Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson

Office: Classics, Humanities, & Italian Studies, Murkland Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Paul Robertson is a lecturer in the Department of Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He is a specialist in ancient Mediterranean religion and philosophy, the history of western thought and the theory of religion that looks to answer what religion is and why it exists. He particularly focuses on the origins of big ideas in western thought, tracing the diverse and formative influences on our current understandings of morality, justice, virtue, health and spirituality. Recently, he has been working in the cognitive science of religion, which investigates the human brain's biological evolution in order to better understand religious beliefs and practices across cultures. His publications include books and articles connecting these interests, supported with grants and fellowships ranging from community groups interested in religious literacy and narrative medicine to research centers at Harvard University and Washington, DC.

Courses Taught

  • CLAS 401: Classical Mythology
  • CLAS 520B: Hon/Ancient Views of Good Life
  • CLAS 520D: Greek & Roman Religion
  • CLAS 601: The Power of Myth
  • CLAS 695: Special Studies
  • CLAS 696: Special Studies
  • ENGL 440B: Honors/Seeing is Believing
  • HUMA 401: Introduction to Humanities
  • HUMA 401W: Introduction to Humanities
  • HUMA 513C: Global Humanities
  • HUMA 526: Humanities and Science
  • HUMA 527: Humanities and Religion
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience
  • INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience
  • LAP 501: Life Act Prog/Intro To Running
  • LAP 505: Intro to Running
  • LATN 402: Elementary Latin II


  • Ph.D., Brown University
  • B.A., Reed College

Research Interests

  • Ancient/Medieval Philosophy
  • Classical Studies
  • Cognitive Sciences
  • Comparative Religion
  • Early Christianity
  • Language and/or Literature, Classical/Ancient
  • Late Antiquity Byzantium
  • Late Antiquity Syriac
  • Religious Studies
  • Taxonomy
  • Theory of religion

Selected Publications

  • Robertson, P., & Shefferman, J. (2023). Teaching the Cognitive Science of Religion: Claire White’s An Introduction to the Cognitive Science of Religion and Other Approaches. Numen, 70(4), 429-446. doi:10.1163/15685276-20231701

  • Robertson, P., & Scott, G. (2022). Gnostic Thought in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Gnosis, 7(2), 171-223. doi:10.1163/2451859x-00702003

  • Robertson, P. M. (2019). Taxonomy is Epistemology: Theorizing Hermeticism with Wasserstrom’s "Theses". In K. GhaneaBassiri, & P. Robertson (Eds.), All Religion is Inter-Religion: Engaging the Work of Steven M. Wasserstrom. Bloomsbury. Retrieved from

  • Robertson, P., & GhaneaBassiri, K. (2019). All Religion is Inter-Religion: Essays in Honor of Steven M. Wasserstrom. Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved from

  • Robertson, P. (2018). The Polemic of Individualized Appellation in Late AntiquityCreating Marcionism, Valentinianism, and Heresy. Studies in Late Antiquity, 2(2), 180-214. doi:10.1525/sla.2018.2.2.180

  • Robertson, P. M. (2017). Greco-Roman Ethical-Philosophical Influences in Bardaisan's "Book of the Laws of Countries". Vigiliae Christianae, 71(5), 511-540. Retrieved from

  • Robertson, P. (2016). Paul's Letters and Contemporary Greco-Roman Literature Theorizing a New Taxonomy.

  • Robertson, P. (2014). De-Spiritualizing Pneuma Modernity, Religion, and Anachronism in the Study of Paul. METHOD & THEORY IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION, 26(4-5), 365-383. doi:10.1163/15700682-12341267

  • Robertson, P. M. (2011). Toward an Understanding of Philo’s and Cicero’s Treatment of Sacrifice. The Studia Philonica Annual, 23, 41-67.

  • Robertson, P. (n.d.). The Cyclops Myth and the Making of Selfhood. Gorgias Press. Retrieved from