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Dr Hannah Hunt

Profile summary

Professional biography

Having studied English Literature and Language at London University for her first degree, Hannah Hunt added Theology to her portfolio as a mature student, gaining an MA and PhD in Theology at the University of Leeds, and more recently an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University. For 16 years she taught Theology and Religious Studies in Leeds Trinity University, becoming a Reader in Eastern Christianity. Simulataneously she has worked for the OU as an Associate Lecturer teaching across Arts and Humanities modules, and as Arts Faculty Manager in Leeds, and as Honorary Research Associate. She has attended international conferences on the early church, patristics and eastern christian spirituality in Moscow, Jersualem, New York, Boston, Kerala, Toronto, Paris, Vienna, Iash, and British cities. She now enjoys a varied portfolio as teacher, scholar, poet, editor, curator and facilitator of literary events, and is editor of Dreamcatcher journal.

She has published extensively in her poet name of Hannah Stone in addition to academic publications, including three collaborations with other women poets focusing on the experience and perception of women from a feminist perspective. Having completed a year's residency as poet-theologian in Virtual Residence for Leeds Church Institute in March 2021, reflecting on the impact of the pandemic on the communities of Leeds via the medium of poetry (which yielded her latest book, Reflections), she was appointed as poet in residence for the Council of Christians and Jews, working on a project called Transforming Intolerance. This project (funded by St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconcilation and Peace) entails working with students to explore, through poetry, the intersection between faith and protected charactistics such as gender, gender identity, disability, mental health, race, and sexuality. She enjoys hill walking, working her allotment, choral singing, encouraging sustainable ways of living especially to do with food production. She is currently fostering young hedgehogs, volunteers on a community farm, and is a Red Cross trained covid vaccinator.  


Academic Publications include:

2004: Joybearing Grief: Tears of Contrition in the writings of the Early Syrian and Byzantine Fathers (Brill, Leiden). ISBN 900414123 – 5

Also available in Romanian translation, Doxologia Press, 2013. ISBN 978-606-666-101-0.

2004: The Westminster Handbook to Origen (ed. J McGuckin) Articles on Repentance, Love and Sacraments (Westminster John Knox Press) ISBN 0664 22472 - 5

2007: The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity (ed. Ken Parry) chapter on Byzantine Christianity (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford), pp.73-93, ISBN 978 0 631 23423 - 4

2009: Spirituality in Late Byzantium (ed. E. Russell) chapter entitled ‘The Reforming Abbot and his Tears: Penthos in Late Byzantium’ (Cambridge Scholars Press, Cambridge), pp. 13-20, ISBN 1 – 4438 1363 X

2012 Clothed in the Body: Asceticism, the body and the spiritual in the late antique era (Ashgate, Farnham) ISBN 978-1-4094-0914-4

2012 Cahiers Victoriens et Édouardiens 75(April 2012) (Société Française d’Études Victoriennes et Édwardiennes). ‘Eternal city or the stuff of nightmares? The characterisation of Rome in Portrait of a Lady and Middlemarch.’pp.187-198. ISBN 978-2-84269 - 1

2012 The Philokalia: Exploring the Classical Text of Orthodox Spirituality (eds. Brock Bingamen and B. Nassif) Chapter 13: entitled ‘Uses and Abuses of Spiritual Authority in the Church in St Symeon the New Theologian’ (Oxford University Press, Oxford) ISBN 978-0-10-539026-1, pp. 203-15

2012 ‘Southcott, Ernest William (1915-1976)’, Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, Oxford University Press.

2014, ‘The Monk as Mourner: St Isaac the Syrian and Monastic Identity in the Seventh Century and Beyond’, in Saint Isaac the Syrian and his Spiritual Legacy, ed. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (Moscow, 2014), 213-225, in Russian.

2014 ‘The Worcester Pilgrim (fl. 1450s?)’, Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, Oxford University Press.

2014 A Companion to St. Symeon the New Theologian (Wipf and Stock, Cascade Series).

2014 ‘The Monk as Mourner: St Isaac the Syrian and Monastic Identity in the Seventh Century and Beyond’, in in Orthodox Monasticism Past and Present, ed. J. A. McGuckin (New York: Theotokos Press, 2014), pp. 292-301.

