Duke Divinity School

Meredith Riedel

Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity

(919) 660-3483
mriedel@div.duke.edu
059B Langford

Duke Divinity School
Duke University
407 Chapel Drive
Duke Box #90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968

Biography

Dr. Riedel’s research interests focus on the nexus of war, politics, and religion in the early medieval Byzantine oikoumene, with particular interest in how Orthodox Christianity interacted with Islam, Latin Christianity, Judaism, and other indigenous faith traditions of the Mediterranean world. She studies military and diplomatic interactions between Christendom and Islam and is particularly interested in Byzantine cultural attitudes and beliefs in the centuries leading up to the Crusades. Her first book, currently in progress, will present a new analysis of the design and purpose of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI’s military manual, the Taktika, and particularly his use of biblical allusions and language to articulate a Byzantine collective identity that would distinguish Orthodox Christians from their close Muslim neighbors.

Dr. Riedel is a member of Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia, where she served on the Outreach Commission and in teaching. While pursuing seminary education, she encountered the vestigial Byzantine empire on visits to the Republic of Turkey. An inexhaustible fascination with the mysteries of the East is thus the catalyst for her ongoing research into the history of Christianity.  

Degrees

D.Phil., University of Oxford
Th.M. (Old Testament), Princeton Theological Seminary
M.Div, Westminster Theological Seminary
B.A., Wellesley College

Publications

  • 'Syriac Sources for Byzantinists: an introduction and overview,' Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 105/2 (2012): 783-810.
  • 'Warfare and Historiography', in Oxford History of History Writing, vol. 2 (History Writing in the Middle Ages), eds. Sarah Foot and Chase Robinson (Oxford, 2012), 576-603.
  • 'The Sacrality of a Sovereign: Leo VI and Politics in Middle Byzantium', in Zwei Sonnen am Goldenen Horn?, Band 3-I, eds. Michael Grünbart, Lutz Rickelt, Martin M. Vucetic (Lit Verlag Dr. W. Hopf Berlin, 2011)

Courses

  • Becoming Divine: The Story of Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • History and Theology of Byzantine Iconography
  • History of the Crusades
  • Byzantium and Islam: Eastern Perspectives