Faculty Directory

Lillian I. Larsen

Department of Religious Studies

Consortial Faculty

Professor Larsen's work remains deeply rooted in pedagogical approaches formed in a broad spectrum of educational environments. Improbably, her interest in re-reading Christian sources (and more particularly, the Apophthegmata Patrum - the collected sayings and stories of early Egyptian monks) began while teaching secondary mathematics in an urban classroom. Since that point, Larsen's  investments have been iteratively defined (and refined) through exploring the role religion has played in shaping ancient, and derivatively, contemporary learning. From early in her tenure at Redlands, she has also integrated spatial approaches into both research and teaching. By virtue of turning emergent GIS tools to non-traditional ends, this award-winning work has particularly focused on finding new ways to visualize religious, cultural, and pedagogical exchange. However, whether 'excavating the excavations' of Greek and Coptic school artifacts, or examining emergent Christian teaching in light of ancient (and contemporary) cartography, Larsen's deft use of diverse lenses, invites understanding religion as an avenue for cultural and civic formation - within and across geographical divides.

For Dr. Larsen's faculty page on the SFTS website, click here.

Degrees and Certifications

Ph.D. Columbia University, Religion – New York, NY

M.Phil. Columbia University, Religion – New York, NY

M.A. Catholic Theological Union – Chicago, IL

M.Div. Catholic Theological Union – Chicago, IL

M.Ed. University of Massachusetts – Amherst, MA

B.S. Wheaton College, Mathematics – Wheaton, IL

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Ancient / Monastic Education
  • Ancient Rhetoric
  • Apophthegmata Patrum
  • Bible Geography
  • Christian Monasticism
  • Gender and Education
  • Graeco-Roman / Monastic Meals
  • History of Education
  • Monastic Wisdom
  • Religious Cartography and GIS
  • Religion and Education
  • Spatial Studies
Selected Publications


Larsen, Lillian I. and Samuel Rubenson, eds. Monastic Education in Late Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.


Larsen, Lillian I. "Pedagogical Parallels: Re-reading the Apophthegmata Patrum." Ph.D. Dissertation: Columbia University, 2006. 

Larsen, Lillian I. "'The Letter Kills but the Spirit Gives Life': Re-thinking Christian Rescue and the Jewish Holocaust." MA Thesis: Catholic Theological Union, 1998