Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Maureen A. Tilley

Lincoln Center 923E
(212) 636-6369

mtilley [at]

Ph.D. - Duke University
M. A. - St. Michael's College
B.A. - University of San Francisco

Research Interests
History of Christianity, St. Augustine, Christianity in Roman Africa, Hagiography, History of biblical interpretation, Women in Christianity

Dr. Tilley’s particular area of interest is the practice of Christianity in ancient and medieval times, as a complement to the work of her colleagues who focus on beliefs or doctrine. Martyrdom, roles for women, ecclesiastical art, as well as the fit between liturgy and architecture, all figure in Dr. Tilley’s studies. The focus of her research is in North Africa, from the origins of Christianity there in the second century to its eclipse in the seventh century, with a particular interest in the Donatist controversy of the fourth and fifth centuries when Christians debated the ways in which sacraments function and the extent to which Christians who were sinners might still be counted as members of the Church.

Dr. Tilley has been interested in the world of Greco-Roman antiquity since the second grade (really) and the history of Christianity not long after that. What real people did and how they lived is a constant fascination that has propelled much of her work. Being able to study this remains exciting for Dr. Tilley whether it is working with texts, textiles, relics or ancient remains of church buildings.

A current project of hers is the translation of the works of Saint Augustine against his Donatist opponents who posited a small pure church against Augustine’s notion of a church of saints and sinners. Augustine and his opponents disagreed on how sacraments functioned and the relative importance of holiness for members of the clergy, a topic of interest in modern Christianity too.

Recent Publications
"The Christian Imperial Period: Diocletian to the Vandals" in Devotion, Discipline and Dissent: The Practice of Christianity in North Africa. Ed. by J. Patout Burns, Jr., and Robin M. Jensen (in press).

"Redefining Donatism: Moving Forward," Augustinian Studies 42/1 (2011) in press.

"One, Wholly, Catholic: Saints and Sanctity in the Post-Apostolic Church" Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America 66 (2011): 1-15.

"From Schism to Heresy in Late Antiquity: Developing Doctrinal Deviance in the Wounded Body of Christ," Presidential Address for the North American Patristics Society, Journal of Early Christian Studies 15/1 (Spring 2007): 1-21.

"Mary in Roman Africa: Evidence for her Cultus." Studia Patristica 39 (2006): 121-126.


Augustine, Friends and Family: Best Friends Forever? (2011)

Stitchery and Social Order in Caesarius of Arles’ Rules for Nuns (2007)

FALL 2014

THEO 3310-L01: Early Christian Writings
THEO 3316-L01: Byzantine Christianity

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