Dr. Jessica van 't Westeinde

Postdoctoral Researcher
Researcher in Project: Connecting Late Antiquities

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room 0.203
Heusallee 18–24
D-53113 Bonn

Dr. Jessica van 't Westeinde
© Jessica van 't Westeinde

Academic Profile

At Bonn, I am working on the AHRC-DFG-funded project 'Connecting Late Antiquities' (PIs Julia Hillner and Richard Flower). This project is tasked with the digitisation of the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, as well as the creation of an extended, more inclusive database of persons in the Later Roman Empire in the period between 260 and 641 CE. Besides my responsibility for the digitisation of PLRE volumes IIIA and IIIB, I will conduct prosopographical research on Roman and ‘post-Roman’ Britain, with a focus on social networks between elites (including clergy) and non-elites. These new finds will feed into the new CLA resource, and the results will be published as journal articles.

  • 'Grounds for combat or conciliation: ecumenical councils between Nicaea and Chalcedon,' subproject of Project 9: Councils and Conflicts. Trouble Shooting and Shooting Trouble in Late Antiquity (PIs Stefan Rebenich and Katharina Heyden), IFK Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies
  • Jews and the City: A History of Jewish Urban Life in the (later) Roman Empire (independent research project conducted at the universities of Aarhus and Tuebingen (2 appointments)) 
  • Perception of Landscape and Sanctuaries in Hellenistic Literature (Polybius), at SFB 1266 TP E3 (PI Annette Haug), Institut für klassische Archäologie, University of Kiel
  • Jerome of Stridon: social networks, relations with Roman aristocrats (PhD project; supervisors Lewis Ayres and Carol Harrison), various approaches that mostly focus on socio-economic history since (everlasting ongoing research)
  • Jerome of Stridon
  • Roman Aristocracy, Patronage, Individual Religious Agency
  • Social Networks, Network Analysis, Connectivity
  • Multi-funcitionality of sacred spaces and their interaction in the urban landscape
  • Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages
  • Forced Migration and Slavery in Antiquity
  • Religion in the later Roman Empire
  • Religious Conflicts, Coping Strategies, Social Mechanisms in Late Antiquity
  • Spatiality, Urbanity, Spatial Agency
  • Jewish Diaspora Identity, Jewishness in the (later) Roman Empire
  • Testament of Levi
  • Early Jewish Mysticism
  • Johannes Munck
  • Polybius

PhD in History of Religion, St Chad’s College, University of Durham

MA in Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven

BA in Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven

since 2023
Research Fellow, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn

January–March 2024
Research Visit/Visiting Research Fellow University of Exeter

Junior Research Fellow, IFK Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies, University of Bern, Switzerland

Excellence Junior Research Fellow, Department of Ancient History, University of Tuebingen, Germany

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SFB 1266 TP E3, Institut für klassische Archäologie, University of Kiel, Germany

Lecturer, Lehrstuhl für Neues Testament I, Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät, University of Tuebingen, Germany

Teach @ Tuebingen Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institut für antikes Judentum und hellenistische Religionsgeschichte, University of Tuebingen, Germany

Visiting Research Fellow, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark

Teaching Assistant, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, UK

Research Assistant, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham, UK

  • SNF Scientific Exchanges Grant 2021 Project: Conflict Management: Networking Emperors and Bishops in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries CE, Grant: 9,500 CHF
  • Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Conference Grant 2019, Grant: circa € 2,500, Project: SBL Annual Meeting San Diego 2019
  • Recruitment Initiative for Excellent Junior Researchers 2018–2020, Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen ZUK63, Project: Jewish sacred spaces in Roman cities, Host: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner
  • Bridge Fund Zukunftskonzept Exzellenzinitiative Tübingen (declined) 2017
  • Isaiah Berlin Scholarship 2017
  • Teach @ Tübingen Excellence Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2016–2017, Project: Jewish Diaspora Identity after Bar Kokhba. Host: Prof. Dr. Michael Tilly
  • International Society for Religion, Literature, and Culture Early Career Researcher Support Grant, Glasgow University (UK) 2016
  • AUFF Visiting Fellowship, Aarhus University (Denmark) 2016, Project: Jewish and Christian ideas of Diaspora identities and communities in Rome in the context of shifting roles of religion in the aftermath of the Bar Kokhba war. Host: Prof. Dr. Anders Klostergaard Petersen. Grant: 30,000 DKK
  • Durham University Postgraduate Research Award
  • Initialisierungsstipendium, University of Erfurt (Germany) (declined) , Max-Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies Host: Prof. Dr. Markus Vinzent. Grant: circa € 6,000
  • Department of Theology and Religion Conference Grant St Chad’s College Conference Award
  • Department of Theology and Religion Conference Grant
  • Editorial Board Encounters between Judaism and Christianity, Brill-Schoeningh
  • Steering Committee ‘Religious Competition in Late Antiquity’ (SBL)
  • European Association for Jewish Studies
  • North American Patristics Society
  • Society of Biblical Literature
  • American Academy of Religion


