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Bogdan Bucur, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Department of Theology

Fisher Hall 624
Phone: 412.396.1598



Ph.D., Religious Studies, Marquette University, 2007
M.A., Theology, Marquette University, 2002
M.Th., Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest (Romania), 1999

Dr. Bucur works in the area of New Testament and early Christianity, with a special interest in the link between biblical exegesis and doctrinal developments. He views it as important to study how early Christians expressed their religious identity by reworking doctrines, imagery, and practices inherited from the many currents of Second Temple Judaism. In approaching biblical texts, he uses Wirkungsgeschichte (usually rendered "reception history") as a valuable complement to historical-critical exegesis of the Bible.  [See Biblical Reception History at Duquesne].

As a second field of interest, Dr. Bucur does research in the history of Christian thought, focusing on doctrine and spirituality in the early centuries and the Byzantine tradition. His academic interests, bridging the conventional boundaries between New Testament Studies, Patristics, and the history of Christian thought, were shaped significantly by participation in the interdisciplinary Seminar on the Jewish Roots of Christian Mysticism, and the "Theophaneia" group, both led by Dr. Andrei Orlov and Dr. Alexander Golitzin at Marquette University.

At present he is particularly interested in the pneumatological traditions of the New Testament and later Christian writings, and the New Testament roots of pre-Nicene exegesis of the Biblical theophanies.

Personal website: http://bgbucur.com/


Mystagogy: A Monastic Reading of Dionysius Areopagita. By Alexander Golitzin, edited by Bogdan G. Bucur (Minneapolis, Cistercian Publications, 2013).

For details click here or on the book cover image.

This book proposes an interpretation of the Pseudo-Dionysian corpus in light of the liturgical and ascetic tradition that defined the author and his audience. Characterized by both striking originality and remarkable fidelity to the patristic and late neoplatonic traditions, the Dionysian corpus is a coherent and unified structure, whose core and pivot is the treatise known as the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. Given Pseudo-Dionysius' fundamental continuity with earlier Christian theology and spirituality, it is not surprising that the church, and in particular the ascetic community, recognized that this theological synthesis articulated its own fundamental experience and aspirations.


Bucur bookAngelomorphic Pneumatology: Clement of Alexandria and Other Early Christian Witnesses. Vigiliae Christianae Supplements 95. Leiden/ Boston: Brill, 2009.    

For Google Books view click here or on the book cover.     

This book discusses the occurrence of angelic imagery in early Christian discourse about the Holy Spirit. Taking as its entry-point Clement of Alexandria's less explored writings, Excerpta ex TheodotoEclogae propheticae, and Adumbrationes, it shows that Clement's angelomorphic pneumatology occurs in tandem with spirit christology, within a theological framework still characterized by a binitarian orientation. This complex theological articulation, supported by the exegesis of specific biblical passages (Zech 4:10; Isa 11:2-3; Matt 18:10), reworks Jewish and Christian traditions about the seven first-created angels, and constitutes a relatively widespread phenomenon in early Christianity. Evidence to support this claim is presented in the course of separate studies of Revelation, the Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Aphrahat.

REVIEWS OF THE BOOK:  Expository Times (here), Vigiliae christianae (here), Journal of Theological Studies (here), Review of Biblical Literature (here), Journal of Early Christian Studies (here), Biblical and Early Christian Studies (here).


"The Early Christian Reception History of Genesis 18: From Theophany to Trinitarian Symbolism," Journal of Early Christian Studies (forthcoming)

"Justin Martyr's Exegesis of Old Testament Theophanies," Theological Studies (forthcoming).

"Clement of Alexandria's Exegesis of Old Testament Theophanies," Phronema (forthcoming).

"Exegesis and Intertextuality in Anastasius of Sinai's Homily On the Transfiguration," Studia Patristica 68 (2013): 249-260 [pdf]

"'Mysticism' in the Pre-Nicene Era?," in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism (ed. Julia Lamm; Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). [pdf]

"From Jewish Apocalypticism to Orthodox Mysticism," in The Orthodox Christian World (Ed. Augustine Casiday; Routledge, 2012), 466-480. [pdf]

"Scholarly Frameworks for Reading 2 Cor 12:1-10: A Critical Presentation," in Naboth's Vineyard: Studia theologica recentiora (Ed. I. Tudorie, O. Gordon, A. Mihaila; Cluj, Romania: Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2012), 175-190;

"Vision, Exegesis, and Theology in the Reception History of Hab 3:2 (LXX), in "What Does the Scripture Say?": Studies in the Function of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity. Volume 2: The Letters and Liturgical Traditions (SSEJC 18; ed. Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias; London and New York: T & T Clark International, 2011), 134-146;

