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Religious Studies, History Expert to Speak at Ohio Wesleyan University
David Frankfurter to Discuss ‘Exorcising the World: New Perspectives on Christianization and Culture’

March 30, 2010

David Frankfurter, Ph.D.
Photo courtesy of the University of New Hampshire
DELAWARE, OH – David Frankfurter, Ph.D., professor of religious studies and history at the University of New Hampshire, will present “Exorcising the World: New Perspectives on Christianization and Culture” at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in Benes Room B of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Frankfurter is the author of numerous articles on apocalypticism, magic, Christianization, demonology, and violence in antiquity, especially in Roman and late antique Egypt. His current research concerns the circumstances under which Christian ideas and symbols were brought together with native Egyptian traditions.

Frankfurter earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, a master’s of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton University. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Advanced Institute at Princeton.

He won the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion for two books—“Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance” (Princeton University Press, 1998), and “Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History” (Princeton University Press, 2006). He also wrote “Elijah in Upper Egypt” (Fortress Press, 1993).

This presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s 2010 Merrick Lecture. This lecture series was founded by Frederick Merrick, a professor and former president of the university. Each year’s lecture discusses an aspect of “experimental and practical religion” and, over the course of the past century, has reflected the dynamic growth and change of the academic study of religion. Past lecturers have included Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Hazel Barnes, and Martin Marty. The Merrick Lecture is the university’s oldest running lecture series.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 22 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.