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Mary Cunningham

Honorary Associate Professor,

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Biography

I was educated at Harvard University, gaining a B.A. in the Department of the Comparative Study of Religion. Here I concentrated on Eastern and Western Church History, with a special interest in Byzantine Theology and Medieval Greek. This was followed by a M.A. and PhD in Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham, England. Since 1984 I have lectured in various universities including Queen's University Belfast, King's College London and the University of Birmingham. I joined the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham in 2006 but retired from undergraduate teaching in February 2016. I continue to work in an honorary capacity, supervising a few PhD students, teaching a module for the Distance Learning M.A. programme, and contributing to the department's research and impact profile.

Expertise Summary

I have supervised theses in the fields of early Church History, Greek Patristics, and Byzantine and Orthodox Christian theology. However, I no longer accept new PhD students, owing to the fact that I have retired from full-time teaching.

Teaching Summary

I teach one module ('The Virgin Mary') in the M.A. Distance Learning courses in Church History and Systematic and Philosophical Theology.

Research Summary

I am currently carrying out research on the development of doctrine, devotion, and liturgical praise of the Virgin Mary in Byzantium. My work on early Christian and Byzantine preaching also… read more

Recent Publications

  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Interpretation of the New Testament in Byzantine Preaching: Mediating an Encounter with the Word'. In: D. KRUEGER AND R. NELSON, ed., The New Testament in Byzantium Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. 191-203
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Life of the Virgin Mary according to Middle Byzantine Preachers and Hagiographers: Changing Contexts and Perspectives' Apocrypha. 27, 137 - 159
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Bible and Eastern Christianity'. In: C.L. CROUCH, R. DEINES and M. WREFORD, eds., Why Does the Bible Matter?: The Significance of the Bible for Contemporary Life Bible Society. 44-52
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2015. Gateway of Life: Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God St Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Current Research

I am currently carrying out research on the development of doctrine, devotion, and liturgical praise of the Virgin Mary in Byzantium. My work on early Christian and Byzantine preaching also continues, with a focus on preachers' use of the Bible, interaction with audiences, and rhetorical techniques. Other topics of research include early Christian and Byzantine ideas about the fate of the soul after death, the role of saints in Byzantine and modern Orthodox Christian tradition, and liturgical theology.

Future Research

My future research will follow several avenues: 1) I shall continue to study various forms of liturgical and literary praise of Mary, the Mother of God, in Byzantium and in modern Orthodox Christian tradition; 2) I hope to study ideas of the human person (theological anthropology) in Patristic and Byzantine tradition; 3) I will continue working on the encounter between Orthodox and Catholic delegates at the council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-9. For a report on the progress of this project, which began as a text seminar at the University of Birmingham between 2007 and 2008, see the web-site at: www.syropoulos.co.uk

