Lorenzo DiTommaso

Professor, Religions and Cultures


Lorenzo DiTommaso
Office: S-FA 01 
FA Annex,
2060 Mackay
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2073
Email: L.DiTommaso@concordia.ca
Website(s): > Academia Webpage
> Orcid Webpage
> Podcast interview on CBC
> "Through a Glass Darkly" Annual Symposium on Apocalyptic
> The Enoch Seminar
Availability: 2021-22: On sabbatical leave.

Academic Biography

Lorenzo DiTommaso received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McMaster University in 2002. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University Divinity School in 2001-03 and NEH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University in 2003-04. He joined Concordia University Montreal as Assistant Professor in 2004, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and to Professor in 2013, and has served as Chair of the Department. He is a member of the department's programs in Jewish Studies and Christianity, and teaches the graduate seminar on religion and popular culture biennially.

Research interests

  • Apocalypticism, Ancient to Contemporary 
  • Apocalypticism and Popular Culture                    
  • Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements and Groups
  • Mediaeval Manuscripts and Early Books
  • Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha           
  • Japanese Art and Culture
  • Speculative Fiction

Religious Traditions

  • Judaism
  • Christianity

Pope Prophecy (Vaticinia de summis pontificibus)
Photo credit: Kremsmünster, Stiftsbibliothek, cod. CC Cim 6, fol. 5r

Research

Research Interests

Dr. DiTommaso's research focuses on apocalyptic speculation in all its forms and in every culture, from the ancient world to the present day. He has authored or edited a dozen volumes and nearly 200 articles, book chapters, and other short studies.

Dr. DiTommaso's research has been supported by four major grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2004-07, 2007-11, 2011-16, 2018-24). He has also received grants and fellowships from the Vatican Film Library, the University of Chicago Library, the Herzog August Bibliothek, the Lilly Library (Indiana University), the Medieval Studies Library (University of Notre Dame), and the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, where he was Nicky Carpenter Fellow in Manuscript Studies. In 2019 Dr. DiTommaso was awarded the Bibliographical Society of America - Pine Tree Foundation Fellowship in Hispanic Bibliography.

Dr. DiTommaso's current SSHRC grant focuses on the Medieval Antichrist tradition. Other major research projects include the post-classical Sibylline texts and traditions; the Latin texts and traditions of the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius (with James Palmer); and contemporary apocalyptic fiction.

Dr. DiTommaso has co-organised three conferences in Canada funded by SSHRC conference and workshop grants, as well as conferences in Israel, Italy, and the United States. In June 2020 he co-organised one of the first full-blown online conferences since the global pandemic lock-down, the Enoch Seminar on "Conceptions of Evil in Early Judaism and Early Christianity." Dr. DiTommaso is also co-director of the "Through a Glass Darkly" Symposium on Apocalyptic, with Colin McAllister, now in its seventh year.

The Persian Sibyl
Photo credit: Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, cod. icon. 414, fol. 1v

Publications

Recent Books

  • (in progress) The Post-Classical Sibylline Texts and Traditions.
  • (forthcoming 2023) The Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition: From the Twilight of the Roman Empire to the Dawn of Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [ed, with Colin McAllister]
  • (forthcoming 2022) End-Game: Apocalyptic Video Games, Contemporary Society, and Digital Media Culture. VGH. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. [ed., with James Crossley, Alastair Lockhart, and Rachel Wagner]
  • (forthcoming 2022) The Opaque Horizon: Studies in Byzantine Apocalyptic Texts and Trajectories. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press. [ed., with Pablo Ubierna and Andràs Kraft]
  • (forthcoming 2022) The Architecture of Apocalypticism. From Antiquity to Armageddon, Volume 1. New York: Oxford UP.
  • (forthcoming 2022) Dies Irae, Dies Illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode. WMS. Leiden: Brill. [ed, with Colin McAllister]
  • (forthcoming 2022) Re-Imagining Apocalypticism: Apocalypses, Apocalyptic Literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. SBLEJL. Atlanta: SBL. [ed., with Matthew J. Goff]
  • (2019) The Oxford Guide to Jewish Texts and Traditions in Christian Transmission. New York: Oxford UP. [ed., with Alexander Kulik (gen. ed.), Gabriele Boccaccini, David Hamidovic, and Michael E. Stone, with the assistance of Jason Zurawski]
  • (2018) The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone. SVTP 26. Leiden: Brill. [ed., with Matthias Henze and William Adler]

