Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
rs masthead
Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Ross Ponder

M.Div., Boston University

Ross Ponder



Ross Ponder is currently a third-year Ph.D. student specializing in in the cultural history and artifacts of early Judaism and Christianity. He holds a M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.Div. in early Christian studies from Boston University, and a B.A. in Classics from UT-Austin. 
Ponder's research usually revolves around the textual and material evidence of early Judaism and Christianity. A great deal of his work attempts to reconstruct ancient Mediterranean religions combining a wide range of sources from the grand monuments of Corinth's built environment to Paul's letters to the same city. Ponder's principle aim is to study ancient religions as fully embedded within the ancient world, as opposed to oversimplified comparisons and contrasts between concepts, entities, or groups. 
Ponder continues work on several projects: an analysis of the rhetoric of divine benefaction and patronage in Paul's letter to Philemon; an examination of the competing cultural memories for the martyr Perpetua of Carthage in late antiquity; a queer reading of the reproduction process in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20); a reading of 4QWiles of the Wicked Woman (4Q184) as an ekphrasis of the underworld; and a fresh edition of Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 5072 based on autoptic examination, reassessing its relationship to other early Christian literature. 
When not working, Ross happily goofs off with his family. He lives in Austin, TX with his partner, Sarah Pratt Ponder, and their dog Daisy. Sarah is a rising star for an education technology company which teaches critical life skills in schools.


Material Culture and the Social World of Ancient Christianity | Identity, Ethnicity, and Gender in Classical Antiquity | Apocalypticism in Early Judaism and Christianity | Dreams, Visions, and Epiphanies | Religious Experience in Antiquity
bottom border