph G. Barabe and Abigail B. Quandt) in Novum Testamentum 2010.]
Recent journal articles include "Le style, c'est l'homme: Aesthetics and Apologetics in the Stylistic Analysis of the New Testament” (2010) and “Christian Martyrdom and the ‘Dialect of the Holy Scriptures’: The Literal, the Allegorical, the Martyrological” (2009).
Prof. Mitchell’s current projects include a volume of translations of occasional sermons by John Chrysostom on Pauline passages (for the Writings from the Greco-Roman World series) that have never been translated into a modern language, as well as a commentary on 2 Corinthians. To complete the former, she has received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation award, which she shall take in the academic year 2012-2013.