ACU's Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions approaches emotions studies from the perspective of religion, philosophy, history, health humanities and literature from antiquity to today.

We ask how emotions have been understood and performed, and how they have shaped and continue to affect intellectual and cultural life.

Study with us

Our researchers are expert in intersections between emotions research and analytic philosophy, religious ethics, systematic theology, New Testament studies, early Christianity, late-antique and Byzantine studies, medieval and early modern history and literature, liturgy, and modern history and politics.

We have emerging research strengths in emotions and health humanities. We seek research students interested in how emotions affect questions in bioethics and theology, cultural determinants of health, disability studies, and studies of the life cycle. Projects in these areas explore emotions, wellbeing, and health from diverse perspectives.

View Emotions Research Student Information (PDF, 126KB)

If you are interested in a research degree (PhD or MPhil) in one of these areas, please contact Michael Champion.

Our research team

Our global and multidisciplinary team of scholars are experts in the fields of religion, theology, philosophy, history, politics, and literature.

Meet our team

Public engagement

What Monks Knew About the Emotions of Isolation” Soul Search with Meredith Lake, October 4, 2020 with Dr Dawn LaValle Norman and Dr Jonathan Zecher.

Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now” The Conversation Aug. 27, 2020. Dr Jonathan Zecher.

What Groundhog Day (and My Time in a Monastery) Taught Me About Lockdown” The Conversation, Aug. 6, 2020Dr Dawn LaValle Norman.

Emotional histories: The Dutch in the Indian Ocean, Audio Guide for Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World, Western Australian Museum, Fremantle, 2016-17. Contact: Susan Broomhall.

Zest Festival, 2012-2016 (Winner of the CHASS Australia Prize for Distinctive Work, 2017). Contact: Susan Broomhall.

Recent books

Alda Balthrop-Lewis. Thoreau’s Religion. Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism(Cambridge, 2020).

Michael Barbezat.  Burning Bodies: Communities, Eschatology, and the Punishment of Heresy in the Middle Ages. (Cornell, 2019).

Anne Scott and Michael Barbezat, eds. Fluid Bodies and Bodily Fluids in Premodern Europe: Bodies, Blood, and Tears in Literature, Theology and Art. (ARC Humanities, 2019).

Susan Broomhall, Andrew Lynch, Jane Davidson, eds. A Cultural History of Emotions. (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Andrew Lynch and Susan Broomhall, eds.The Routledge History of Emotions in Europe, 1100-1800(Routledge, 2019).

Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion and Kirk Essary, eds. Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling 400–1800. (Routledge, 2019).

Lexi Eikelboom. Rhythm: A Theological Category(Oxford, 2018).

Sarah Gador-Whyte. Theology and Poetry in Early Byzantium: the Kontakia of Romanos the Melodist(Cambridge, 2017).

Sarah Gador-Whyte and Andrew Mellas, eds. Hymns, Homilies, and Hermeneutics in Byzantium. (Brill, 2021).

Dawn LaValle Norman. The Aesthetics of Hope in Late Greek Imperial Literature. Methodius of Olympus’ Symposium and the Crisis of the Third Century. (Cambridge, 2019).

Ben Moffitt. The Global Rise of Populism: Performance, Political Style and Representation(Stanford, 2016).

David Newheiser. Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith(Cambridge, 2019).

Other programs

Biblical and early Christian studies

A major focus of research in this program is the extent to which different strands of early Christianity aimed to define themselves in relation to Jewish and Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, rhetorical, social, and cultural heritages.

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Medieval and early modern studies

The purpose of this program is to understand the origins of the modern world and to reframe the way it is understood through dynamic reinterpretations of the medieval and early modern past.

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Religion and theology

The IRCI’s Religion and Theology program supports constructive work in the study of religion that incorporates a wide range of methodologies.

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