Welcome to my UNCC home page! I am an adjunct lecturer with the Department of Religious Studies teaching in the area of Early Christianity. My courses have included New Testament and Christian Origins, Early Christianity, Jesus, Paul, Lost Christianities of the Early Church, and others. You can choose from the page menu options to the right to read summaries of the courses I teach.
My area of interest is obviously Christian origins, from the first-century lives of Jesus and Paul, to the doctrinal decisions at the Council of Nicea, to the Eastern and Western churches of the Middle Ages. I take no stand in the classroom on issues of contemporary faith but seek to better understand historically the origins of Christianity. Valid reconstructions of this phenomenon can only result, however, from an objective assessment of our literary and archaeological evidence. I welcome prospective students to join with me as we work to uncover times and places long buried beneath dirt and dogma.
When I am not in the classroom, I am busy researching Christian origins in part by participating in and studying the archaeology of the Holy Land. My recent book, The Upper Room and Tomb of David: The History, Art and Archaeology of the Cenacle on Mount Zion, is one result of those investigations. It traces the origin and history of a major religious site deemed sacred by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Traveling to the region and exploring its many historical sites as well as participating in UNCC’s archaeological project on Mount Zion provides firsthand access to the past. The results of my research have also appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review and been presented at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. Currently, I am working with UNCC archaeologist Dr. Shimon Gibson to bring to publication the results of additional archaeological work on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
By way of academic credentials, I hold a B.S. in Business Administration, an MBA, and an M.A. in Religious Studies.
Reviews for The Upper Room and Tomb of David:
“While much has been written about Mount Zion…I was not aware of any single book that would make it easier for me to guide my students there that would give an overview of history and archaeology. That is, until I came upon David Christian Clausen’s The Upper Room and Tomb of David…Probably no one today knows more about the history of the Upper Room and Tomb of David than Clausen…I will never visit these two sites or Mount Zion again without this work in hand…” Joshua Schwartz, Bar-Ilan University
“Judicious use of archaeological discoveries and insightful witnesses, beginning with the Bordeaux Pilgrim in 333, through the Muslim conquest to the crusader period, often supported by images and illustrations, enhance this first full length study of the Cenacle…With impressive reflections, Clausen concludes, inter alia, that the tomb of David was in the Lower City but Christians, assuming Jesus and James were Davidids, located David’s tomb in the more impressive New Zion… Since the identification of the Cenacle as the remains of an early synagogue prompts my focus on Clausen’s chart of early synagogues that is extremely relevant for those devoted to Jesus Research… Clausen’s superbly helpful chart should also now include the discovery by Motti Aviam of a Roman period synagogue on Tel Rekhesh a site east of and near to Nazareth… The reflections in the book prompt thought and lay the basis for more excavations and study. I find Clausen’s book well written and full of valuable information.” – James H. Charlesworth, Princeton
“This is an absorbing volume of 268 pages of detailed information, diagrams, and drawings regarding this historical site on Mount Zion…For the serious student of church history, this volume presents information that is critical to the understanding of this period of religious activity.” – “Book Reviews,” M. G. Paregian, Publisher