Welcome to my home page at UNCC! 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 Early Christianity, Lost Christianities and their Scriptures, the historical Jesus, and the historical Paul. My area of interest is focused on the world of the first century but extends to the surrounding centuries as well. I seek to better understand the origins of Christianity in its early Jewish and Greco-Roman context by studying the literature and archaeology of the period. I welcome prospective students to join with me as we work to uncover a time and place 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 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 also helps in furthering my knowledge of the past. In addition, I have published articles in such journals as Biblical Archaeology Review and have presented my research at the annual meeting 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. I continue to pursue several other research and literary projects as well which I hope to bring to fruition in the near future.
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:
“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