Photo of Karla F L Pollmann

Professor Karla F L Pollmann


  • 17 Woodland Road

    BS8 1TE Bristol

  • 17 Woodland Road

    BS8 1TE Bristol

  • BS8 1TB

1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests


I joined the University of Bristol in September 2018 to become the Dean of Arts.

I am a member of both the Department of Classics and Ancient History and the Department of Religion and Theology which reflects my interdisciplinary research and teaching activities. I am thrilled to be here as Bristol offers exciting opportunities in innovative interdisciplinary research and teaching.

The Faculty of Arts hosts the Centre of Innovation and Enterprise, and collaborates with various Bristol research institutes, in particular the Brigstow Institute, the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, and the Cabot Institute for the environment.

I greatly enjoy working with creative and critically thinking PhD students interested in the fields of Classical literature and culture, Theology and Religious Studies (especially Early Christianity, and the interaction of Classical and early Christian thought), the history of exegesis and hermeneutics, as well as reception aspects of the ancient world through the ages (in particular of Augustine of Hippo), including media beyond the book, and warmly invite applications on a wide variety of topics in these areas, including Reception Studies.

Academic career

I studied Greek, Latin, Theology and Education at the Universities of Tübingen, Munich, Cambridge (UK), and Bochum, where I also did my PhD on early Christian poetry (1990). I have taught at universities in Europe, the US, Canada, and South Africa, and have held academic positions at the universities of Bielefeld, Konstanz, St Andrews (Scotland), Kent (Canterbury) and Reading.

I am regularly invited to deliver keynote speeches internationally, and have been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Vienna, Boulder (Colorado, US), British Columbia (Green College, Vancouver), and Tübingen. I was a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, and of the Netherlands institute for Advanced Study (once as an individual member and once as leader of a theme group), and have received research funding from the Thyssen Foundation, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the British Academy, the St Andrews Russell Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, and the European Research Council. I am interested in working between the disciplines of Classics and Theology and also beyond that, and have led interdisciplinary research groups.

I am keen to explore innovative ways of interdisciplinary teaching on the graduate level, and for this purpose founded and directed (2014-16) at Kent the Centre for Early Christian Studies and Its Reception. I have served as panel member of various research councils, advise regularly on major research enterprises internationally, and am co-editor of various academic monograph series and journals.

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Research Output

  • 47 Chapter in a book
  • 20 Authored book
  • 16 Article (Academic Journal)

A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: Unfolding the Capacity of 2Cor 4:7 in the Early Church

Pollmann, K., 2018, Thesaurus in Vasis Fictibilus-Schatz in Zerbrechlichen Gefassen (2 Kor 4,7). Germany: Herder Verlag GmbH, Vol. 22. p. 323-345 23 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Porphyry, Metaphor/Allegory, and the Christians

Pollmann, K., 13 Apr 2017, Die Christen als Bedrohung?: Text, Kontext und Wirkung von Porphyrios' Contra Christianos. Mannlein-Robert, I. (ed.). Stuttgart. Germany: Franz Steiner Verlag, p. 85-110 26 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Open Access
  • 41 Downloads (Pure)

    The Baptized Muse. Early Christian poetry as cultural authority

    Pollmann, K., 9 Feb 2017, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book