Eric C. Smith

Associate Professor of Early Christian Texts and Traditions

Contact Information


  • B.A., Mars Hill College
  • M.T.S., Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • Ph.D., Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver


Eric C. Smith teaches in the fields of biblical studies and early Christianity, co-directs Iliff’s Doctor of Ministry in Prophetic Leadership program, and serves as liaison to the Disciples Seminary Foundation. His research and teaching center on a constellation of interests in the world of late antiquity, including identity formation, material culture and materialist approaches to religion, and both ancient and modern interpretations of biblical texts.

Smith is the author of four books and several articles and chapters. His book Sovereignties, Spaces, Subjects, and Spirits: The Necropolitics of the Acts of the Apostles (SBL Press, forthcoming) undertakes a postcolonial reading of the violence and belonging embedded in the text of Acts. An earlier book, Jewish Glass and Christian Stone: A Materialist Mapping of the Parting of the Ways (Routledge 2018) examines material objects as markers of identities in Judeo-Christianity to tell the story of the “parting of the ways” through the material lives of Jews and Christians. Aimed to popular audiences, Paul the Progressive? The Compassionate Christian’s Guide to Reclaiming the Apostle as an Ally (Chalice 2019) attempts to reclaim the apostle Paul for progressive Christian communities. Recent and forthcoming articles and chapters focus on materialist, postcolonial, and queer methodologies.

Smith is past co-chair of the Early Jewish Christian Relations and Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity program units of the Society of Biblical Literature, and he currently serves on the Art and Religions of Antiquity program unit. He is the co-editor of the Christianity section of Religion Compass. Smith is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with ministry experience in the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.