Aaron Butts Named Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Early Christian Studies

Aaron Michael Butts, past Member (2019–20) and Visitor (2020–21) in the School of Historical Studies, has been named Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Early Christian Studies at his home institution, The Catholic University of America, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. 

A specialist of the Christian Near East, Butts will support the interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Early Christianity in his new position, bringing with him a robust and erudite understanding of the history and languages of the Late Antiquity and the knowledge of diverse Christian traditions inherited from the Early Church.

During his stay at the Institute, Butts researched the languages, literatures, and history of Christianity in the Near East, including especially Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac. He worked on a book project that investigated the so-called conversions of Ethiopia to Christianity. Previously, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2013, before joining the Catholic University of America as an assistant professor in 2014. 

“I am thrilled to work in this new role, together with my colleagues across the University, to build upon the long and venerable tradition of studying Early Christianity at The Catholic University of America,” Butts commented. 

Butts succeeds the late Philip Rousseau, who held the Mellon Chair from 1998 to 2019.