Candida Moss

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Candida R. Moss
Born (1978-11-26) 26 November 1978 (age 42)
London, England
TitleEdward Cadbury Professor of Theology
Spouse(s)Justin Foa (m. 2018)
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work

Candida R. Moss (born 26 November 1978) is an English New Testament scholar and historian of Christianity, who is the Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. A graduate of Oxford and Yale universities, Moss specialises in the study of the New Testament and martyrdom in early Christianity.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in London, England, Moss graduated from Worcester College, Oxford in 2000 with a B.A.(Hons) in theology. In 2002 she received a M.A.R. in Biblical studies from Yale Divinity School. In 2006, Moss graduated from Yale University with a M.A. and M.Phil in religious studies, followed by a PhD in Religious Studies in 2008.[1]

Academic career[edit]

Moss began her career at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and became a full Professor there in 2012, four years after receiving her PhD from Yale. She served as an academic consultant to the television series The Bible,[2] as Papal News Contributor for CBS News, and is a frequent contributor to the National Geographic Channel.[3] A Roman Catholic, Moss has specialized in the study of martyrdom, ancient medicine and the New Testament, early Christian ideas about the Resurrection of the Body, enslaved literate work in the ancient world. Her 2012 book Ancient Christian Martyrdom argued that bias against martyrdom had led scholars to think of martyrdom as a phenomenon that spread from one region of the Roman empire to another. Against this, Moss argued that martyrdom developed differently in different contexts. In 2013 her book The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom was published in which she argues that the stories of early Christian martyrdom "have been altered ... edited and shaped by later generations of Christians" and none of them are "completely historically accurate".[4] Additionally, she maintains that the Roman authorities did not actively seek out or target Christians, and only for a brief period of no more than twelve years in the first three centuries of Christian history were Christians prosecuted by order of a Roman emperor.[5]

In August 2017 Professor Moss joined the faculty of the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham as Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology.[6] She is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.

Moss is a columnist for The Daily Beast and has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Politico, The New York Times, BBC Online,, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Times Higher Education.


Among other marks of distinction, Moss received the Charlotte W. Newcombe Award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise from the John Templeton Foundation, and a NEH Summer Seminar Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Hiett Prize and a Religion Newswriters Association award. In 2016 her co-authored book Reconceiving Infertility was shortlisted for the American Academy of Religion Book Prize for Textual Studies. In 2017 her co-authored book 'Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby' was selected as a Publishers Weekly 2017 Best Book in Religion. She was elected a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas in 2013.

Selected works[edit]


  • Moss, Candida (2008). Gods, Lords and Kings: the characterization of the martyrs in the early Christian Acta Martyrum (PhD). Yale University. OCLC 272271965.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ University of Notre Dame Department of Theology. Candida R. Moss (biographical information) Archived 19 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  2. ^ Goodacre, Mark (14 February 2013). "More Bible Series News and Video Clips". NT Blog. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  3. ^ Candida Moss. "Huffington Post". Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  4. ^ Moss, Candida (2013). The Myth of Persecution:How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom. HarperOne, HarperCollins. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-06-210452-6.
  5. ^ Moss 2013, p. 159.
  6. ^ "Candida Moss faculty page". Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  7. ^ Croy, N. Clayton (October 2013). "The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Persecution" (PDF).; "The Death of Jesus and the Rise of the Christian Persecution Myth - review". The Daily Beast. 31 March 2013.; Miller, Laura (24 February 2013). ""The Myth of Persecution": Early Christians weren't persecuted". Salon.; Daly, Maureen (27 March 2013). "The long shadow of the martyr myth". National Catholic Reporter.; Blake, John (30 March 2013). "Christ was persecuted, but what about Christians?". CNN Belief Blog. Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2013.; Radner, Ephraim (May 2013). "Unmythical Martyrs A review of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom". First Things.; "THE MYTH OF PERSECUTION How Early Christians Invented a Story of Persecution". Kirkus Reviews. 26 November 2012.

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