Selected Recent Articles

  • (2023) "The Common Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition." In L. DiTommaso and C. McAllister, eds., The Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition: From the Twilight of the Roman Empire to the Dawn of Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. [forthcoming]
  • (2023) "Prophecy and Apocalypticism in Josephus' Writings." In K.W. Atkinson, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Josephus. Oxford: Oxford UP.
  • (2022) "Video Games and the Post-/Apocalyptic Imagination." In L. DiTommaso et al., eds., End-Game: Apocalyptic Video Games, Contemporary Society, and Digital Media Culture. VGS. Berlin: W. de Gruyter.
  • (2022) "Conspectus of the Western Manuscripts and Early Printed Books of Somniale Danielis." In V. Cappozzo, ed., Predicting the Past. Worldwide Medieval Dream Interpretation. RMS. Leiden: Brill. [with L. Sandor Chardonnens]
  • (2022) "End-Game: Apocalyptic Determinism and Human Instrumentality in Video Games." In L. DiTommaso et al., eds., End-Game: Apocalyptic Video Games, Contemporary Society, and Digital Media Culture. VGS. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, [with Gisoo Kim]
  • (2022) "'Revealed Things' in Apocalyptic Literature." In L. DiTommaso and M.J. Goff, eds., Re-Imagining Apocalypticism: Apocalypses, Apocalyptic Literature, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. SBLEJL. Atlanta, SBL.
  • (2022) "'Land of Confusion' (Genesis, 1986 – Disturbed, 2005) and the Contemporary 'Apocalyptic Shift'." In L. DiTommaso and C. McAllister, eds., Dies irae, dies illa: Music in the Apocalyptic Mode. WMS. Leiden: Brill. [forthcoming]
  • (2022) "The Sibylline Oracles." In R.D. Chesnutt, ed., The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. Malden, MA/Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [forthcoming]
  • (2021) "The Re-Invention of the Pseudepigrapha: A Review Essay." Judaïsme ancien/Ancient Judaism 9: 261-85.
  • (2021) "Apocalypse." In W. Homolka et al., eds., Encyclopedia of Jewish-Christian Relations. Berlin: W. de Gruyter.
  • (2021) "The Apocrypha and Apocalypticism." In G.S. Oegema, ed., The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford UP. 219-52.
  • (2021) "Class Rhetoric, Group Affiliation, and Apocalyptic Speculation." In G.A. Keddie et al., eds, The Struggle over Class: Socioeconomic Analysis of Ancient Christian Texts. WGRW. Atlanta: SBL. 277-312.
  • (2021) "New Testament Apocalypticism in the Late Second-Temple Era." Rivista biblica 69: 137-158.
  • (2021) "The Additions to Daniel." In G.S. Oegema, ed., The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford UP. 363-86.
  • (2021) "La Nouvelle Jérusalem et le nouveau Temple dans la littérature apocalyptique du judaïsme antique." In D. Hamidović, S.C. Mimouni, and L. Painchaud, eds., La «sacerdotalisation» dans les premiers écrits mystiques juifs et chrétiens. Actes du colloque international tenu à l’Université de Lausanne du 26 au 28 octobre 2015. JAOC 22. Turnhout: Brepols. 133-44.
  • (2021) "Eschatology in the Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha and the Early Christian Apocrypha." In H. Marlow et al., eds., Eschatology in Antiquity: Forms and Functions. London: Routledge. 239-49.
  • (2021) "Time and History in Ancient Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Writings." In J. Schroeter et al., eds., Dreams, Visions, Imaginations: Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic Views of the World to Come. BZNW 247. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. 53-87.
  • (2020) "Il genere «apocalisse» e l’«apocalittico» nella tarda antichità." In E. Norelli, ed., Rivista di storia del cristianesimo 17 tome 1: Apocalisse come genere: un dibattito ancora attuale?. 73-99.
  • (2020) "The Four Kingdoms of Daniel in the Early Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition." In A. Perrin and L.T. Stuckenbruck, eds., Four Kingdom Motifs Before and Beyond the Book of Daniel. TBN 28. Leiden: Brill, 2020. 205-50.
  • (2020) "Apocalypticism in the Contemporary World." In C. McAllister, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 316-42.
  • (2020) "Apocalyptic Literature in the Global Imagination." In I.L.E. Ramelli, ed., The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature. Volume 1. New York: Wiley Blackwell. 215-26.
  • (2019) "Apocalyptic Historiography." Early Christianity 10 (2019) [special issue: "The Sense(s) of History: Ancient Apocalypses and Their Temporalities," ed. G. Bazzana]. 435-60.
  • (2019) "Manuscript Research in the Digital Age." In M. Henze and L.I. Lied, eds., Society of Biblical Literature Pseudepigrapha Section Jubilee Volume. Atlanta: SBL. 231-62.
  • (2019) "The 'Old Testament Pseudepigrapha' as Category and Corpus." In A. Kulik, gen. ed., The Oxford Guide to Early Jewish Texts and Traditions in Christian Transmission. New York/Oxford: Oxford UP. 253-79.
  • (2018) "Echoes of Enoch in Seventeenth-Century England: 'Enoch Prayer' (London, British Library, MS Sloane 3821)." In J.H. Ellens et al., eds., “Wisdom Poured Out Like Water”: Studies on Jewish and Christian Antiquity in Honor of Gabriele Boccaccini. DCLS. Berlin/New York: W. de Gruyter, 2018. 45-71.
  • (2018) "The Apocryphal Daniel Apocalypses: Works, Manuscripts, and Overview." In J. Verheyden and J. Schroeter, eds., Is There an 'Apocalyptic' Worldview? Images of World and Cosmos, Future and Past, in Late Antique Apocalyptic Writings. Special issue of Ephemerides Theologicae Lovaniensis 94: 275-316.
  • (2018) "The Penitence of Solomon (Poenitentia Salomonis)." In L. DiTommaso et al., eds., The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone. SVTP 26. Leiden: Brill. 371-452.
  • (2017) "The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius: Notes on a Recent Edition." Medioevo greco. Rivista di storia e filologia bizantina 17: 311-21.

