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 recent round of appointments established 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 inaugural Director of MEMS, Professor Christopher Ocker, the program is now embarking on a second round of appointments and is seeking scholars whose work will complement and expand the strengths of the first group of appointees. It is envisaged that the program's profile will embrace the following topical areas, including their physical environments and their temporalities: 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.

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The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry's MEMS programme is Australia’s fastest expanding centre for the study of the premodern world. We encourage potential doctoral students working in all areas of medieval and early modern studies to contact potential supervisors directly.

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Our research team

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

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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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Much of the research in the Philosophy program is at the intersection of moral and political philosophy and epistemology and metaphysics. Program members investigate issues in social epistemology: trust, testimony, disagreement, and the epistemic implications of digital and social media.

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Religion and theology

The Religion and Theology program supports constructive work in the study of religion that incorporates a wide range of methodologies. The program includes scholarship in religious studies that draws upon religious thought in order to address issues of widespread concern.

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