Shannon Grimes

Shannon Grimes

Professor of Religion, Department of History and Political Science

216 Lux

(919) 760-8749


Shannon Grimes joined the Meredith faculty in 2006. She loves teaching religion because she gets to ponder deep questions about meaning, values, and purpose with her students as they explore concepts of the sacred that manifest across different cultures and time periods. She teaches courses in the areas of early Christianity, world religions, philosophy, and environmental ethics, and she has taken students abroad to study in Iceland and Italy.

Dr. Grimes’s research interests center on religion and philosophy in the Greco-Roman period and late antiquity. She is especially interested in ancient views of nature and the cosmos. Her first book, Becoming Gold: Zosimos of Panopolis and the Alchemical Arts in Roman Egypt, was published by Rubedo Press in December 2018.

Academic Credentials

2006       Ph.D., Religion; Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
2003       M.Phil., Religion; Syracuse University
1998       M.A., Philosophy and Religion; California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA
1993       B.A., English; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA


  • 2022 – Faculty Distinguished Lecture, Meredith College. “Becoming Gold: Alchemy, Art, and Religion in Roman Egypt.”
  • 2019 – Recipient of the Pauline Davis Perry Award for research and publication.
  • 2009 – Recipient of the Pauline Davis Perry Award for excellence in teaching.


  • “Defining Greco-Egyptian Alchemy,” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 7, 1 (2022).

  • “Zosimos  & Theosebeia: An Erotics of Alchemical Pedagogy,” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 7, 1 (2022).

  • “Divine Images: Zosimos of Panopolis’s Spiritual Approach to Alchemy,” La Rosa di Paracelso 2 (2019): 69-81.
  • “Secrets of the God Makers: Re-thinking the Origins of Greco-Egyptian Alchemy,” Syllecta Classica 29 (2018).
  • Becoming Gold: Zosimos of Panopolis and the Alchemical Arts in Roman Egypt, Panopolis Series Vol. 1. Rubedo Press, 2018.
  • “Under a Star-Spangled Banner: Politics and Astral Religion in the Roman Empire,” in Heavenly Discourses, Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, vol. 7, ed. N. Campion, Sophia Centre Press, 2016.
  • “How to Fall in Love with a Glacier: Teaching Environmental Humanities in Iceland,” Religious Studies News, American Academy of Religion, May 2015.
  •  “Natural Methods: Examining the Biases of Ancient Alchemists and Those Who Study Them,” in Esotericism, Religion, and Nature, North American Academic Press/Michigan State University Press, 2010.

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(919) 760-8898
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