Carolyn Muessig

Dr Carolyn Muessig

Pronouns: She/her

Contact information



PhD, Université de Montréal, Sciences médiévales , 1994

MSL, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto , 1991

MA, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 1986

BA, SUNY Buffalo, History, 1985

AA, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Humanities, 1980


For 25 years I taught in the Department of Religion and Theology, University of Bristol, UK where I was Head of Department from 2007-2010 and then again from 2016-2019. I served as Director of the University of Bristol's Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (2011-2014) and as co-director of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol (2013-2018). For seventeen years I was the co-editor [with Veronica O'Mara] of the journal Medieval Sermon Studies. Since 2001 I have been series co-editor [with George Ferzoco] of Medieval Religion and Culture, Routledge ( From 2011-2017 I was the Medieval and Reformation (700-1600) Section Editor for the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany ( In 2018 I was co-curator of the first public exhibition to be held in Downside Abbey church, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, UK: Voices from the Cloister: Medieval Treasures at Downside Abbey ( Since July 2020 I hold the Chair of Christian Thought, Classics and Religion, University of Calgary. During the academic year 2022-2023 I will be the Naomi Lacey Resident Fellow, Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of Calgary. My project is entitled: Breaking the Glass Pulpit: Women Preachers in an Age of Silence.


Areas of Research

Medieval religious culture, Female spirituality , Preaching and sermons , Devotion and liturgy, Miracles, Monastic and mendicant education , Heresy and reform , Sanctity


Course number Course title Semester
RELS 387 LEC 01 01 Christian Monks Mystics Rfrmrs 2021
RELS 601 LEC 01 01 Studies in Western Religions 2021


  • “Préface.” In Lecture du Livre de St Matthieu par St Thomas d'Aquin. Translated from Latin into French by Jacques Ménard, Dominique Pillet, Marie-Hélène Deloffre (La Caverne du Pèlerin, 2020), pp. 8–18.. (2021)
  • “The New World of Dominican Observant Preaching: The Sermons of Tommasina Fieschi (c. 1448–1534).” In Timothy Johnson, ed. Preaching of New Worlds: Sermons as Mirrors of Realms Near and Far (Routledge, London, 2018), pp. 120–134.. (2021)
  • “‘Can’t take my eyes off of you’: mutual gazing between the divine and humanity in late medieval preaching.” In Herbert Kessler and Richard Newhauser, eds. Science, Ethics, and the Transformations of Art. (Toronto: PIMS 2018), pp. 17–33.. (2021)
  • “Medieval reportationes: Hearing and listening to sermons.” In Gabriel Aubert, Amy Heneveld, and Cinthia Véronique Meli, eds, L’éloquence de la chaire entre écriture et oralité (XIIIe–XVIIIe siècles). Actes du colloque international de Genève, 11–12 septe. (2021)
  • “Medieval Preaching.” In A Handbook for Catholic Preaching, ed. E. Foley (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2016), pp. 62–72.. (2021)
  • “Pedagogical Ideals of Late Medieval Dominican and Franciscan Observant Nuns.” In Peter Gemeinhardt and Tobias Georges, eds. Theologie und im Mittelalter. Archa Verbi: Yearbook for the Study of Medieval Theology 13 (Munster: Aschendorff, 2015), pp. 129–14. (2021)
  • “Bernardino da Siena and Observant Preaching as a Vehicle for Religious Transformation.” In James Mixson and Bert Roest, eds. Observant Reform in the Later Middle Ages and Beyond, Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, 59 (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. (2021)
  • “Roberto Caracciolo’s Sermon on the Miracle of the Stigmatization of Francis of Assisi.” Anuario de Estudios Medievales 42 (2012) 77–93.. (2021)
  • “Preaching the Beatitudes in the Late Middle Ages: Some Mendicant Examples.” Studies in Christian Ethics 22.2 (2009) 133–147.. (2021)
  • “Sermon, Preacher and Society in the Middle Ages.” Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002) 73–91.. (2021)
  • “Les Sermons de Jacques de Vitry sur les cathares.” In La prédication en Pays d’Oc (xiie–début xve siècle). Cahiers de Fanjeaux 32 (1997) 69–83.. (2021)
  • The Stigmata in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2020). (2020)
  • A Companion to Catherine of Siena. Brill’s Companion to the Christian Tradition 32. (Leiden: Brill, 2012). Co-edited with George Ferzoco and Beverly Mayne Kienzle.. (2012)
  • Expositiones euangeliorum Sanctae Hildegardis. In Hildegardis Bingensis Opera Minora. Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina — Continuatio Mediaevalis, 226 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007). [Critical edition of Hildegard of Bingen’s Latinsermons, co-edited with Bev. (2007)
  • Envisaging Heaven in the Middle Ages, edited by Carolyn Muessig (London: Routledge, 2007). Co-edited with Ad Putter.. (2007)
  • Medieval Monastic Education (London/New York: Leicester University Press, 2001). Co-edited with George Ferzoco.. (2001)
  • The Faces of Women in the Sermons of Jacques de Vitry: Selected Sermons in Translation with Text and Commentary (Toronto: Peregrina Press, 1999).. (1999)
  • Medieval Monastic Preaching, Brill’s Studies in Intellectual History 90 (Leiden: Brill, 1998). Ed. Carolyn Muessig.. (1998)

Graduate Supervision

I have supervised over four dozen graduate students working in the following areas: Beguine spirituality, early Franciscans, Dominicans, Catherine of Siena, Bernard of Clairvaux, Theresa of Avila, gender and sin, gender and identity, hagiography, Julian of Norwich, Marian iconography, religious poetry, preaching history, prayer and liturgy. Two of my students won the University of Bristol Outstanding Dissertation Prize in the Faculty of Arts: Eliana Corbari, PhD, “Dominican Preachers and popular devotion in late medieval Italy” (Awarded 2009). Jennie Sanderson, Mlitt/PhD, “Sin and gender in late medieval theological sources” (Awarded 2010). If you are a perspective postgraduate student wishing to do a degree in the Department of Classics and Religion, University of Calgary, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss possible research topics (

Undergraduate teaching:

For 2021-22 I am teaching courses that consider ascetic practices and the role the body played in premodern Christianity with a focus on monastic practices (e.g., Peter Damian, Christine of Markyate) and performative Christianity (Francis of Assisi and Elizabeth of Spalbeek). I am also teaching a course on the diverse roles women played in medieval religious culture in Western Europe (RELS 373-15: Topics in Religious Studies: Sisters, Saints and Sinners) depictions of medieval saints (i.e. Thomas Becket, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc) in the Middle Ages as well as the present day (Rels 484-01; Rels601-01; Rels 701-01). 


I have written on the history of stigmata, medieval preaching, Jacques de Vitry, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena and female educators in the Middle Ages. I am presently working on a project that investigates female preachers and their sermons in late medieval and early modern Europe.