Historian Glen Thompson will present a lecture on “Where St. Paul Really Traveled: New Archaeological Light on Paul’s Missionary Journeys” at the University of Evansville on Monday, November 13. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Eykamp Hall, Room 251, Ridgway University Center on UE’s campus. The event is being co-sponsored by UE’s philosophy and religion and archaeology and art history departments
The Acts of the Apostles describes three mission trips by St. Paul. All three took him overland over Roman roads through ancient Anatolia or Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Starting in 2010, Thompson began a long-term project of finding and cataloging the thousands of ancient Roman road fragments, bridges, and milestones that still exist in Turkey and using them to construct a more accurate map of the ancient Roman road system. Combining that data with a close reading of Paul’s itineraries in Acts and employing the latest GPS and satellite imaging technology, the Anatolian Road Project has made three trips to Turkey seeking to resolve long-standing difficulties and gain more precise delineation of ancient sites and topography related to Paul’s travels.
In this illustrated talk, Thompson will share these discoveries of road fragments, bridges, and inscriptions from the period made on those trips – and provide the project’s detailed reconstruction of Paul’s routes.
Thompson earned his MA and PhD in Greco-Roman History from Columbia University. His research interests and publications include Pauline Christianity, Tang era Christianity in China, and the early papacy.
In 2015 the first volume of his critical edition and translation of the earliest surviving papal correspondence appeared: The Correspondence of Pope Julius I. Thompson, an ordained Lutheran clergyman, has done pastoral work in Zambia and New York City, and has taught at Michigan Lutheran Seminary and Wisconsin Lutheran College. He currently serves as academic dean and professor of New Testament and historical theology at Asia Lutheran Seminary in Hong Kong.