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 programme of ACU’s Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Scholars and affiliates in the Institute's MEMS programme have expertise within the period in areas including: 

  • Aesthetics
  • The body
  • Classical receptions
  • Devotion
  • Emotions
  • Literature
  • Temporalities
  • Material and visual cultures
  • Music and sound
  • Philosophy and theology
  • Religious dissent and violence
  • The senses

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. We encourage potential doctoral students working in all areas of medieval and early modern studies to contact potential supervisors directly.

Find out more about studying with us

Our research team

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

Meet our team


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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ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.

Mailing address

Locked Bag 4115 MDC
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065.