Gabrielle Thomas

Assistant Professor of Early Christianity and Anglican Studies
Gabrielle Thomas
    • PhD in Historical Theology, University of Nottingham, 2017
    • MTh (Distinction), University of Chester, 2014
    • Graduate Diploma in Theology for Ministry, St. John’s College, Nottingham, 2012
    • Graduate Certificate in Kingdom Theology, Westminster Theological Centre, 2011
    • BA (Hons.) Classics, Department of Classics, University of Bristol, 1995

    On research leave for the 2023-24 academic year.

    The Rev. Dr. Gabrielle Thomas joined the Candler faculty after serving as a lecturer in early Christianity and Anglican studies at Yale Divinity School. Prior to that, she spent two years as a post-doctoral research associate at Durham University in the United Kingdom. An ordained priest in the Church of England, she has served churches as both a lay and an ordained leader. She completed her PhD in Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham while working in full-time parish ministry. Thomas is a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Theological Reflection Group, a small group of academic theologians who gather with the archbishop for an extended visit twice a year to reflect theologically on pressing issues in the church and the world. She also mentors those discerning a call to ordination in The Episcopal Church. 

    In addition to authoring a significant number of journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, she has published three books: The Image of God in the Theology of Gregory Nazianzus (monograph, Cambridge, 2019), Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church: Explorations in Theology and Practice (co-edited, Cascade, 2020), and For the Good of the Church: Unity, Theology and Women (monograph, SCM Press, 2021). Thomas is a reviewer for Religious Education and SCM Press. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, among others.

    Selected Publications


      Monograph,For the Good of the Church: Unity, Theology and Women, SCM Press, 2021

      Editor,Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church – Explorations in Theology and Practice, Cascade, 2020

      Monograph,The Image of God in the Theology of Gregory of Nazianzus, Cambridge University Press, 2019

      Chapters and Articles

      “Rethinking Gregory of Nyssa’s Mystical Theology: The Role of Hostile Powers in Homilies on the Song of Songs,” Theological Studies, Dec 2022, Volume 83, Issue 4, 537-553

      "The Gift of Power in Methodism: Learning from Women’s Experiences of Working in Diverse Churches in England through Receptive Ecumenism," in Journal of Ecumenical Studies. Vol 57, No 4, pp. 465-489, Fall 2022

      ‘Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light’: Re-thinking Advent Themes of Darkness with Gregory of Nyssa, Cambridge University Press (2022)

      ‘Mutual Flourishing in the Church of England: Receiving a Gift from the Orthodox Theological Tradition’, in Receptive Ecumenism as Transformative Ecclesial Learning: Walking the Way to a Church Re-formed, edited by Paul D. Murray, Gregory Ryan and Paul Lakeland,131-140 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).

      "The Status of Vulnerability in a Theology of the Christian Life: Gregory of Nyssa on the “Wound of Love” in Conversation with Sarah Coakley", Wiley Online Library (2022)

      "Receptive Learning Between Churches" in Proceedings from the Global Christian Forum Gathering, April 2018, Bogotá, Columbia, edited by Larry Miller, 153-160 (Bonn: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschat, 2021).

      "Cappadocian Prayer," in T&T Clark Companion to Christian Prayer, edited by Ashley Cocksworth and John McDowell, (London: T&T Clark, 2021).

      "'Giving the Devil his Due' – the Role of Satan in Human Suffering," in Love, Suffering and Diminishment in the Christian Life, edited by Karen Kilby and Rachel Davies, 43-54 (London: Bloomsbury, 2019).

      "'Mutual Flourishing' in the Church of England: Learning Receptively from Saint Thomas Aquinas." Ecclesiology: The Journal of Ministry, Mission and Unity 15.3 (2019), 302-321.

      "The Human Icon: Gregory of Nazianzus on Being an Imago Dei," Scottish Journal of Theology 72.2 (2019)

      "A Call for Hospitality: Learning from a Particular Example of Women’s Grass Roots Practice of Receptive Ecumenism in the U.K." Exchange 47.4 (2018), 335-350.

      "Receiving Women’s Gifts: An Exploration of the Role of Hospitality in the Practice of Receptive Ecumenism" in Receptive Ecumenism: Listening, Learning and Loving in the Way of Christ. Vicky Balabanski and Geraldine Hawkes (eds.), ATF Press. A Forum for Theology in the World, Vol 5, No 2 (2018), 123-134.

      "Divine, Yet Vulnerable: The Paradoxical Existence of Gregory Nazianzen’s Imago Dei." Studia Patristica. Vol XCV. Marcus Vincent (eds.) Leuven: Peeters Press (2017), 281-290.

      "Gregory Nazianzen: Interpreting the Human Eikon of God Literally as a Physical Bearer of God’s Presence." Studia Patristica C. Hugh A.G. Houghton, M.L. Davies and Marcus Vinzent (eds). Leuven: Peeters Press (2019), 281-289.

      "Gregory Nazianzen on the Devil and the Image of God: 'Worship me!'" Studia Patristica. Vol. LXXIV. Marcus Vincent and Allan Brent (eds.). Leuven: Peeters Press (2016), 181-190.

      Selected Awards

      Inspiring Yale Faculty Member, Yale University, 2020

      Nominated as a "Woman Making a Difference," Durham University, 2019

      Scholarship L.A. Theology Conference, 2018

      Jack Petchy Award for Outstanding Leadership, 2017

      Church of England Research Degrees Panel (fully funded PhD), 2014

      Church of England Research Degrees Panel, 2013

      Sylvanus Lysons Trust, 2013

      St. Luke’s Trust, 2013

      St Matthias Trust, 2013

      Dr. Thomas and Dr. Elena Narinskaya discuss their book about the issue of women's ordination in the Orthodox Church in this event sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.

      The St. Luke's Forum, "Ecumenism, academic life, and ministry," January 23, 2022

      Presentation on Receptive Ecumensim at "Heeding the Spirit: New Horizons in Receptive Ecumenism" for Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, UK, May 2021

      Sermon: Berkeley Divinity at Yale Commencement Evensong, May 2021

      Recovering God Podcast, April 2021
      For the Good of the Church: Book Launch hosted by Durham University, UK, March 2021

      Presentation at the Edinburgh Byzantine Book Festival, February 2021

      Theos Think Tank, "Everything happens for a reason," August 2020

      SCM Press, #TheologyinIsolation 15: How should we draw on the Christian tradition during Covid-19? May 2020

      From Chalkboards to Zoom Rooms: Teaching During COVID-19, May 2020

      Church Times, "Mutual Flourishing" (June 2019)

      The Tablet, "Free to Share their Wounds" (May 2019)

      The Methodist Recorder, "The Gift of Methodist Women" (May 2019)

      Psephizo, "Ministry at Grenfell Tower" (June 2017)

      Selected Courses

      Anglican and Episcopal Contextual Education

      Anglican and Episcopal History

      History of Early Christian Thought