Sarah Rollens

Sarah E. Rollens is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College. Prior to coming to Rhodes, she taught courses in Religious Studies at University of Toronto, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and University of Alabama. She received her PhD in the Study of Religion in 2013 from University of Toronto. Her dissertation, Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q, was published in 2014 by Mohr Siebeck. Her current research project deals with violent imagery in early Christian texts. This research combines her broader interests in Christian origins, social theory, scribalism, identity formation, the ancient Mediterranean world, and the Synoptic gospels. Prof. Rollens has taught numerous courses in Religious Studies: Introduction to the New Testament; Introduction to Religious Studies; Historical Jesus; Jesus of Nazareth; Violence in Early Christianity; Religion and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World; Popular Culture/Public Humanities; Jesus in the Early Christian Writings; Early Christians Gospels; and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She is currently teaching The Bible: Texts and Contexts (Life) and The Search for Values in Light of Western History and Religion (Search).


“Inventing Tradition in Thessalonica: The Appropriation of the Past in 1 Thessalonians 2:14–16,” Biblical Theology Bulletin 46.3 (2016): 123-132.

Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q. WUNT II 374. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014.

“Persecution in the Social Setting of Q,” Pp. 149-64 in Q in Context II: Social Setting and Archaeological Background of the Sayings Source. Edited by Markus Tiwald. BBB. Bonn University Press, 2015.

“Accounting Practices in P.Tebt. III/2 894 and Pauline Groups” (with Richard Last). Early Christianity 5.4 (2014).

“Conceptualizing Justice in Q: Narrative and Context.” Pp. 96-106 in Metaphor and Narrative in Q. Edited by Ruben Zimmerman, Michael Labahn, and Dieter Roth. WUNT I; Mohr Siebeck, 2013.

“The Rewards of Redescription: An Assessment of Burton Mack’s Influence on the Study of Christian Origins.” Pp. 69–74 in Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: Twenty Five Years On. Edited by Aaron Hughes. Supplements to Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 1. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

“The Identity of Q in the First Century: Reproducing a Theological Narrative.” Pp. 177-91 in Failure and Nerve in the Study of Religion. Edited by William Arnal, Willi Braun, and Russell McCutcheon. London: Equinox, 2012.

“Does ‘Q’ Have Any Representative Potential?” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 23.1 (2011): 64–79.

“‘Why Do You Not Judge for Yourselves What Is Right?’: A Consideration of the Synoptic Relationship between Mt 5,25–26 and Lk 12,57–59,” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 86.4 (2010): 449–469.


“Visions, Dreams, and Origin Stories: Strategies of Legitimation among Voluntary Associations,” Italian Centre for Advanced Studies on Religions Annual Meeting on Christian Origins, Bertinoro, Italy, Sept 29, 2016.

Respondent, "Book Review Session on Sarah Rollens' Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement and Giovanni Bazzana's Kingdom of Bureaucracy: The Political Theology of Village Scribes in the Sayings Gospel Q," Q Session, Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX, November 20 2016.

Respondent, "Redescribing Christian Origins: Scribes, Myths, Identities," Redescribing Christian Origins Session, Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX, November 20 2016.