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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

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

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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