Andrea Sterk joined the Department of History in 2015 after teaching for 13 years at the University of Florida, and before that, at the University of Notre Dame and Calvin College. Her research focuses on the history of Christianity in Late Antiquity and Byzantium. Her book Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church. The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity (Harvard, 2004), examines the seeming paradox of men who renounced the world, on the one hand, yet came to wield power and authority as leaders in the church, on the other. Her interests in premodern world Christianity led to her sourcebook, Readings in World Christian History. Earliest Christianity to 1453 (Orbis, 2004); and in keeping with her broader interests in religion in history, she has recently published the co-edited volume of essays, Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity (Cornell, 2014). Sterk is currently working on a study of eastern Christian mission from the age of Constantine to the conversion of the Slavs. The book will focus on Christianization “from below” along the extensive frontiers of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire — in southwest Asia, northeast Africa, and eastern Europe.
The recipient of both undergraduate and graduate teaching awards, Sterk enjoys teaching undergraduate courses on late antiquity, the history of Christianity, the medieval world, and a seminar on conversion. She has also directed many senior honors theses. On the graduate level, she has supervised students working on topics in late antique, early medieval, and early Byzantine history, particularly themes and processes connected with Christianization, both east and west.
Sterk is a core faculty member in Religious Studies and a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Classics and Near Eastern Studies. She is also pleased to be part of a thriving Center for Medieval Studies and a Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World, both of which comprise many faculty and students working on the premodern Mediterranean and Near East. Sterk serves on the editorial board of Brill's Series on the Early Middle Ages, and in 2016 she became a co-editor of the journal Church History. Studies in Christianity and Culture, which is currently housed at the University of Minnesota.