Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith
Lecturer, Biblical Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
PhD, Florida State University, 2008
312 Gilmore Hall
Office Hours: 
Mon/Fri 10:45-11:30am, Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:30am or by appt & by Zoom
Curriculum Vitae: 

Dr. Jordan Smith joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2008 as the lecturer in biblical studies.

His research program focuses on the interaction of Judaism, Christianity, and Greco-Roman philosophy. Particularly, he is interested in the role of the afterlife in apocalyptic and martyr literature as a response to the problem of suffering and failed expectations. He is currently working on an article examining the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas in light of Deuteronomic ideas of family and conquest.

His future research interests concern the role of the afterlife, the reinterpretation of expectations, and identity construction in Judaism and Christianity from 500 BCE to 300 CE as a response to suffering and failure. He has begun work on his first book, which focuses on the redefinition of key concepts like family, conquest, victory, and Promised Land in Jewish and early Christian martyr ideology.

As a lecturer he is focused primarily on teaching and strengthening the undergraduate program. To this end he teaches classes and First-Year seminars on a wide variety of topics, is active in Honors and Student organizations in the department, and speaks at a variety of area churches and community organizations. He is also co-director of the Study Abroad Summer Program doing archaeological work in Israel and recently appeared on the History Channel documentary series Bible Secrets Revealed.

Research Interests: 
Biblical Studies, Martyrdom Narratives, Afterlife
Selected Publications: 

(For complete list, please see Dr. Smith's CV)

  • Fritz Cates, Diana and Jordan Smith,  2010). Vice. Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic).
  • “Testify: Origen, Martyria, and the Christian Life.” Ph.D. diss, Florida State University, 2008.
Courses Taught: 

Dr. Smith teaches courses in Bible, Judaism, Christianity, and the Greco-Roman world, several of which are cross-listed in the Departments of Religious Studies and Classics.

  • RELS:2620 Politics, Sex and the Bible  Course Video
  • RELS:3520  Dying for the Promised Land: Martyrdom
  • RELS:2540  The Walls Between Us/Bible Defines Other
  • RELS:2272  Gods and Superheroes: Religion in Film
  • RELS:1430  The Bible: Frequently Asked Questions
  • RELS:1000  First-Year Seminary: Politics, Sex & The Bible
  • 032:011/RELS:1070  Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • 032:012/RELS:1080 Introduction to the New Testament
  • 032:013/RELS:1113 Gateway to the Bible
  • 032:015/RELS:1015 Religions in Global Context
  • 032:094/RELS:2320 (20E:/CLSA:) The Literary Battle for Jesus: Early Christian Gospels and Identity
  • 032:092/RELS:2225 (20E:092/CLSA:2425) Messianic and Apocalyptic Prophecy in the Bible
  • 032:109/RELS:3340 (20E:104/CLSA:3440) Recovering Eden: The Afterlife in early Judaism and Christianity
  • 032:107/RELS:3320 (20E:107/CLSA:3420) In Search of the Good Life
  • 032:181/RELS:4181 Special Topics in Western Religions: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • 032:181/RELS:4181 Speical Topics in Western Religions: The Conquest of Martyrdom
Awards, Honors and Grants: 

Faculty Advisor, The University of Iowa, Discussions on Religion and Culture

Member and Organizer, The University of Iowa, Theta Alpha Kappa

Co-Director, The University of Iowa, Study Abroad Summer Archaeological Program in Israel