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Kathleen E. McVey

Joseph Ross Stevenson Professor of Church History Emerita

Kathleen E. McVey
History & Ecumenics
106 Hodge Hall

Phone: 609.497.7996
Fax: 609.497.7728
kathleen.mcvey@ptsem.edu
Roman Catholic

Profile
Kathleen McVey, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Joseph Ross Stevenson Professor of Church History, earned her PhD from Harvard University, and has held fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. McVey has been a member of the Princeton Theological Seminary Faculty since 1979. Prior to that she taught at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française, Jerusalem, Israel, and at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also participated in archeological excavations sponsored by the American Schools of Oriental Research in Carthage, Tunisia, and in Idalion, Cyprus, and she has held fellowships at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., and at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Her principal interests are in the history of Syriac Christianity, its intersections with the broader cultures of Late Antiquity and its influence on earliest Islam. Many of her publications concern the literary and theological content of hymns, including the symbolic interpretation of architecture in hymnody. The role of women and the interpretation of femaleness in early Christian literature are at the center of her current research.

Dr. McVey has participated in two ongoing ecumenical consultations: the Pro Oriente dialogue among Syriac tradition churches and the United Methodist Church’s Consultations on Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality. She is a founding member of the North American Syriac Symposium, she has served on the editorial boards of the series Fathers of the Church and of the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, and she is presently a member of the editorial board of Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies.

Select Publications

  • “Images of Joy in Ephrem’s Hymns on Paradise: Returning to the Womb and the Breast” in Journal of the Canadian Society of Syriac Studies 3 (2003): 1–19
  • George, Bishop of the Arabs: A Homily on Blessed Mar Severus, Patriarch of Antioch (Peeters, 1993) 
  • Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns, Classics of Western Spirituality (Paulist, 1989; second printing 1999)

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor at Bethel AME Church, Pennington, New Jersey

Gregory Smith, Class of 2015

“Princeton Seminary helped me think critically and understand the relationship that humanity has with religion—historically, emotionally, and spiritually.”