• A.B.D., Fordham University
  • M.A.T.S., Episcopal Divinity School
  • B.A., Providence College


  • Introduction to Theology
  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Early Christian Literature


Ryan Bowley joined the faculty of the Theology Department at St. Mary’s University as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the fall semester of 2023. He completed A.B.D. in the Christianity in Antiquity program at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York; a Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a focus in Bible and early Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.

His primary research interests relate to martyrdom and the discourse of suffering prevalent in early Christianity, with a focus on the letters of Paul and St. Ignatius of Antioch. His work is especially attentive to the cultural, political and social context of these writings in the ancient Mediterranean region. Topically, his research focuses on the development of the notion that one can die for others; on Paul’s conception of the individual and corporate body; and on ancient Christian discourses around illness, suffering, sacrifice and gender.

Teaching undergraduates brings Bowley joy. He frames his classroom content in terms of the historical development of ideas and practices and his pedagogical method is centered on a philosophy of social change aimed at justice. He teaches his students that to acknowledge present as well as past social systems as contingent — to see that they are the products of an intersection of ideas and behaviors not universal and given but rather particular and constructed — is a powerful force for change because it signals that oppressive systems can be dismantled and overcome by critiquing and reimagining the story of their origins. In this way, Bowley encourages students to pay creative attention to ancient texts as the basis of crafting strategies for bringing about new ways of thinking and acting.

Conference Presentations

“The Letters of Ignatius of Antioch in Ancient Liturgical Context: Parallels with the Oral Recitation of Greek Hero Stories,” presented at the Oxford Patristics Conference, August 2019.

“The Martyrdom of Polycarp and Intertextuality,” presented at the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS), May 2017.

“Ignatius of Antioch’s Sacrifice for Others in Christological Context,” presented at the annual meeting of NAPS, May 2016.

“The Death of Christ and His Martyrs: Instances of a Hellenistic Archetype,” presented at the Oxford Patristics Conference, August 2015.

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