Celebrating Theology Faculty from the University of Nottingham: Mary Cunningham

Celebrating Theology Faculty from the University of Nottingham: Mary Cunningham May 29, 2013

marycunninghamDear Friends and Family,

Today I want to tell you a bit about my other supervisor, Dr Mary Cunningham. Mary is a lecturer in Church History here at the University of Nottingham, teaching classes on general church history, asceticism, Mary the Mother of God, and more. Her primary foci are Byzantine History (she is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church) and Mary the Mother of God. (It should also be noted that Mary is not related to one of our other faculty members, Dr Conor Cunningham.)

Mary did her undergraduate studies at Harvard University in Comparative Religion, focusing primarily on Byzantine theology and Medieval Greek. She then went on to do her Master’s and PhD at the University of Birmingham in the UK.


  • MARY B. CUNNINGHAM, 2012. ‘The Place of the Jesus Prayer in the Philokalia’. In: BROCK BINGAMAN AND BRADLEY NASSIF, ed., The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality Oxford University Press. 195-202
  • MARY B. CUNNINGHAM, 2012. Mary the Theotokos (‘Birth-giver of God’). In: AUGUSTINE CASIDAY, ed., The Orthodox Christian World Routledge. 189-200
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2011. ‘The use of the Protevangelion of James in eighth-century homilies on the Mother of God’. In: CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRUBAKER, LESLIE, ed., The Cult of the Mother of God in Byzantium: Texts and Images Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. 163-78
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRUBAKER, LESLIE, ed., 2011. The Cult of the Mother of God in Byzantium: Texts and Images Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
  • MARY B. CUNNINGHAM, 2011. ‘Energies, Divine’ and ‘Iconoclasm’. In: I.A. MCFARLAND, D.A.S. FERGUSSON, K. KILBY AND I.R. TORRANCE, ed., The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology Cambridge University Press. 163-64; 231-32
  • MARY B. CUNNINGHAM, 2011. ‘Messages in Context: The Reading of Sermons in Byzantine Churches and Monasteries’. In: A. LYMBEROPOULOU, ed., Images of the Byzantine World: Visions, Messages and Meanings.: Studies Presented to Leslie Brubaker Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. 83-98
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2010. ‘The role of faith in the Byzantine worldview’. In: LIZ JAMES, ed., A Companion to Byzantium Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. 149-60
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2008. The reception of Romanos in Middle Byzantine homiletics and hymnography Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 62, 251-260
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND THEOKRITOFF, ELIZABETH, EDS., 2008. Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology Cambridge University Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2008. ‘Homilies’ and ‘Clergy, monks and laity’. In: E. JEFFREYS, R. CORMACK AND J. HALDON, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies Oxford: Oxford University Press. 527-37, 872-81
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2008. Wider than heaven: eighth-century homilies on the Mother of God St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2007. ‘Divine banquet: the Theotokos as a source of spiritual nourishment’. In: LESLIE BRUBAKER, ed., ‘Eat, Drink, and Be Merry’: Production, Consumption and Celebration of Food and Wine in Byzantium Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. 235-44
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRUBAKER, LESLIE, 2007. ‘Byzantine veneration of the Theotokos: icons, relics, and eighth-century homilies’. In: H. AMIRAV AND B. TER HAAR ROMENY, ed., From Rome to Constantinople: Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron Leuven: P. Peeters. 235-50
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRUBAKER, LESLIE, 2007. ‘The Christian book in medieval Byzantium’. In: T. NOBLE AND J. SMITH, ed., The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol. 3: Early Medieval Christianity Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 554-80
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2006. ‘All-Holy Infant’: Byzantine and Western views on the conception of the Virgin MarySt Vladimir’s Seminary Quarterly. 50(1-2), 127-48
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2004. ‘The letter and the spirit: some problems in transmitting patristic texts to a modern audience’. In: M. MULLETT, ed., Metaphrastes, or Gained in Translation Belfast: Queen’s University Press. 28-38
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2004. ‘The meeting of the old and the new: the typology of Mary the Theotokos in Byzantine homilies and hymns’. In: R.N. SWANSON, ed., Studies in Church History: The Church and Mary 39.Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. 52-62
  • CUNNINGHAM, M.B., 2003. Dramatic device or didactic tool? The function of dialogue in Byzantine preaching. In:JEFFREYS, E., ed., Rhetoric in Byzantium: papers from the thirty-fifth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, Exeter College, University of Oxford, March 2001 Aldershot: Ashgate. 101-113
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 2002. Faith in the Byzantine World Lion Hudson.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1999. ‘Polemic and exegesis: anti-Judaic invective in Byzantine homiletics’ Sobornost incorporating Eastern Churches Review. 46-68
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1999. ‘Shutting the gates of the soul: spiritual treatises on resisting the passions’. In: LIZ JAMES, ed., Desire and Denial in Byzantium Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. 23-32
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1999. ‘The Orthodox Church in Byzantium’. In: ADRIAN HASTINGS, ed., A World History of Christianity London: Cassell. 66-109
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND ALLEN, PAULINE, ed., 1998. Preacher and Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics Leiden: Brill.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1998. ‘Andrew of Crete: a high-style preacher of the eighth century’. In: CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND ALLEN, PAULINE, ed., Preacher and Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine HomileticsLeiden: Brill. 267-93
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1998. ‘The Mother of God in early Byzantine homilies’ Sobornost incorporating Eastern Churches Review. 53-67
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1997. ‘Andrew of Crete’s homily on Lazarus: the preacher and his audience’. In: E.A. LIVINGSTONE, ed., Studia Patristica: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Patristic StudiesLeuven: P. Peeters.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B. AND BRYER, A.A.M., ed., 1996. Mount Athos and Byzantine Monasticism Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1996. ‘The sixth century: a turning-point for Byzantine homiletics?’. In: P. ALLEN AND E. JEFFREYS, ed., The Sixth Century: End or Beginning?: Byzantina Australiensia 10. Brisbane: Centre for Early Christian Studies. 176-86
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1995. ‘Innovation or mimesis in Byzantine sermons?. In: A.R. LITTLEWOOD, ed.,Originality and Innovation in Byzantine Literature, Art and Music Oxford: Oxbow Books. 67-80
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1991. The Life of Michael the Synkellos: Text, Translation and Commentary Belfast: Queen’s University Press.
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1990. ‘Preaching and the community’. In: ROSEMARY MORRIS, ed., Church and People in Byzantium Birmingham: The University of Birmingham. 29-47
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B., 1986. ‘Basil of Seleucia’s homily on Lazarus: a new edition’ Analecta Bollandiana. 161-84
  • CUNNINGHAM, MARY B and FEATHERSTONE, J.M. AND GEORGIOPOULOU, S., 1983. ‘Theodore Metochites’ poem to Nikephoros Xanthopoulos: a new edition and translation’. In: Okeanos: A Tribute to I. Sevcenko: Harvard Ukrainian Studies Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 100-16


Why Study Icons

Why Study Iconoclasm

Why Study Orthodox Christianity

Why Study Mary the Mother of God

Why Study the Orthodox Churches of the East

Why Study Asceticism

The Council of Florence with Tom O’Loughlin and Mary Cunningham

Christmas in Orthodoxy

Icons of Christmas



15th August The Feast Day of Mary

I hope you’ve enjoyed Mary’s videos and will check out some of her published work. Mary is an excellent scholar who seeks to do historical theology, that is, she seeks to study and understand the history of Christianity in its past and contemporary theological contexts and implications. It is an honour to have her as one of my supervisors.

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