Research Profile: Katharine Massam

Research Interests

Katharine’s research explores intersections between Christian tradition and wider culture in postcolonial, settler societies, including Australia. She writes on the history of Christian spirituality (especially Benedictine traditions), cross-cultural encounter in the Australian mission context, the dynamics work and leisure, and is especially interested in methodologies that open-up neglected sources and experience (such as historical readings of space and place, devotional literature, art, music, and material culture).

Research Supervision

Katharine supervises topics on religion in Australia and on the history of Christian spirituality. She particularly welcomes projects that explore community memory and traditions, including monasticism and its contemporary expressions.

Recent students have successfully completed major theses on Australian missionary women in Papua New Guinea, Eucharistic tradition and devotion in Australia, the twelfth-century Benedictine abbess Eloise of the Paraclete, the cook books and food traditions of church communities in Victoria, and a range of minor theses and research essays including several drawing on the photographs and documents of the mission archive at New Norcia.

Katharine’s current students are working on the significance of landscape and place for non-Conformist churches in Australia, the theological treatment of female sanctity in French literature, and changes in religious communities in the 1960s.

Recent Publications

A full list of publications is available here.

The Greening of Hope: Hildegard of Bingen, (with Fotini Toso), Melbourne: Morning Star Publications, 2016.

“Cloister and Community.” In A Not So Unexciting Life: Essays in Honor of Michael Casey OCSO ed. Carmel Posa, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, September 2017.

“Melbourne’s Festival of Hildegard and the Greening of Hope” (co-author). In The Greening of Hope: Hildegard for Australia, ed. Katharine Massam and Fotini Toso, Melbourne: Morning Star Publications, 2016, pp. 5-15.

“Creating Space Between: Women and Mission in Oceania.” In Explorations in Practical Theology. Bridging the Divide Between Faith, Theology and Life: The Church in Oceania, ed. Antony Maher. Adelaide: Australian Theological Forum, Adelaide, 2015, pp. 123-133.

Research Profile

For more details please visit Katharine’s research profile here and find copies of her publications in the University research repository here.