  • Forthcoming. Spaced-Out Bishops. Manifestations of Spatial Agency at the Ecumenical Councils of the Fifth Century.
  • 2021. Roman Nobilitas in Jerome’s Letters. Roman Values and Christian Asceticism for Socialites. STAC 127. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.


Edited Journals and Volumes

  • Forthcoming. 2022. As editor. Et al. Jews and the City. Shared Urban Spatiality in Late Antique Judaism. Thematic journal issue.
  • 2022. As editor. With A. Cain and M. Kraus. New Paradigms in the Study of Jerome. Studia Patristica. Leuven: Peeters.


Articles and Chapters (peer-reviewed)

  • Forthcoming. "Rendering Visible the Invisible: Servants and Slave-Girls in Late Antique Christianity." In Women and Gender in the Post-Roman Kingdoms, edited by M. Kahlos and E. Fournier. CELAMA. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Forthcoming. "Publish or Perish: Jerome’s Authorial Distributions in '‘Exile.'" In Authorial Publication from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance, edited by S. Niskanen and V. Rovere. Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Forthcoming. "The Creation of Pelagianism: Jerome." In The Oxford Handbook to the Pelagian Controversy, edited by A. Dupont, G. Malavasi, and B. Matz. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Forthcoming. "Jerome on Biblical Sites and Sightseeing." In Hieronymus und die Bibel: Schriften – Texte - Kontexte, edited by O. Schaaf and B. Feichtinger. Berlin: De Gruyter. 
  • Forthcoming. "The money in monastery: toward an analysis of the competition between Jerome’s and Rufinus’ monasteries from an economic perspective." In Journal of Religious Competition in Late Antiquity.
  • Forthcoming. "Johannes Munck." In Biographisch-Bibliographisch Kirchenlexikon. Nordhausen: Verlag Bautz.
  • 2022. "Miles Make the Mind. Jerome on Travel, Learning, and Knowledge Exchange." In Mediterranean Flows: People, Ideas, and Objects in Motion, edited by E. Mataix Ferrándiz and A. Usacheva, 180–210. CAMA. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2022. "Religious Minorities in Late Roman Italy: Jewish city-dwellers and their non-Jewish neighbours." In Late Roman Italy – Imperium to Regnum (c. 250–500 CE), edited by J. W. P. Wijnendaele, 384–408. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • 2021. "...the sails were set and the strokes of the rowers carried the vessel into the deep (Ep. 108.6). A preliminary study of travel and perception in Jerome’s writings." In NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion 75(2): 251–273. 
  • 2021. "Creating an archive of the past to claim history. A case study of the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431 CE)." In Claiming History. The Role of Historical Reasoning in Religious Conflicts, edited by K. Heyden and A. Brändli, 87–109. Bibliotheca Helvetica 39. Basel: Schwabe. 
  • 2021. "Sacerdotalisation and early Jewish mystical elements in the Greek Testament of Lev." In Les écrits mystiques des Hekhalot et la ‘sacerdotalisation’ dans le judaïsme ancient, Colloque international à l’Université de Lausanne du 26 au 28 octobre 2015, edited by D. Hamidovic, S. C. Mimouni, and L. Painchaud, 217– 246. Judaïsme antique et origines du christianisme 22. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • 2020. "Urban sacred spaces: interaction in the neighbourhoods of Roman Dura Europos." In RRE 6: 181–205.
  • 2020. "Roman Awe for Hellenistic Sanctuaries." In Hellenistic Architecture and Human Action, edited by A. Müller and A. Haug, 151–165. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
  • 2019. "Liberating Levi: a cultural evolutionary approach to Aramaic and Greek Levi beyond denominational essentialism." In We and They. Decolonizing Greco-Roman and Biblical Antiquities.
  • 2018. "Not that far from a madding crowd: Jerome 'exiled' in Bethlehem." In Mobility and Exile at the End of Antiquity, edited by J. Ulrich, D. Rohmann, J. Hillner, and M. Vallejo Girvés, 229–245. ECCA. Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang.
  • 2017. "Jerome and the Christianus perfectus: a transformed Roman noble man?" In Studia Patristica 97: 17–36. 
