Laura Locke Estes
I study religion in late antiquity with particular focus on the literature of Syriac-speaking Christian communities. My dissertation, tentatively titled Naming Hagar's Children: Late Antique Christian Portrayals of Early Islam, explores identity formation and literary representation of Muslims in Christians narratives from the 7th-9th centuries CE. It considers how Christian authors transformed existing literary traditions, especially biblical exegesis and polemic, to name and portray Muslims as "Jews," "pagans," and "heretics."
A native of Austin, TX, I completed a BA in History and Biblical Languages at Freed-Hardeman University and an MA in Ancient and Oriental Christianity at Abilene Christian University. I am a PhD Candidate in Theological Studies with a concentration in Christianity in Late Antiquity at Saint Louis University and will serve as a Faculty Fellow in the Division of Religion and Philosophy at Pepperdine University 2021-22.