The modern world has been built on self-conscious rejections of religious Byzantine and medieval pasts, and narratives of progression from the age of Renaissance and Reformation to the glories of the Enlightenment, the triumph of free-market capitalism and liberal democratic secularism. To understand this history, and to reframe it through dynamic reinterpretations of the medieval and early modern past, is the purpose of the Medieval and Early Modern program of ACU's Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry.
The program currently enjoys strengths in late medieval and early modern Italy and the Low Countries, late medieval and early modern Central Europe, early modern France, the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman world, and the history of the papacy, the cultures of time, religious violence, theology and literature, women's spirituality, popular religion, politics, and theology.
Under the leadership of the new Director of MEMS, Professor Megan Cassidy-Welch, the program aims to develop additional strengths in the following topical areas: the body and its senses (including emotions), music and sound, material and visual cultures, cultural exchange, philosophy and theology, law, classical and late antique receptions, and the physical environments and the temporalities that conditioned all these things.
Study with us
The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry's MEMS programme is Australia’s fastest expanding centre for the study of the premodern world.
If you are interested in pursuing the PhD or MPhil in IRCI’s MEMS program, please email Professor Megan Cassidy-Welch.
MEMS seminar series
The Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at IRCI hosts a monthly seminar, ordinarily on the third Thursday of each month. Seminars showcase outstanding work from around Australia and the world on a wide range topics, such as conspiracy theory, political choice-making, imagination in art, disaster, plague, time, and moral invective, from early medieval Ireland through Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment to the present.
Religious Mobilities: Europe and the Medieval and Early Modern World
A collaborative, international, five-year investigation of the chronology and character of movement within the traditions, structures, social groups, identities, and practices that comprised Christianity within Europe, their connections and relationships with varieties of Judaism and Islam in and around Europe, and colonial interactions of Europeans with non-European Christianities and religions.
View the Religious Mobilities: Europe and the Medieval and Early Modern World project page
Our research team
Our global and multidisciplinary team of scholars are experts in the fields of philosophy, religion, and theology.
Meet our team