Selected Recent Reviews

  • (2021) Ralph J Korner, Reading Revelation after Supersessionism (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2020), in Religious Studies and Theology 40: 276-77.
  • (2019) H. Seng and G. Sfameni Gasparro, eds., Theologische Orakel in der Spätantike (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag, 2016), in Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 4: 106-08.
  • (2017) M. Formisano and T. Fuhrer, eds., Décadence: “Decline and Fall” or “Other Antiquity”? (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag, 2014), in Studies in Late Antiquity 1: 87-91.
  • (2014) J. Moo, Creation, Nature, and Hope in 4 Ezra (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011), in Journal for the Study of Judaism 45: 130-32.
  • (2014) N. Brocca, Lattanzio, Agostino e la Sibylla Maga: ricerche sulla fortuna degli Oracula Sibyllina nell'Occidente latino (Roma: Herder, 2011), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.10.39.
  • (2013) D.V. Arbel and A. Orlov., eds., With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic, and Mysticism in Honor of Rachel Elior (Berlin/New York; W. de Gruyter, 2011) in Journal for the Study of Judaism 44: 87-88.
  • (2013) P.Y. Paik, From Utopia to Apocalypse: Science Fiction and the Politics of Catastrophe (Minneapolis/London: U. Minnesota Press, 2010), in Comparative Literature Studies 50: 701-04.
  • (2012) J. Walliss and K.G.C. Newport, eds., The End All Around Us: Apocalyptic Texts and Popular Culture (London/Oakville, CT: Equinox, 2009), in Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 41: 135-37.


