Moshe Blidstein is an ancient historian interested in rituals and ritual discourses in the religions of the Roman Empire and of late antiquity. Specifically, in the past years he focused on discourses of purity and defilement in early Christianity and its historical contexts, and the changing character of oaths in the ancient Mediterranean cultures of the Roman Empire. His book, Purity, Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature, was published in 2017 by Oxford University Press. He is currently working on articles on oaths in the Roman Empire, on candles and fire in ancient religions, and on a digital project, Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database.
Office: Eshkol bldg., floor 13, room 1312
- Associate Editor (with Guy G. Stroumsa and Adam Silverstein), The Oxford Handbook of the Abrahamic Religions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
- Purity, Community and Ritual in Early Christian Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
- Editor (with Serge Ruzer and Daniel Stökl Ben-Ezra), Scriptures, Sacred Traditions, and Strategies of Religious Subversion: Studies in Discourse with the Work of Guy G. Stroumsa (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018).
Peer-reviewed journal articles
- “How Many Pigs were on Noah’s Ark? An Exegetical Encounter on the Nature of Impurity”, Harvard Theological Review 108:3 (2015), 448-70.
- “Entering a Sanctuary the Wrong Way”, Scripta Classica Israelica 34 (2015), 165-79.
- “Loosing Vows and Oaths in the Roman Empire and Beyond: Authority and Interpretation”, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 18 (2018), 275-304.
- “Swearing by the Book: Oaths and the Rise of Scripture in the Roman Empire”, Asdiwal: Revue genevoise d'anthropologie et d'histoire des religions 12 (2018), 53-72.
- “The Ambivalence of Purification and the Challenge of Transformation in the Rites of Passage and in Early Christian Texts”, Journal of Classical Sociology 18:4 (2018), 338-348.
- “Invoking Humans in Roman-Era Oaths: Emotional Relations and Divine Ambiguity”, Numen 68:4 (2021), 382-410.
- “Oaths as a Medium for Inter-Communal Contact in Late Antiquity”, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte [forthcoming
- “Purity Opposed: Christian Identity Formation in Third Century Polemics against Death Defilement”, Studia Patristica 63 (2013), 373-84.
- “Purity and Defilement”, in The Oxford Handbook of the Abrahamic Religions, edited by Guy G. Stroumsa, Adam Silverstein and Moshe Blidstein. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 448-65.
- “Between Ritual and Moral Purity: Early Christian Views on Dietary Laws”, in Authoritative Texts and Reception History: Aspects and Approaches, edited by Dan Batovici and Kristin De Troyer. Biblical Interpretation Series 151. (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 243-59.
- “Demons and Pollution in the Ancient Mediterranean: Interactions and Relationships”, Purity and Purification in the Ancient Greek World. Texts, Rituals, and Norms (Kernos Supplements 32, edited by Jan Mathieu Carbon and Saskia Peels-Matthey (Paris: Boccard, 2018), 299-314.
- “Anti-legal Exempla in Late Ancient Christian Exegesis”, in Scriptures, Sacred Traditions, and Strategies of Religious Subversion: Studies in Discourse with the Work of Guy G. Stroumsa, edited by Moshe Blidstein, Serge Ruzer and Daniel Stökl Ben-Ezra (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2018), 91-102
- The Fourth Century in the Roman Empire
- Transformation of Rituals in Mediterranean Antiquity
- Early Christianity
- Ritual: Historical and Performative Perspectives
- Space and place in the Roman Empire
- Fire and light in ancient religion