Anne Thayer

Paul and Minnie Diefenderfer Professor of Mercersburg Ecumenical Theology and Church History

BA, Wellesley College, 1979
MA, Episcopal Divinity School, 1989
AM, Harvard University, 1991
PhD, Harvard University, 1996 



Anne Thayer is the Paul and Minnie Diefenderfer Professor of Mercersburg and Ecumenical Theology and Church History at Lancaster Theological Seminary. She received her Ph.D. in Religion from Harvard University in 1996.

Anne is particularly interested in late medieval Christianity, the history of the laity and the popular communication of religious ideas. She is active in a variety of professional organizations including the American Academy of Religion, American Society of Church History, the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society, and the Mercersberg Society. She resides in Lancaster with her husband, John, and daughters Elizabeth and Carolyn.

Courses Taught

History of Christianity
Mercersburg Theology 
History of Preaching
Lives of Faith 
Popular Transmission of Religious Ideas
Late Medieval and Reformation Preaching
History of the Laity
Early Print Culture
History of Pastoral Care

Lecture Video

Major Publications

Handbook for Curates: A Late Medieval Manual on Pastoral Ministry. A translation of Guido de Monte Rochen’s Manipulus Curatorum. Introduction with Katharine Jackson Lualdi, Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2011.

“Reformation Understandings of Worship and Preaching,” in T&T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology, T&T Clark, 2012.

“The Medieval Sermon: Text, Performance and Insight,” in Understanding Medieval Primary Sources: Using Historical Sources to Discover Medieval Europe, ed. JoelRosenthal, Routledge, 2012.

“Support for Preaching in Guido of Monte Rochen’s Manipulus Curatorum,” In Pastoral Care in the Later Middle Ages, Ronald J. Stansbury, editor, Leiden: Brill, 2010.

“Learning to Worship in the Later Middle Ages: Enacting Symbolism, Fighting the Devil, and Receiving Grace,” Archive for Reformation History, 99 (2008), 36-65.  

Christ, Creeds and Life: Conversations about the Center of Our Faith. Ed. with Douglas Jacobsen. Cleveland: United Church Press, 2007. 

"What's New in the History of Christianity?" Religion Compass. j.1749-8171.2006.00021.x 

"Eucharist, Power and Community: A View from Calvin and Nevin," New Mercersburg Review 35 (Autumn, 2004)

"The Postilla of Guillermus and Late Medieval Popular Preaching," Medieval Sermon Studies 48 (2004)
Penitence, Preaching and the Coming of the Reformation St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002)

Penitence in the Age of Reformations St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History ed. with Katharine Jackson Lualdi
(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000)

Medieval Sermons and Society: Cloister, City and University ed. with Jacqueline Hamesse, Beverly Mayne Kienzle and Deborah Stoudt (Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération des Instituts d'Etudes Médiévales, 1998)

Models of Holiness in Medieval Sermons ed. with Beverly Mayne Kienzle, Edith  olnikowski, Rosemary Hale and Darlene Pryds (Louvain-la-Neuve: Fédération des Instituts d'Etudes Médiévales, 1996) 

Resource & Lecture Topics

Topics in Church History
Laity in the History of Christianity
Lives of Faith
Mercersburg Theology