Philip Reynolds

Philip Lyndon Reynolds

Charles Howard Candler Professor Emeritus of Medieval Christianity; Aquinas Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology


PhD, University of Toronto, 1986
BA, University of Oxford, 1973


Dr. Philip L. Reynolds retired from Candler in 2021. During his tenure at Emory, he was a faculty member at the Laney Graduate School, and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory, where he directed the center’s project entitled “The Pursuit of Happiness” from 2005-2010. From 1992 to 1998, Reynolds directed the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory. Before arriving at Candler in 1992, he taught at the University of Bristol in England as Downside Fellow.

Reynolds’s research interests lie in Western Christian thought A.D. 400-1400, with a particular focus on scholastic theology and philosophy during the central Middle Ages, especially Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas; on the theology and canon law of marriage; and on monastic, vernacular, and apophatic theologies. He is the sole author of three books, including How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Highly involved in the life of the academy, Reynolds has held numerous committee positions at Candler and Emory, and regularly convened and spoke at academic conferences held at Emory. He is a member of the Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale and the Medieval Academy of America.


Editor, Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First MillenniumCambridge University Press, 2019

How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments: The Sacramental Theology of Marriage from Its Medieval Origins to the Council of TrentCambridge University Press, 2016 (Haskins Medal, 2019)

Co-editor, To Have and to Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western ChristendomCambridge University Press, 2017

Food and the Body: Some Peculiar Questions in High Medieval TheologyBrill, 1999

Marriage in the Western Church: the Christianization of Marriage in the Latin West during the Patristic and Early Medieval PeriodsBrill, 1994


“Normative Texts and Practices of the First Millennium,” in Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium, Cambridge University Press, 2019

“The Primordial Marriage and the Seventh Sacrament,” in Sacramentum Magnum: Die Ehe in der mittelalterlichen Theologie, Aschendorff-Verlag, 2019

“Isidore of Seville,” in Great Christian Jurists in Spanish History, Cambridge University Press, 2018

“St. Thomas Aquinas,” Christianity and Family Law, Cambridge University Press, 2017

“Medieval Period” and “Marriage,” Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, Oxford University Press, 2015

“Marriage,” “De bono coniugali,” “De bono viduitatis,” and “De adulterinis coniugiis,” The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, Oxford University Press, 2013

“When Medieval Theologians Talked About Marriage, What Were They Really Talking About?” in Law and Marriage in Medieval and Early Modern Times: Proceedings of the Eighth Carlsberg Academy Conference on Medieval Legal History 2011, Djoef Publishing, 2012

“The Origins of Theories about Marital Consent and Consummation,” in Regional Variations in Matrimonial Law and Custom in Europe, 1150-1600, Brill, 2011

“The Biblical Dimensions of the Pursuit of Happiness” Huffington Post, November 27, 2010

2019 Haskins Medal of the Medieval Academy of America, awarded for a distinguished book in the field of medieval studies for How Marriage Became One of the Sacraments

Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology, 2013-2014

Fellow, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University, 2013-2014