Dr Olivia Stewart Lester is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Loyola University Chicago. She received a PhD in Religious Studies (New Testament) from Yale University (2017), an MDiv (2010) and STM (New Testament, 2011) from Yale Divinity School, and a BA from Southeastern University (2007). Before arriving at Loyola, she was a John Fell Postdoctoral Fellow in the Bible and the Humanities Project at Oriel College, University of Oxford, and a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (2017–18).
Her research focuses on prophecy in Hellenistic Judaism, early Christianity, and the larger ancient Mediterranean. Her first book is entitled Prophetic Rivalry, Gender, and Economics: A Study in Revelation and Sibylline Oracles 4–5 (Mohr Siebeck, 2018). The book adds to a growing body of scholarship challenging widespread narratives about prophecy’s decline in the early Roman imperial period and examines constructions of true and false prophecy at the intersections of interpretation, gender, and economics.
She is currently working on a monograph on the Jewish-Christian Sibylline Oracles. Related to this book project, her recent publications and ongoing research examine the relationship between the Sibylline Oracles and apocalyptic historiography, Jewish and Christian iconography, and ancient and modern anti-Judaism.