  • 2016. "Teach and Transform: education and (re)constructing identity in Jerome’s letters." In Studia Patristica 74: 223–237. 
  • 2016. "Questioning Authority: Christian education leading to lay participation in doctrinal debates." In Tradition and Transformation. Dissent and Consent in the Mediterranean, edited by M. Mitrea, 92–114. Kiel: Solivagus.
  • Authorial Publication in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Helsinki (F) 15–16 June 2023 (by invitation): Publish or Perish: Jerome’s Authorial Distribution in 'Exile'
  • SBL – Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism, Denver (US) 19–22 November 2022: Euergetism and Building Christian Communities: A Legal Perspective
  • Oxford Conference Literary Production, Jesus College, Oxford (UK) 10V12 July 2022 (by invitation): Publish or perish: how Jerome activated his network to disseminate his writings after his exile from Rome
  • International Medieval Congress, Leeds (UK), Session: Women and Gender in the Post-Roman Successor States (Fournier & Kahlos) (by invitation): Rendering visible the invisible: servants and slave-girls in Jerome’s letters
  • Nils Klimt Laureate Panel (by invitation), Bergen (Norway), Holberg Prize Week; Panel Theme: Women’s Mobility in Antiquity: Forced Mobility of Servants and Slave-Girls
  • NAPS, Chicago (USA): Ephesus 431 CE and the Rhetoric of Urbanity
  • SBL – Religious Competition in Late Antiquity, San Antonio (USA): The money in monastery: toward an analysis of the competition between Jerome’s and Rufinus’ monasteries from an economic perspective
  • Hieronymus und die Bibel, Universität Konstanz (D) 2V3 December 2021 (by invitation): Jerome on Biblical Sites and Sightseeing
  • Conflict management: networking emperors and bishops, Bern (CH) 21–22 September 2020 (conference organiser): Managing (mis)behaviour: two case studies from Ephesus 431 CE and Chalcedon 451 CE
  • Guides to Urbanity, Max-Weber Kolleg, Erfurt (D) 10–11 June 2020: Controlling (religious) misbehaviour in an urban context: re-reading the communications and regulations of the Second Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431 CE) in light of an urban religion approach
  • NAPS, Chicago (USA) 21–23 May 2020 'To cope, or not to cope?' Detecting coping strategies in the reception of the 'Robber Synod' at the First Meeting of Chalcedon 451 CE
  • SBL – Religious Competition in Late Antiquity San Diego (USA): Councils, competition, and conflict: spatial agency and the Sitz-im-Raum of Ephesus 431
  • Workshop Project 1 Epistemology (IFK), (by invitation) Bern (CH) 7 May 2019: Supersessionist strategies of ‘othering’? Out-grouping Judaizers at the ecumenical councils from Nicaea 325 CE to Constantinople 381 CE
  • Oxford Patristics: Symposium Shifting Paradigms in the Study of Jerome 19–24 August 2019: Oxford (UK) (symposium organiser): Mapping Jerome’s noble network. Social interaction and connectivity beyond controversy?
  • AAR Annual Meeting, Denver (US) 17–21 November 2018 Hosting & participation panel: Semper ciceronianus? Jerome entangled in the classical world
  • BAJS 2018, University of Durham (UK) 9–11 July 2018 (panel organiser): The city shaping its Jews: archaeology and history of cross-cultural and interreligious influences on urban Jewish groups in Antiquity; talk: The city scape and scattered sacred space: Diversification of Jewish group identity in Roman Dura-Europos
  • Religion of Quarters, Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt, Eisenach (D) 4–6 July 2018: Urban sacred spaces: interaction in the neighbourhoods of Roman Dura-Europos
  • EASR Bern, University of Bern (CH) 17–21 June 2018: Conflicts, councils, and coping: religious conflict as socio-spatial feature of urban space
  • Urban Religion Spring School, Danish Institute Rome (I) 12–16 March 2018: The city scape and scattered sanctuaries: perception of and in Jewish burial sites. The catacombs of Vigna Randanini as a window to Jewish groups in late antique Rome
  • Klassische Archäologie Workshop, CAU, Kiel (D): Landscape Perception in Polybius
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