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.  As a student, I read Theology at Greyfriars Hall and Regent’s Park College, Oxford (BTh, 2010), followed by St Chad’s College, Durham (MA, 2012), before returning to Oxford to undertake a doctoral studentship with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK (DPhil, 2016).  Since 2014, I have been an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.

Research Interests

The study of theology has rarely been more important than it is today, offering unparalleled opportunities to examine the roots and development of human cultures, as well as the causes and transformative power of their historical encounters.

My background is in medieval ecclesiastical history and theology, particularly Anselm of Canterbury and monastic theology, and ideas about the Virgin Mary.  However, my interests range widely across the history, theology and philosophy of western Christianity and its encounters with secular society, including theological aesthetics and anthropology, and topics such as compassion, forgiveness, negative emotions, victimhood and vulnerability.

I have published on the devotional writings of a thirteenth-century Cistercian abbot, Stephen of Sawley, and recently, I have been working with colleagues in Social Theology and Ritual Studies to offer theological responses to Restorative Justice, with contributions on narratives of victimhood and satisfaction theory.