2018 'Mirrors, Doors and Windows: Insights and Reflections on Narrative Strategy in Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd', in Victorian Cultures of Liminality: Borders and Margins eds Amina Alyal, Susan Anderson and Rosemary Mitchell (Cambridge Scholars), pp. 49-65. 

2018 'Religion and the Body: Asceticism', in A Companion to Religion in Late  Antiquity, ed.s Josef Lossl and Nicholas J Baker-Brian, WIley Blackwell, pp.475-492.                                                                                                 


‘The Soul’s Sorrow in Syrian Patristic Thought’, in Studia Patristica vol. XXXIII, Peeters, Leuven, 1997, pp. 530-533

‘The tears of the Sinful Woman: A theology of Redemption’, in Hugoye (on-line journal) March 1998

 ‘Praying the Body: Isaac of Nineveh and John of Apamea’ in The Harp, India, April 1999, pp. 153-8

‘The Concept of Penitent Weeping in the Psalms of David’, St Ephrem Theological Journal, Spring 1999, pp. 172-6.

Penthos and Repentance in Symeon the New Theologian’, Studia Patristica vol XXXV, Peeters, Leuven, 2001, pp.114-12

‘Sexuality and penitence in Syriac Commentaries on Luke’s Sinful woman’ Studia Patristica, vols XLIV-XLIX, Peeters, Leuven, 2010, pp.189-194.

‘Divine Light and Spiritual Intoxication: Symeon the New Theologian’s image of penitence as a mystical winepress’, in Medium Aevum: On Light, eds. K.P. Clarke and S. Baccianti (Oxford: December 2013), pp. 87-106. (

‘Working the Earth of the Heart’: Images of Cultivation and Harvest in Macarius and Ephrem’ , Studia Patristica LII, (2012) 149-160.

Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies, Brepols, Volume 2 (2013), pp.19-37, ‘The monk as Mourner: Gendered Eastern Christian self-identity in the seventh century.


Reviews and reports

‘Report of the St Ephraim Conference, 17/18 December 1997’, in British Association for the Study of Religions Bulletin, March 1998

Review of ‘St Symeon the New Theologian: The Ethical Discourses, vol. 3’ in Sobornost, 20.2, 1998

Review of ‘Man and the Environment: A Study of St Symeon the New Theologian’, in Sobornost 24.1 (2002)

Review of ‘Abba Isaiah of Scetis’ (trans J Chryssavgis and R Penkett), in Orthodox News, Vol. 17, no.1, Autumn 2003.

Review of ‘In the Heart of the Desert: the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers’, (John Chryssavgis) in Sobornost 25.2 (2003)

Review of ‘Letters from the Desert: Barsanuphius and John’ (John Chryssavgis (tr)) in Sobornost 26.1 (2004)

Review of ‘God with Us: critical issues in Christian life and thought’ (John Breck) in

Sobornost 26.1 (2004)

Review of Writing and Holiness: The Practice of Authorship in the Early Christian East (Derek Krueger, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004)

Review of The Sex Lives of the Saints: an erotics of Ancient Hagiography (Virginia Burrus, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), in Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol 14, nos1/2January/April 2005

Review of Fear of God and the Beginning of Wisdom; The School of Nisibis and Christian Scholastic Culture in Late Antique Mesopotamia (Adam Becker) for The Journal Henoch vol. xxx, 2008/2, pp. 163-165.

Poetry (as Hannah Stone)

New Crops from Old Fields: Eight Medievalist Poets, ed. Oz Hardwick (Stairwell Books, 2015)

Lodestone (Stairwell Books, York, 2016)

Missing Miles (Indigo Dreams Publishing,  Beaworthy, 2017)

Swn y Morloi (Maytree Press, Marsden, 2019)

Holding up Half the Sky (with Rosemary Mitchell) (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019)

Fit to Bust: an unwrapping of female desire and attire (with Pamela Scobie) (Runcible Spoon Press, Morley, 2019)

Reflections: A Poet-Theologian in Lockdown Leeds (Maytree Press, 2021).


Research interests

The desert fathers and mothers

The body and asceticism in the early Syrian Church

Mid-Byzantine Church-state relations, especially with regard to St Symeon the New Theologian

Female-gendered spirituality in late antiquity