Tilley Graduates in September

Nathan Tilley photo

We celebrate with our alumnus Dr. Nathan Tilley, who graduated in September with the PhD in Religious Studies. His dissertation “Human Perfection in the Thought of Bābai the Great: Tradition and Development in East Syrian Theology” was directed by Dr. J. Warren Smith, and Professors Christopher Beeley, Robin Darling Young (Catholic University of America), and Luke Bretherton served on his dissertation committee in July.

Tilley earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame prior to starting his PhD at Duke.  At Duke, he received the James B. Duke Fellowship, which offers a $5000 supplement for four years. Other awards and honors received include the Arcapita Summer Research Fellowship, a Dissertation Research Travel Award: International, Graduate Affiliate for the Manuscript Migration Lab, a One-Year Research Grant with the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), and Junior Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Tilley’s research and teaching experience are extensive. He has published one book chapter and given eleven conference paper presentations (including one international conference) during his time at Duke and organized three conferences or symposia. He has served as an instructor of record at Meredith College, Duke Divinity School, and GMHEM Course of Study and as preceptor at Duke Divinity School in addition to his Teaching Assistant experience at University of Notre Dame prior to coming here. He has also been a member of the Manuscript Migration Lab.

His tenure at Duke includes quite a bit of service to the University and profession as well. Service roles have included Instructor for RISE Academic Workshop and Writing Tutor at Duke Divinity, Graduate Coordinator for the Religion, Culture and Theory Reading Group (Duke/UNC), Graduate Student Representative for the Executive Committee of the Graduate Program in Religion, Graduate Coordinator for the Elizabeth A. Clark Center for Late Ancient Studies, and Graduate Student Representative for The North American Patristics Society. He is currently serving on the Annotations Committee for the Gorgias Press Syriac-English Antioch Bible.

In addition to all these achievements, Dr. Tilley has distinguished himself as a scholar in the area of languages. He is proficient in Classical and Byzantine Greek, Latin, Syriac, Sahidic Coptic, Classical Armenian, Biblical Hebrew, and Classical Arabic, as well as in six modern languages.