Dr David Litwa - Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry (Faculty of Theology and Philosophy)

Assistant Supervisor – Only eligible to supervise with a fully accredited Principal or Co-supervisor


M. David Litwa is a scholar of ancient Mediterranean religions with a focus on the New Testament and early Christianity. His research interests include gospel studies, New Testament apocrypha, comparative mythology, gnostic and hermetic theology, angels, daimones, Greco-Roman religions; Philonic Studies; Pauline literature; heresiology; gnostic and Nag Hammadi studies; ancient philosophy; deification (theosis); ancient esoteric movements (in particular, Greek mystery cults); and ruler worship. Litwa has published seven monographs, most recently from Yale University Press (How the Gospels Became History, 2019). A work on the Hermetic fragments was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018. He has taught courses at the University of Virginia (Religion and Classics), the College of William & Mary (Classics), and at Virginia Tech (Religion and Culture). He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bible, Myth, and Myth Theory Group at the Society of Biblical Literature.


Phone :+61392308386 (Melbourne)
Email :david.litwa@acu.edu.au
URIs : Staff Directory Profile

Research Interests

gnosticism ; hermetism ; deification ; classical mythology ; New Testament ;

Methods Expertise

Comparative mythology ; sociology of knowledge ; Critical Theory ;

Research Projects

No research project is currently recorded.

Selected Publications


You are Gods: Deification in the Naassene Writer and Clement of Alexandria, in Harvard Theological Review

Paul the god in Acts 28: A Comparison with Philoctetes, in Journal of Biblical Literature


Refutation of All Heresies: Text, Translation, and Notes

Desiring Divinity: Self-deification in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mythmaking


The Wondrous Exchange: Irenaeus and Eastern Valentinians on the Soteriology of Interchange, in Journal of Early Christian Studies

The Deification of Moses in Philo of Alexandria, in The Studia Philonica Annual

Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God


Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture


We Are Being Transformed: Deification in Paul's Soteriology