Kerwin Holmes, Jr.

PhD Candidate, Religious Studies

Kerwin Holmes, Jr. is a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia in the Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity Program.  His current research is centered upon Syriac-speaking Christianity and the Church of the East.  He is particularly interested in the writings of Mar Babai the Great, whose work The Book of Union served as a doctrinal guide to Christians of the East in order to understand the East's representation of the dual natures of Jesus Christ, the human and the divine, so as to bring that conceptualization into proper conversation with other Christian representations in ancient thought.  Kerwin is also interested in how the Christian and Jewish communities interacted over time, of particular interest is the common Aramaic milieu in which Syriac Christians and Rabbinic (and non-Rabbinic) Jewish communities engaged in Late Antiquity.  His goal is to help bring to light often unsung Christian traditions and interactions in order to foster both appreciation and renaissance in discussions on the Early Church in the East.


  • University of Virginia: PhD in Religious Studies (anticipated completion date: May 2023)
  • University of Chicago: MA in Divinity (2018)
  • Morehouse College: BA in History and Religion Minor (2015)

Research Interests

  • Patristic theology; ancient Christian thought; ancient Jewish thought; historical studies; philology; philosophy; theology and culture; Christology