Dr Dawn LaValle Norman

Biblical and Early Christian Studies


AB (Chicago) (Classics and Fundamentals), MA (Notre Dame) (Early Christian Studies), PhD (Princeton) (Classics and Hellenic Studies).

I came to ACU in 2017 after a Junior Research Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford. My research centres on the Greek literature of the Roman Empire during the transitional period from the first to the fourth centuries AD, looking especially at the conversation between Christian and non-Christian literary texts during this period.

I have two current research projects. The first is an investigation into the use of theological metaphors based on ancient scientific understandings of the physiology of birth (tentatively called “The Physiology of the Spiritual Body: Blood, Milk and Semen in Early Christian Literature”). The second focuses on the history the philosophical dialogue, and especially the ways that it was transformed under Christianity, such as the inclusion of new characters such as female interlocutors and judges for the debate. Both projects contribute to the Institute’s Modes of Knowing in Early Christianity project.

Key publications

Books and Edited Volumes

Nostalgia and Hope: Methodius of Olympus and the Creation of a Christian Literary Aesthetic in the 3rd Century (in preparation, CUP 2018).

Co-Editor, Hypatia of Alexandria: Her Context and Legacy
(in preparation, Mohr Siebeck 2018).


“Divine Breastfeeding: Milk, Blood and Pneuma in Clement of Alexandria’s Paedagogus”. Journal of Late Antiquity 8.2, Fall 2015, 322-336.

“Feasting at the End: The Eschatological Symposia of Methodius of Olympus and Julian the Apostate” (Studia Patristica, Vol. XCII, forthcoming 2017).


“Coming Late to the Table: Methodius in the Context of Sympotic Literary Development” in Methodius von Olympus: Forschungsstand und –perspecktiven ed. K. Bracht (forthcoming, de Gruyter, December 2017).


ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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