Associate Professor Michael Champion

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

ACU Researcher

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


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


  • 2014 Explaining the Cosmos: Creation and Cultural Interaction in Late-Antique Gaza. (Oxford University Press).

Edited Books

  • (2019)  Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling 400–1800. Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary (eds), (Routledge).
  • (2017) Cultural Perceptions of Violence in the Hellenistic World. Michael Champion and Lara O’Sullivan (eds), (Routledge).
  • (2015) Understanding Emotions in Early Europe. Michael Champion and Andrew Lynch (eds), (Brepols).

Journal Articles

  • (2017) ‘Paideia as Humility and Becoming Godlike in Dorotheos of Gaza’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 25. 3:441–469.
  • (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.
  • (2014) ‘The Siege of Rhodes and the Ethics of War’, Ancient History Bulletin 28.3–4 :99–111.


  • (2020) ‘Philosophy as Transformation in Early Christian Thought’. In Eastern Christianity and Late-Antique Philosophy, Eva Anagnostou-Laotides and Ken Parry (eds), (Brill), 133–149. 

  • (2019) ‘From Affectus to Affect Theory and Back Again’. In Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling 400–1800, Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary (eds), (Routledge) 240–256. 

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

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

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

  • (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) ‘Translating Dorotheus of Gaza: From Gaza to Humanist Europe’. In Byzantine Culture in Translation, Amelia Brown and Bronwen Neil (eds), ( Brill), 177–191. 

  • (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, (Routledge), 1–20.

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

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

  • (2014) ‘“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, Ryan Fowler (ed.), Millenium-Studien: Studien zu Kultur und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends n. Chr. (De Gruyter), 259–282.

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


    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.

Mailing address

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