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Professor Wendy Mayer

BA BA(Hons) PhD
Associate Dean for Research, LTJ Editor


Wendy came to ALC in 2017 to take up the new full-time position of Associate Dean for Research. She is trained as a classicist (in Greek and Latin language and literature) and gained her doctorate in Studies in Religion at University of Queensland in 1996. Since gaining her doctorate she has mostly been working with a team of researchers as they built the international reputation of the Centre for Early Christian Studies at Australian Catholic University. Her career has been research-focused, and fostering and mentoring a research culture that opens up and explores questions of relevance to the contemporary world is her passion. Ask her about why history is relevant and she could talk for hours! Her latest ARC (Australian Research Council) grant (with Prof. Bronwen Neil, Macquarie University; Prof. Pauline Allen, ACU; and A/Prof. Chris de Wet, University of South Africa) is titled: Memories of Utopia: Destroying the Past to Create the Future (300–650 CE).

Special interests

  • Social history of Late Antiquity
  • Early Christian preaching
  • The life and works of John Chrysostom
  • Greek and Roman medicine and its reception in Late Antiquity
  • The development of liturgy in the first nine centuries CE
  • Church architecture and its history and function (especially in Late Antiquity)
  • Religious radicalisation and conflict (past and present)
  • Social-functional morality and neuroscience

Research supervision

Research areas: Early Christianity, Late Antiquity, Homiletics, Liturgy, Sociology/Psychology of Religion, Church History

See also Researcher Curriculum Vitae: Wendy Mayer

Qualifications in detail

  • Bachelor of Arts (University of Adelaide, 1979)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (University of Queensland, 1991), University Medal
  • Doctor of Philosophy (University of Queensland, 1996)
  • FAHA

Papers and publications

Since 2012; for a more complete list of Dr Mayer’s publications see



(with Éric Fournier) ed., Heirs of Roman Persecution: Studies on a Christian and Para-Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity, London-New York: Routledge.

(with Chris L. de Wet) ed., Revisioning John Chrysostom: New Approaches, New Perspectives, Critical Approaches to Early Christianity 1, Leiden: Brill.


(with Chris de Wet) Reconceiving Religious Conflict: New Views from the Formative Centuries of Christianity, Routledge Studies in the Early Christian World, London: Routledge.


(with Geoffrey D. Dunn) ed., Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium: Studies inspired by Pauline Allen, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 132, Leiden: Brill.


(with Ian J. Elmer) ed., Men and Women in the Early Christian Centuries, Early Christian Studies 18, Strathfield: St Pauls Publications.


(with Bronwen Neil) ed., Religious Conflict from Early Christianity to the Rise of Islam, Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte 121, Berlin: De Gruyter.


(with Pauline Allen) The Churches of Syrian Antioch (300–638 CE), Late Antique History and Religion 5, Leuven: Peeters.

Book chapters and journal articles


‘Fundamentalism as a pre-conscious response to a perceived threat’, in Fundamentalism or Tradition? Christianity after Secularism (ed. Aristotle Papanikolaou and George E. Demacopoulos) Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought, New York: Fordham University Press, 241–260.

‘Heirs of Roman persecution: Common threads in discursive strategies across Late Antiquity’, in Heirs of Roman Persecution: Studies on a Christian and Para-Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity (ed. Éric Fournier and Wendy Mayer) London-New York: Routledge, 317–339.

‘The history of Theses of Agreement 6.11’, Lutheran Theological Journal 53, no. 1: 39–50.

‘Severian and John on authority: Exploring the agency of their preaching in the Johannite schism’, in John Chrysostom and Severian of Gabala: Homilists, Exegetes and Theologians (ed. Johan Leemans, Geert Roskam and Josien Segers) Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 282; Bibliothèque de Byzantion 20, Leuven: Peeters, 103–120.

‘Catecheses and Homilies’, Chapter 15 in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation (ed. Paul M. Blowers and Peter W. Martens) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 243–254. Online Publication: June, doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198718390.013.15

‘Preaching hatred? John Chrysostom, neuroscience, and the Jews’, in Revisioning John Chrysostom: New Approaches, New Perspectives (ed. Chris L. de Wet and Wendy Mayer) Critical Approaches to Early Christianity 1, Leiden: Brill, 58–136.

(with Chris L. de Wet) ‘Approaching and Appreciating John Chrysostom in New Ways’, in Revisioning John Chrysostom: New Approaches, New Perspectives (ed. Chris L. De Wet and Wendy Mayer) Critical Approaches to Early Christianity 1, Leiden: Brill, 1–31.


'Medicine and Metaphor in Late Antiquity: How some recent shifts are changing the field', Studies in Late Antiquity 2, no. 4: 440–463. doi:10.1525/sla.2018.2.4.440.

'A Son of Hellenism: Viewing John Chrysostom’s anti-intellectualism through the lens of Antiochene paideia', in Antioch II. The Many Faces of Antioch: Intellectual Exchange and Religious Diversity in Antioch, CE 350-450 (ed. Silke-Petra Bergjan and Susanna Elm) Civitatum Orbis MEditerranei Studia (COMES) 3, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 369–390.

