Professor Lewis Ayres 

Biblical and Early Christian Studies Affiliate: Religion and Theology

Areas of expertise: Trinitarian theology; Catholic and historical theology; early Christian cultures; relationship between Scripture, Tradition and theology

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0150-7247

Email: lewis.ayres@acu.edu.au

Lewis Ayres, MA (Hons), Classics (St And), DPhil (Oxon), is an ACU Professorial Fellow, where he leads the Modes of Knowing project. He is also Professor of Catholic and Historical Theology and Head of Department in Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion. He has taught in the UK, US and Ireland. The core of his research has been Trinitarian theology in Augustine and in the Greek writers of the fourth century. On this theme he has published a number of articles and Nicaea and Its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth Century Trinitarian Theology (Oxford University Press, 2004/6). In 2010 he also published Augustine and the Trinity (Cambridge University Press).

His current research concerns the development of early Christian cultures of interpretation between 100 and 250. He is currently working on a book entitled As It Is Written: Ancient Literary Criticism and the Rise of Scripture AD 100-250 (for Princeton University Press). The same project will result in a book on modern Catholic debates about the relationship between the reading of Scripture, Tradition and the nature of theology.

Select publications

  • Ayres, Lewis (2010). Augustine and the Trinity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2004). Nicaea and Its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth Century Theology. Oxford University Press.

Book chapters

  • Ayres, Lewis (2021). Of Scholarship, Piety, and Community: Origen's Purpose(s) in Contra Celsum. In Celsus in His World: Philosophy, Polemic and Religion in the Second Century. Carleton Paget, James & Gathercole, Simon Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2020). Irenaeus and the Rule of Truth: A Reconsideration. In The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual. De Gruyter. 139: 143-163.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2019). Totius Traditionis Mirabile Sacramentum: Toward a Theology of Tradition in the Light of Dei Verbum. In Dogma and Ecumenism: Vatican II and Karl Barth's Ad Limina Apostolorum. Levering, Matthew, McCormack, Bruce L. & White, Thomas Joseph Catholic University of America Press. 54-80.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2017). Continuity and Change in Second-Century Christianity: A Narrative Against the Trend. In Christianity in the Second Century: Themes and Developments. Paget, James Carleton & Lieu, Judith Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 106-121.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2012). Augustine on Redemption. In A Companion to Augustine. Vessey, Mark Wiley-Blackwell. 416-427.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2012). Into the Cloud of Witnesses: Latin Trinitarian Theology Beyond and Before Its Modern "Revivals". In Rethinking Trinitarian theology: disputed questions and contemporary issues in Trinitarian theology. Maspero, Giulio & Woźniak, Robert Bloomsbury (T & T Clark International). 3-25.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2011). Augustine on the Trinity. In The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity. Emery, Gilles & Levering, Matthew Oxford University Press. 123-137.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2010). "The Holy Spirit as the 'Undiminished Giver': Didymus the Blind's De Spiritu Sancto and the Development of Nicene Pneumatology". In The Holy Spirit in the Fathers of the Church: The Proceedings of the Seventh International Patristic Conference. Twomey, Vincent & Rutherford, Janet Dublin: Four Courts Press. 57-72.

Journal articles

  • Ayres, Lewis (2022). Seven theses on dogmatics and patristics in Catholic theology. Modern Theology 38(1): 36-62.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2015). The Memory of Tradition: Postconciliar Renewal and One Recent Thomism. The Thomist 79(4): 511-550.
  • Ayres, L. (2015). Irenaeus vs. the Valentinians: Toward a Rethinking of Patristic Exegetical Origins. Journal of Early Christian Studies 23(2): 153-187.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2012). "Where Does the Trinity Appear?" Augustine’s Apologetics and "Philosophical" Readings of the De Trinitate. Augustinian Studies 43(1/2): 109-126.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2012). "There's Fire in That Rain": On Reading the Letter and Reading Allegorically. Modern Theology 28(4): 616-634.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2011). The Trinity and the Life of the Christian: A Liturgical Catechism. New Blackfriars 92(1037): 3-17.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2010). Augustine on the Spirit as the Soul of the Body, or Fragments of a Trinitarian Ecclesiology. Augustinian Studies 41(1): 165-182.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2009). Into the Poem of the Universe: Exempla, Conversion, and Church in Augustine's Confessiones. Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum 13(2): 263-281.
  • Ayres, Lewis (2008). The Soul and the Reading of Scripture: A Note on Henri De Lubac. Scottish Journal of Theology 61(02): 173-190.

Editorial roles


Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature; Cambridge History of Early Christian Theology; Oxford Handbook of Catholic Theology; Wiley-Blackwell series Challenges in Contemporary Theology.

Editorial boards

Irish Theological Quarterly, Augustinian Studies and Modern Theology

Appointments and affiliations

  • 2012-current, Professor of Catholic & Historical Theology, Durham University
  • 2009-2012, Inaugural Bede Chair in Catholic Theology, Durham University
  • 2014-15, Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Notre Dame
  • Visiting Professorial Fellow, Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Mailing address

C/- 115 Victoria Pde
Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.