Dr. Rachel K. Teubner

Research Fellow, Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Rachel K. Teubner

Areas of expertise: medieval and renaissance literature; christian theology

Email: rachel.teubner@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4985-0535

Rachel Teubner finished her PhD in 2018 at the University of Virginia, where she was Tibor Wlassics Dante Research fellow (2016, 2018). Her first monograph, Dante and the Practice of Humility: A Theological Commentary on the Divine Comedy (2023), explores the Commedia's conception of humility as a core concern of the poem, placing it in conversation both with medieval source texts and with contemporary interventions in feminist theology. In the course of the commentary, the poem and its composition are analysed as a literary practice of self-examination, in which the authorial ego is confessed and subjected to the humble exercises of penitential and poetic discipline-often through the agency of female figures who, by force of personality and presence, resist gendered tropes dominant in medieval literature

Her research has been focused on Christian thought and literary production in the medieval and early modern period, theological elements of literary genre, and intertextual relationships among literary, Scriptural and theological texts. Past and current projects explore representations of women in biblical literature and Christian letters, the reception of biblical texts by women authors, and the status of the body and bodily practices in medieval theology.

Rachel's current research explores the relationship between genre, gender, and theology in the writings of three early modern laywomen during the long Reformation, linked by their relatively elevated social position and by the decision to write lyric poetry: Vittoria Colonna (c. 1492-1547), Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and Mary Sidney (1561-1621). Tentatively titled Evangelizing Genre: Literature, Gender and Theology in Vittoria Colonna, Marguerite of Navarre and Mary Sidney, this project uses literary reading methods to analyse these women's lyric writings as distinctively gendered theological responses to their cultural and devotional contexts.

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Select publications


  • Dante and the Practice of Humility: A Theological Commentary on the Divine Comedy (Cambridge University Press, 2023)


  • "Marguerite of Navarre: Women, biblical reading, and community practice in sixteenth-century France," Reformation in Northern and Central Europe, edited by Charlotte Methuen, Gury Schneider-Ludorff, Lothar Vogel, in The Bible and Women: An Encyclopaedia of Exegesis and Cultural History, vol 7.1 (Leiden: Brill/SBL, 2023). Available in German translation: "Margarete von Navarra: Frauen, Bibellektüre und gemeinschaftliche Praxis im Frankreich des 16. Jahrhunderts," Bibel und Frauen: Band 7.1 "Reformatorische Bewegungen im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert," 83-98.
  • "Dante," in T&T Clark Handbook of Suffering and the Problem of Evil, edited by Matthias Grebe and Johannes Grössl (T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2023).
  • "From the Psalmic to the Lyric: Transformations of Genre in Augustine's Confessiones 9," in
  • Studia Patristica vol. 118 (2021), 157-164.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate in Medieval Studies, Harvard University Committee on Medieval Studies (2023-2024)

Public engagement activities

  • Co-convenor and respondent, "Dante the Theologian," online series of three lectures by Denys Turner, co-hosted by Harvard University and Australian Catholic University (March 2022)
  • "The Emotions of Isolation" for the Australian Centre for the History of Emotions
  • "100 Days of Dante" [Inf. 14, Purg. 3] for Baylor University Honors College

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