'Loyalty and Betrayal: Villains, Imagination and Memory in the Reception of the Johannite Schism', in Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium (Bronwen Neil and Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides) Byzantina Australiensia 24, Leiden: Brill, 249–264.

‘Preaching and listening in Latin? Start here’, in Preaching in the Patristic Era: Sermons, Preachers, and Audiences in the Latin West (ed. Anthony Dupont, Shari Boodts, Gert Partoens, and Johan Leemans) A New History of the Sermon 6, Leiden: Brill, 11–27.

'Re-theorizing religious conflict: Early Christianity to late antiquity and beyond', in Reconceiving Religious Conflict: New Views from the Formative Centuries of Christianity (ed. Wendy Mayer and Chris L. de Wet), London: Routledge, 3–29.


‘Australia’s moral compass and societal wellbeing’, in Wellbeing, Personal Wholeness and the Social Fabric: An Interdisciplinary Approach (ed. D. Costache, D. Cronshaw and J.R. Harrison, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press), 110–131.

‘A life of their own: preaching, radicalisation, and the early ps-Chrysostomica in Greek and Latin’, in Philologie, herméneutique et histoire des textes entre orient et occident. Mélanges en hommage à Sever J. Voicu (ed. Francesca P. Barone, Caroline Macé, and Pablo Ubierna, Turnhout: Brepols), 977–1004.

(with Pauline Allen) ‘John Chrysostom’, in The Early Christian World (ed. Philip Esler, 2nd revised and expanded ed., London: Routledge), 1054–1071.


’The Changing Shape of Liturgy: From earliest Christianity to the end of Late Antiquity’, in Liturgy’s Imagined Past/s: Methodologies and Materials in the Writing of Liturgical History Today (ed. Teresa Berger and Bryan Spinks, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press), 275–302.

’Madness in the works of John Chrysostom: A snapshot from Late Antiquity’, in The Concept of Madness from Homer to Byzantium: Manifestations and Aspects of Mental Illness and Disorder, Supplementi di Lexis N.S. Nr. V (ed. Helene Perdicoyianni-Paléologou, Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert Editore), 349–373.


’The persistence in Late Antiquity of medico-philosophical psychic therapy’, Journal of Late Antiquity 8, no.2 (Fall): 337–351.

’Shaping the sick soul: reshaping the identity of John Chrysostom’, in Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium (ed. Geoffrey D. Dunn and Wendy Mayer, Leiden: Brill), 140–164.

’John Chrysostom’, in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Patristics (ed. Ken Parry, Oxford: Blackwell), 141–154.

’Medicine in transition: Christian adaptation in the later fourth-century East’, in Shifting Genres in Late Antiquity (ed. Geoffrey Greatrex and Hugh Elton, Farnham: Ashgate), 11–26.

’The ins and outs of the Chrysostom letter-collection: new ways of looking at a limited corpus’, in Collecting Early Christian Letters: From the Apostle Paul to Late Antiquity (ed. Bronwen Neil and Pauline Allen, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 129–153.


’John Chrysostom and women revisited’, in Men and Women in the Early Christian Centuries (ed. Wendy Mayer and Ian J. Elmer, Strathfield: St Pauls Publications), 211–225.

(with Ian Elmer) ‘Reading Men and Women in the Early Christian Centuries’, in Men and Women in the Early Christian Centuries, 1–23.


’Media manipulation as a tool in religious conflict: controlling the narrative surrounding the deposition of John Chrysostom’, in Religious Conflict from Early Christianity to the Rise of Islam (ed. Wendy Mayer and Bronwen Neil, Berlin: De Gruyter), 151–168.

’Religious conflict: definitions, problems and theoretical approaches’, in Religious Conflict from Early Christianity to the Rise of Islam (ed. Wendy Mayer and Bronwen Neil, Berlin: De Gruyter), 1–19.

’John Chrysostom’, in The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (ed. R.S. Bagnall, K. Brodersen, C.B. Champion, A. Erskine and S.R. Huebner, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd), 3607–3608.


’John Chrysostom as crisis manager: the years in Constantinople’, in Ancient Jewish and Christian Texts as Crisis Management Literature: Thematic Studies from the Centre for Early Christian Studies, Library of New Testament Studies 445 (ed. David Sim and Pauline Allen, London-New York: T&T Clark), 129–143.

’John Chrysostom’, in The Orthodox Christian World (ed. Augustine Casiday, London: Routledge), 213–217.

’The topography of Antioch described in the writings of John Chrysostom’, in Les sources de l’histoire du paysage urbain d’Antioche sur l’Oronte. Actes des journées d’études des 20 et 21 septembre 2010 (ed. Catherine Saliou, Vincennes-Saint-Denis: Université Paris-8), 81–100.

Online resources

Latest update: March 2016

Chrysostomica: an Online Bibliography of Scholarship on John Chrysostom and Attributed Writings,

Mayer Wendy