Meredith L.D. Riedel

Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity
0051 Langford

Duke Divinity School
Duke University
407 Chapel Drive
Duke Box #90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3483

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

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 Triangle Grace Church in Durham, where she serves on the Missions Committee and is an ordained ruling elder. 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.  

Selected Publications
  • Leo VI and the Transformation of Byzantine Christian Identity, (Cambridge UP, 2018).
  • ‘Demonic Prophecy as Byzantine Imperial Propaganda: The rhetorical appeal of the tenth-century Narratio de Imagine Edessena’, Fides et Historia 49.1 (2017): 11-23.
  • ‘Leo VI and the Cleansing of the Law’, Medieval Perspectives 31 (2016): 129-142.
  • ‘Biblical echoes in two Byzantine military speeches’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 40.2 (2016): 207-222.
  • ‘Nikephoros II Phokas and Orthodox Military Martyrs’, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 41.2 (2015): 121-47.
Recent Courses
  • Becoming Divine: The Story of Eastern Orthodox Christianity
  • History and Theology of Byzantine Iconography
  • History of the Crusades
  • Byzantium and Islam: Eastern Perspectives
  • Byzantium and the Bible
  • Heresies and Heretics
  • Modern European Christianity
  • Theology of the Later Greek Fathers