Master Stephen Davis is Professor of Religious Studies, specializing in the history of ancient and medieval Christianity, with a special focus on the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. Prior to coming to Yale in 2002, he lived in Egypt for four years, where he was professor and academic dean at an Arabic-language theological college in Cairo. His areas of teaching and research at Yale include the study of women and gender, pilgrimage and the cult of the saints, the history of biblical interpretation and canon formation, Egyptian Christianity, Arabic Christianity and its relation to Islam, early Christian art and material culture, and the application of anthropological, sociological, and literary methods in the study of historical texts.
Since 2006, he has served as executive director of the Yale Monastic Archaelogy Project (YMAP), conducting field work and training graduate students at two sites in Egypt: the White Monastery in the south and the Monastery of John the Little in the north. In 2013, he initiated a related project to catalogue the major collection of Coptic and Arabic manuscripts at the Monastery of the Syrians in Wadi al-Natrun, Egypt. His other upcoming research projects include a collaborative monograph on the YMAP excavations of a monastic residence at John the Little (entitled Dwelling in the Desert), an article on monastic archaeology for the Oxford Handbook on Christian Monasticism, and an invited volume on Monasticism in the Oxford Very Short Introduction series.
Master Davis lives in Pierson with his wife, Jennifer Smith Davis, Associate Master, and their children: Evanleigh, 19, Harrison, 17, and Rowyn, 15. Their dogs Cleo and Boots also reside in the Pierson Master's House.