Ashley Purpura received her Ph.D. Fordham University in 2014, and holds a masters degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a bachelors degree in Religion and International Affairs from Florida State University. For the past three years she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue in the Religious Studies Program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and is affiliated with the Jewish Studies, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies programs.
Purpura researches the history of Eastern Christian thought, and investigates how historical religious practices and ways of thinking shape power structures and complex identities for past and present religious communities. Her first book, God, Hierarchy, and Power: Orthodox Theologies of Authority from Byzantium examines the development and maintenance of “hierarchy” as a religious concept. With current projects, she focuses on Orthodox Christian idealizations and interpretations of gender, and the formation of religious identity in ritual contexts.