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Alexander Angelov

Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, David L. Holmes Associate Professor of Reformation Studies and American Religious History

Email: [[aangelov]]
Interests: Medieval Christianity; Eastern Orthodoxy; Byzantine and Balkan history; Conversion; Inter-religious relations; Atheism and Secularization; Cultural Anthropology; Theories of Religion
Office: Wren 309



  • Ph.D. (History), the University of Michigan

  • M.A. (History), the University of Michigan

  • M.A. (Classical Greek), the University of Michigan

  • Certificate in Greek and Roman History, the University of Michigan

  • Medieval Slavic Certificate in paleography and literature in Church Slavonic, the Ohio State University


  • RELG 210 Introduction to the History of Christianity: From the Birth of Jesus Christ to the Beginning of a New Millennium 

  • RELG 332 Religion and Society in the Middle Ages

  • RELG 150 Converts and Apostates 

  • RELG 350 Eastern Christianity

  • RELG 391 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

 Selected Publications and Current Research

Byzantium, Foreign Rulers, and the Conversion to Christianity (ca. 300-900)(book in progress)

 “Fluid Borders: Rethinking Historical Geography and Fixed Map Boundaries in Contested Regions.” With Vladimir Atanasov, Stuart Hamilton, and Marco Millones. The Professional Geographer 20.10 (2015) 1-14.

“In Search of God’s Only Emperor: ‘Basileus’ in Byzantine and Modern Historiography.” Journal of Medieval History 40.2 (2014) 123-141.

 “Bishop over ‘Those Outside’: Imperial Diplomacy and the Boundaries of Constantine’s Christianity,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 54.2 (2014) 274-292.

“Bulgarian medieval empire (First and Second)” in The Encyclopedia of Empire. Wiley Blackwell Press, (3,000 word essay)

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oliver Nicholson and Mark Humphries, eds. Oxford University Press,  forthcoming (42 entries) 

Selected Awards

Robert Kingdon Fellowship, the Institute for Research in the Humanities, the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Mary Alison Frantz Fellowship, the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Greece

Bernadotte Schmitt Grant, the American Historical Association

CUNY Fellowship, Center for Russian and East European Studies, the University of Michigan 


  • Member of the Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program (William & Mary)

  • Member of the Medieval and Renaissance Program (William & Mary)

  • Faculty Fellow of the Sophia Institute for Eastern Orthodox Studies (Columbia University and the Union Theological Seminary)


Dr. Angelov’s current book project is a comparative study of late-antique and early-medieval elite conversions to Byzantine Christianity. Between 300 and 900, the Byzantine missionaries reached such diverse places as the Caucasus, the Horn of Africa, Southern Arabia, Central Europe and the Balkans, bringing about Eastern Orthodoxy’s largest expansion to date.  Besides the systematic exploration of the nature of the Byzantine imperial involvement in the Christian missions, he investigates how and why post-Byzantine historians and politicians have selected certain episodes of conversion to turn them into monumental events with ethnic and often bitterly nationalistic overtones.  

In addition, Dr. Angelov is working on a series of articles exploring Eastern Christian history and culture. He is also preparing a monograph on the history of Orthodoxy in the Balkans during Communism.