Research Stream

Michael Champion

Dr Michael Champion is an Honorary Associate Investigator (AI 2016) with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE). He leads CHE's node at the Australian Catholic University, where he is a Senior Research Fellow at the ACU Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry. He was lecturer in classics at The University of Western Australia 2009-2015 where he also took on roles within Medieval and Early Modern Studies. He studied classics and mathematical physics at The University of Melbourne, theology at Heythrop College, and late-antique history and philosophy at King’s College, London (PhD 2010). His main research areas are early Christianity and late antiquity, with particular interests in interactions between Christianity and Neoplatonism.

Within emotions history, his main research interests have been on how emotions function in late-antique and Byzantine rhetoric and virtue theory, and how they are shaped by and help generate different theological and philosophical schemes in narratives (e.g. hagiography), different modes of oratory and dialogue literature. He has developing projects in emotions in war literature, intersecting with his work on histories of violence and alternatives to just war theory from the classical period to Byzantium. He also has ongoing interests in methodological approaches to the historical study of emotions. His CHE-funded project is ‘Translating Emotions from Palestinian Monasticism to Humanism (c.1500-1650)’. It investigates early-modern translations of the works of an influential sixth-century monk, Dorotheus of Gaza, tracing how Dorotheus’ account of emotions functions within humanist and Jesuit communities, and thus contributes to the ‘Change’ and ‘Meanings’ Programs of the Centre.

ACU Profile


Translating Emotions from Palestinian Monasticism to Humanism (c.1500-1650)

Relevant Publications

Ruys, J. F., M. W. Champion and K. Essary, eds. Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400–1800. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

Champion, M. W. and M. Stanyon. ‘“A possession for eternity”: Thomas De Quincey’s Feeling for War’. In Writing War in Britain and France, 1370–1854: A History of Emotions, edited by S. Downes, A. Lynch and K. O'Loughlin, pp. 219–37. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

Champion, M. W. with R. Garrod, Y. Haskell and J. F. Ruys. ‘But Were They Talking about Emotions? Affectus, affectio and the History of Emotions’. Rivista Storica Italiana 128 (2016): 521–43. Commissioned paper for a special thematic issue.

Champion, M. W. and A. Lynch (eds). Understanding Emotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

Champion, M. W. ‘Representing Emotions in Three Byzantine Orations of Michael Psellos’. In Understanding Emotions in Early Europe, edited by A. Lynch and M. Champion, pp. 27–49. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

Lynch, A. and M. W. Champion. ‘Introduction: “The Things They Left Behind”’. In Understanding Emotions in Early Europe, pp.ix–xxxiv. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

Champion, M. W. Explaining the Cosmos: Creation and Cultural Interaction in Late-Antique Gaza. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Champion, M. W. ‘Grief, Body and Soul in Gregory of Nyssa’. In Conjunctions of Mind, Soul and Body from Plato to the Enlightenment, edited by D. Kambaskovic, pp. 99–118. History of the Philosophy of Mind Series. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014.

Champion, M. W. ‘Endurance, Courage, and the Life of Faith in the Monasteries near Gaza’. Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 7 (2011): 55–72.