  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Interpretation of the New Testament in Byzantine Preaching: Mediating an Encounter with the Word'. In: D. KRUEGER AND R. NELSON, ed., The New Testament in Byzantium Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. 191-203
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Life of the Virgin Mary according to Middle Byzantine Preachers and Hagiographers: Changing Contexts and Perspectives' Apocrypha. 27, 137 - 159
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2016. 'The Bible and Eastern Christianity'. In: C.L. CROUCH, R. DEINES and M. WREFORD, eds., Why Does the Bible Matter?: The Significance of the Bible for Contemporary Life Bible Society. 44-52
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2015. Gateway of Life: Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God St Vladimir's Seminary Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2015. 'Mary as Intercessor in Constantinople during the Iconoclast Period: The Textual Evidence'. In: P. ALLEN, A. KÜLZER and L.M. PELTOMAA, eds., Presbeia Theotokou. The intercessory Role of Mary across Times and Places in Byzantium (4th - 9th Century) Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 139 - 52
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2015. 'L'interpretazione della revelazione biblica su Maria, la Theotokos, nel periodo bizantino'. In: CONSOLINO, F.E. AND HERRIN, J., ed., Fra Oriente e Occidente: Donne e Bibbia nell' Alto Medioevo (secolo VI - XI): Greci, Ebrei, Arabi Trapani: Il Pozzo di Giacobbe. 69 - 89
  • KONDYLI, F., ANDRIOPOULOU, V., PANOU, E., AND CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., ed., 2014. Sylvester Syropoulos on Politics and Culture in the Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2014. 'The Impact of Ps-Dionysius the Areopagite on Byzantine Theologians of the Eighth Century: The Concept of the Image'. In: J.A. MIHOC and L. ALDEA, eds., A Celebration of Living Theology: A Feschrift in Honour of Andrew Louth London and New York: Bloomsbury. 41 - 58
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2014. 'Sylvester Syropoulos: The Author and His Outlook'. In: F. KONDYLI, V. ANDRIOPOULOU, E. PANOU and M.B. CUNNINGHAM, eds., Sylvester Syropoulos on Politics and Culture Ashgate. 9 - 21
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2012. 'Mary, the Theotokos ("Birth-giver of God"), in Orthodox Christian Tradition. In: CASIDAY, A., ed., Routledge Companion to Orthodox Christian Studies London and New York: Routledge. 189 - 200
  • BRUBAKER, L. and CUNNINGHAM, M.B., eds., 2011. The cult of the Mother of God in Byzantium: texts and images Ashgate.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2011. 'The Use of the Protevangelium of James in Eighth-Century Homilies on the Mother of God'. In: L. BRUBAKER and M.B. CUNNINGHAM, eds., The Cult of the Mother of God in Byzantium: Texts and Images Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 163 - 78
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2011. 'Messages in Context: The Reading of Sermons in Byzantine Churches and Monasteries'. In: LYMBEROPOULOU, A., ed., Byzantium: Visions, Messages and Meanings. Festschrift for Prof Leslie Brubaker on her 60th Birthday Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 83 - 98
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2010. 'Byzantine Views of God and the Universe'. In: JAMES, L., ed., A Companion to Byzantium Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 149 - 60
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2008. Wider than heaven: eighth-century homilies on the Mother of God St Vladimir's Seminary Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B. AND THEOKRITOFF, E., ed., 2008. The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2008. 'The Reception of Romanos in Middle Byzantine Homiletics' Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 62, 251 - 60
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2007. 'Divine banquet: the Theotokos as a source of spiritual nourishment'. In: LESLIE BRUBAKER, ed., 'Eat, Drink, and Be Merry': Production, Consumption and Celebration of Food and Wine in Byzantium Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. 235-44
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRUBAKER, LESLIE, 2007. 'Byzantine veneration of the Theotokos: icons, relics, and eighth-century homilies'. In: H. AMIRAV AND B. TER HAAR ROMENY, ed., From Rome to Constantinople: Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron Leuven: P. Peeters. 235-50
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B. and BRUBAKER, L., 2007. 'The Christian Book in Medieval Byzantium'. In: T. NOBLE and J. SMITH, eds., The Cambridge History of Christianity: Vol. 3: Early Medieval Christianity, c. 600 - c. 1100' Cambridge University Press. 235 - 50
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2006. 'All-Holy Infant': Byzantine and Western views on the conception of the Virgin Mary St Vladimir's Seminary Quarterly. 50(1-2), 127-48
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2004. 'The Meeting of the Old and the New: The Typology of Mary the Theotokos in Byzantine Homilies and Hymns'. In: R.N. SWANSON, ed., The Church and Mary: Studies in Church History 39 Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. 52 - 62
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2003. 'Dramatic Device or Didactic Tool: The Function of Dialogue in Byzantine Preaching'. In: E. JEFFREYS, ed., Rhetoric in Byzantium: SPBS Publications 11 Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 101 - 13
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2002. Faith in the Byzantine World Lion Hudson.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1999. 'Polemic and exegesis: anti-Judaic invective in Byzantine homiletics' Sobornost incorporating Eastern Churches Review. 46-68
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 1999. 'The Orthodox Church in Byzantium'. In: A. HASTINGS, ed., A World History of Christianity London: Cassell. 66 - 109
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND ALLEN, PAULINE, ed., 1998. Preacher and Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics Leiden: Brill.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 1997. 'Andrew of Crete's Homilies on Lazarus and Palm Sunday: The Preacher and His Audience' In: Studia Patristica. 31. 22 - 41
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRYER, A.A.M., ed., 1996. Mount Athos and Byzantine Monasticism Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 1992. The Life of Michael the Synkellos: Text, Translation, and Commentary: Belfast Byzantine Texts and Translations, vol. 1 Belfast: Belfast Byzantine Enterprises.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1990. 'Preaching and the community'. In: ROSEMARY MORRIS, ed., Church and People in Byzantium Birmingham: The University of Birmingham. 29-47
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 1986. 'Basil of Seleucia's Homily on Lazarus: A New Edition (BHG 2225)' Analecta Bollandiana. 104, Fasc. 1-2, 161 - 84

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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