St John's College Oxford
Dr Matthew Mills

Dr Matthew Mills

Lecturer in Theology


I grew up in Northumberland, in the shadow of early and medieval Christianity, embodied in the humble stones of Cuthbert's Lindisfarne and the soaring heights of Durham Cathedral where, in the twelfth century, his relics found a final resting place.

I have a range of teaching experience, and accreditation as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and I am always delighted to take students for papers in ecclesiastical history, medieval British history, Christian spirituality, and theology up to the Reformation.  The study of Theology has never been more important than it is today, and Single and Joint Schools degrees in Theology at Oxford offer unparalleled opportunities to examine the roots and development of human cultures, as well as the causes and transformative power of their historical encounters.

Research Interests

My research has focused primarily on Christianity in the British Isles, medieval theology and the religious life.  My doctorate, completed in 2016, explored the development of ideas about and devotion to the Virgin Mary in late Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman monasticism. I speak regularly on Marian themes, including material culture, and have published on the devotional writing of a thirteenth-century Cistercian abbot and Yorkshireman, Stephen of Sawley.  Recently, I’ve also become interested in the interface of Christianity and secular society, and am working with colleagues in Social Theology and Ritual Studies to offer theological responses to Restorative Justice; my contribution focuses on satisfaction theory since Anselm, and theological anthropology.