Dr Michael Champion

Director, ACU Node, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
Biblical and Early Christian Studies & Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Areas of Expertise: early Christianity; late-antique and medieval history; ancient philosophy; Classical to Byzantine cultural and intellectual history; history of emotions; history of violence; Classical receptions 

Phone: +61 3 9230 8226

Email: michael.champion@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

BSc., BA(Hons), MA (Melb), BD(Hons), AKC, PhD (Lond)

I specialise in early Christian studies and the philosophy, history, culture, and reception of the ancient Mediterranean world up to Byzantium.

After studying Mathematical Physics, Classics, Late-Antique Studies and Theology in Melbourne and London, I taught Classics and Medieval Studies at the University of Western Australia (2009–2015). I joined ACU’s Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry in 2015. In 2016 I was an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and I now lead ACU’s Node of that Research Centre.

My research investigates interactions between ancient philosophy and early Christian thought, late-antique education and monasticism, ancient ethics, the history of violence, the history of emotions, and classical reception studies. I welcome graduate students in each of these areas.

In work on late-antique Gaza, I study the thought and influence of Dorotheus, a sixth-century monk, including his reception by Jesuit humanists. The larger project aims to advance understanding of late-antique education through an investigation of Dorotheus’ ascetic pedagogy. It will result in the monograph Dorotheus of Gaza and Ascetic Education, forthcoming with Oxford Early Christian Studies.

A project on ethical alternatives to the just war tradition asks how successive classical and Christian cultures conceptualised justice in war, investigates the relationship between concepts of justice and equity, and intersects with a collaborative study of Hellenistic cultural perceptions of violence and genocide in antiquity.

In emotions studies, I am interested in intersections between affect theory, health humanities, and history of emotions.

Academia Profile


Select publications

  • 2020 ‘Philosophy as Transformation in Early Christian Thought’. In Eastern Christianity and Late-Antique Philosophy, edited by Eva Anagnostou-Laotides and Ken Parry, 133–149. (Leiden: Brill).
  • 2019 Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling 400–1800. Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary eds. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2019 ‘From Affectus to Affect Theory and Back Again’. In Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling 400–1800, edited by Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary, 240–256. (London and New York: Routledge).

  • 2019 ‘“A Possession for Eternity”: Thomas De Quincey’s Feeling for War’. In Writing War in Britain and France, 1370–1854: A History of Emotions, edited by Stephanie Downes, Katrina O’Loughlin, and Andrew Lynch, 219–237. 13. Michael Champion and Miranda Stanyon, eds. (London and New York: Routledge).

  • 2019 ‘Tradition and Habituation in Rhetorical and Monastic Education at Gaza’. In Learning Cities in Late Antiquity. The Local Dimension of Education, edited by Jan R. Stenger, 212–229. (London and New York: Routledge).

  • 2017 ‘Paideia as Humility and Becoming Godlike in Dorotheos of Gaza’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 25.3 : 441–469.

  • 2017 ‘“A Pleasure to Gaze on Great Conflicts’: Violence and Epicurean Philosophy’. In Cultural Perceptions of Violence in the Hellenistic World, edited by M.W. Champion and Lara O’Sullivan, 157–173. (London and New York: Routledge).

  • 2017 ‘Reframing Neoplatonism in Zacharias Scholasticus’ Ammonius’. In L’École de Gaza: Espace littéraire et identité culturelle dans l’Antiquité tardive, edited by Eugenio Amato, Aldo Corcella, and Delphine Lauritzen, 99–116. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 249 / Bibliothèque de Byzantion 13. Leuven, Paris, and Bristol, CT: Peeters.

  • 2017 Cultural Perceptions of Violence in the Hellenistic World. Michael Champion and Lara O’Sullivan eds. (London and New York: Routledge).
  • ‘Translating Dorotheus of Gaza: From Gaza to Humanist Europe’. In Byzantine Culture in Translation, edited by Amelia Brown and Bronwen Neil, 177–191. (Leiden and Boston: Brill).

  • 2017  ‘“War is the Father and King of All”: Discourses, Experiences, and Theories of Hellenistic Violence’. In Cultural Perceptions of Violence in the Hellenistic World, edited by M.W. Champion and L. O’Sullivan, 1–20. (London and New York: Routledge).

  • 2016 and Garrod, R., Haskell, Y. and Ruys, J. F., ‘But Were They Talking about Emotions? Affectus, affectio and the History of Emotions’, Rivista Storica Italiana 128 : 521–543. Commissioned essay for a special thematic issue.

  • 2015 Understanding Emotions in Early Europe. Michael Champion and Andrew Lynch, eds. (Turnhout: Brepols)
  • 2015 ‘Representing Emotions in Three Byzantine Orations of Michael Psellos’. In Understanding Emotions in Early Europe, edited by A. Lynch and M.W. Champion, 27–50. (Turnhout: Brepols).

  • 2015 ‘Understanding Emotions: “The Things They Left Behind”’. In Understanding Emotions in Early Europe, Michael Champion and Andrew Lynch edited by idem, ix–xxxiv. (Turnhout: Brepols).

  • ‘“The Academy and the Lyceum are Among Us”: Plato and Platonism in the Writings of Aeneas, Zacharias and Procopius’. In Plato in the Third Sophistic, edited by Ryan Fowler, 259–282. Millenium-Studien: Studien zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n. Chr. (Berlin: De Gruyter).

  • 2014 ‘Grief, Body and Soul in Gregory of Nyssa’. In Conjunctions of Mind, Soul and Body from Plato to the Enlightenment, edited by D. Kambaskovic, 99–118. History of the Philosophy of Mind Series. (Dordrecht: Springer).

  • 2014 Explaining the Cosmos: Creation and Cultural Interaction in Late-Antique Gaza. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • 2014 ‘The Siege of Rhodes and the Ethics of War’, Ancient History Bulletin 28.3–4 : 99–111.

  • Projects

    Modes of Knowing and the Ordering of Knowledge in Early Christianity (ACU Research Fund), 2017–2021.

    ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Associate Investigator (2016) and ACU Node Director.

ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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