Conferences

Selected Recent Conference Papers

  • (2021) "From the Margins to the Mainstream: The Illiberal 'Right Turn' and the Contemporary 'Apocalyptic Shift'." 2021 David Dan Conference: Innovative Religion and Apocalypticism. Tel Aviv, Israel. 13-15 December. [online]
  • (2021) "Apocalyptic Speculation and Authority in the Early Byzantine World: Dynamics and Strategies" Leadership in Times of Crisis in the Later Roman Empire: The Fifth Century and Beyond. Canberra, Australia. 3-5 December. [online] 
  • (2021) "Apocalypticism in Late-Antique Christianity." Ancient Apocalypticism: History, Method, and Reception. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich, Germany. 23-26 May. [online]
  • (2020) "'Evil' in the Hellenistic-Egyptian Predictive Texts." Conceptions of Evil in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. Enoch Seminar (online). 29 June-2 July
  • (2019) "The Apocalyptic Roots of Contemporary Religious Violence." Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. San Diego, USA. 23-26 November.
  • (2019) "The Common Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition." La réunion annuelle de l'Association pour l'étude de la littérature apocryphe chrétienne." Lyon, France, 1-3 July.
  • (2019) "The Genesis of Apocalyptic Eschatology." Waiting for the End: Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Views on the End of Time. University of Toronto, Canada, 7-8 June.
  • (2018) "The Four Kingdoms of Daniel in the Early Mediaeval Apocalyptic Tradition." The Eras of Empires: Four-Kingdoms Motifs in Ancient Historiographies. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich, Germany, 25-26 July.
  • (2018) "Epistemology and Eschatology, Apocalyptic and Gnostic." The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices: Texts, Traditions, Intersections. Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany, 20-22 July.
  • (2018) "Music in the Apocalyptic Mode." Fourth Annual UCCS Conference on Apocalyptic, Colorado Springs, USA, 19-20 March. [with Colin McAllister]
  • (2017) "Apocalyptic Historiography." The Sense(s) of History: Apocalyptic Literature and Temporalities. Harvard Divinity School, USA, 16-17 November.


Current and Recent Graduate Students

The Department of Religions and Cultures is a great place for graduate study. I welcome MA and PhD students who are interested in (i) any area of modern or contemporary apocalyptic expression, including new religions, the resurgence of global fundamentalism, political apocalyptic and the rise of illiberalism, apocalypticism on the Internet, and environmental apocalypse; (ii) religious themes in pop-culture media (anime, live-action films, manga/BD/GN, music, novels, television, and video games); or (iii) topics or themes in pop-cultural apocalypticism broadly speaking. I am willing to discuss MA topics in ancient, mediaeval, or early modern Jewish or Christian apocalyptic speculation, but with very rare exceptions our faculty component cannot support doctoral students in these areas.

Doctoral

  • Elliot Mason (2023): "Monsters on the Margins: Minority Identification with Monsters and the Monstrous."
  • Cimminnee Holt (2022): "A Cabal of Outsiders: Negotiating the (Virtual) Boundaries of Satanism in the Church of Satan." [Jesper Aagaard Petersen, co-supervisor]

Master's

  • Dustin Barker (2024): TBA
  • Jennifer Gagne (2023): TBA
  • Raphaëlle Bigras Burrogano (2022): "Apocalyptic Identities and the 'Other' in Nazi-Occupied Poland."
  • Sarah Boyer (2022): "Affective Apocalypse: An Exploration of New Religious Movements through Affective Practice."
  • Devan Morrell (2021): "The Ethics behind Montreal's Post-Graffiti Scene: A New Materialist Approach to Classical Allusions in Contemporary Street Art."
  • Alexandra Black (2021): "Yokai and Japanese Folklore through the Miyazaki Lens: An Intertextual Analysis of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away."
  • Zachary Doiron (2020): "Screening the Enemy: Antichrist Films and the Politics of Horror"
  • Gisoo Kim (2019):"End Game: Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse in Video Games."


Teaching

Upcoming Courses

  • RELI 300 Cults and New Religions (Fall 2022)
  • RELI 6002/498 Religion and Popular Culture (Grad Seminar) (Fall 2022)
  • Winter 2023: Sabbatical Leave

Past Graduate Seminars

  • Ancient Apocalypticism
  • Mediaeval Apocalypticism
  • Contemporary Apocalypticism
  • The Book of Daniel and the Revelation of John
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • NT Letter to the Hebrews (with André Gagné)
  • OT Pseudepigrapha and NT Apocrypha
  • Religion and Popular Culture
  • Science Fiction and the Religious Imagination

Past Undergraduate Courses

  • Ancient Apocalyptic Literature
  • Apocalypticism and Popular Culture
  • Cults and New Religions in North America
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Environmentalism and the Bible
  • History of Satan
  • Leaders, Rebels, and Saints: Jesus of Nazareth
  • Origins of Christianity
  • Science Fiction and the Religious Imagination

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