"'Early Christian Binitarianism': From Religious Phenomenon to Polemical Insult to Scholarly Concept," Modern Theology 27 (2011): 102-120; [pdf]

[with Elijah Mueller] "Gregory Nazianzen's Exegesis of Hab 3:2 (LXX) and Its Reception: A Lesson from Byzantine Scripture Exegesis," Pro Ecclesia 20 (2011): 86-103 [pdf]

"Sinai, Zion, and Tabor: An Entry into the Christian Bible," Journal of Theological Interpretation 4 (2010): 33-52; [pdf]

"Matt 17:1-9 as a Vision of a Vision: A Neglected Strand in the Patristic Reception of the Transfiguration," Neotestamentica 44 (2010): 15-30; [pdf]

"The Mountain of the Lord: Sinai, Zion, and Eden in Byzantine Hymnographic Exegesis," in Symbola caelestis: Le symbolisme liturgique et paraliturgique dans le monde chrétien. Eds. B. Lourié & A. Orlov (Piscataway, NJ; Gorgias, 2009), 129-172; [pdf]

"Exegesis of Isaiah 11:2 in Aphrahat the Persian Sage," in Early Christian Literature and Intertextuality (Ed. Craig Evans; London / New York: T & T Clark International), 2009; [pdf]

"The Divine Face and the Angels of the Face: Jewish Apocalyptic Themes in Early Christology and Pneumatology," in Apocalyptic Thought in Early Christianity (ed. Robert Daly; Baker Academic, 2009), 143-153. [pdf]

"The Place of the Hypotyposeis in the Clementine Corpus: An Apology for 'The Other Clement of Alexandria'," Journal of Early Christian Studies 17 (2009): 313-335 [pdf]

"Early Christian Angelomorphic Pneumatology: Aphrahat the Persian Sage," Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 11 (2008); [pdf]

"Dionysius East and West: Unities, Differentiations, and the Exegesis of Biblical Theophanies," Dionysius 26 (2008): 115-38. [pdf]

"The Angelic Spirit in Early Christianity: Justin, the Martyr and Philosopher," Journal of Religion 88 (2008):190-208. [pdf]

"Theophanies and Vision of God in Augustine's De Trinitate: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective," Saint Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 52 (2008):67-93. [pdf]

""Foreordained from All Eternity: The Mystery of the Incarnation According to Some Early Christian and Byzantine Writers," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 62 (2008): 199-215" [pdf]

"Hierarchy, Prophecy, and the Angelomorphic Spirit: A Contribution to the Study of the Book of Revelation's Wirkungsgeschichte," Journal of Biblical Literature 127 (2008):173-194. [pdf]

"Revisiting Christian Oeyen: ‘The Other Clement' on Father, Son, and the Angelomorphic Spirit." Vigiliae christianae 61 (2007):381-413. [pdf]

"Exegesis of Biblical Theophanies in Byzantine Hymnography: Rewritten Bible?," Theological Studies 68 (2007): 92-112. [pdf]

"Matt. 18:10 In Early Christology and Pneumatology: A Contribution to the Study of Matthean Wirkungsgeschichte." Novum Testamentum 49 (2007) 209-231.[pdf]

"The Feet that Eve Heard in Paradise and Was Afraid: Observations on the Christology of Byzantine Festal Hymns," Philosophy and Theology (2007): 3-26. [pdf]

"The Son of God and the Angelomorphic Holy Spirit: A Rereading of the Shepherd's Christology," Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 98 (2007):121-143. [pdf]

"The Theological Reception of Dionysian Apophatism in the Christian East and West: Thomas Aquinas and Gregory Palamas," The Downside Review 125 (2007): 131-146.[pdf]

"The Place of Splendor and Light: Observations on the Paraphrasing of Enn 4.8.1 in the Theology of Aristotle" [co-author, with Cristina Bucur], Le Muséon 119 (2006): 271-292. [pdf]

"Observations on the Ascetic Doctrine of the Shepherd of Hermas," Studia Monastica 48 (2006): 7-23. [pdf]

"The Other Clement: Cosmic Hierarchy and Interiorized Apocalypticism," Vigiliae christianae 60 (2006): 251-268. [pdf]


Undergraduate: Introduction to the Bible; Jesus in the Visual Arts; The New Testament

MA: Introduction to the Old Testament

Ph.D. Seminars:
Pentateuch in Reception-Historical Perspective;
O.T. Theophanies and their Reception History;
Divine Worship and the Presence of the Divine in Ancient Israel.