Markus Vinzent

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Markus Vinzent
Born (1959-04-12) 12 April 1959 (age 58)
Saarbrücken, Germany
Occupation Academic
Spouse(s) Dr. Jutta Vinzent
Children Cyril, Charlotte
Parent(s) Dr. Otwin Vinzent, Elisabeth Vinzent

Markus Vinzent (born 1959) is Professor of the History of Theology (with a specialty in Patristics) in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at King's College London, London, UK.[1]


Dr. Vinzent studied philosophy, theology, Jewish studies, ancient history, and archaeology at the Universities of Eichstätt, Paris (Diplom, Philosophy and Theology, 1978–83), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany (Ph.D., 1987–91), and Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Postdoctoral research, Habilitation, 1991-5). He worked as a pastor between 1984 and 1991, and from the 1990s onward he has also been a serial entrepreneur (IT, Internet, HR, Energy, Waste, Utilities and Infrastructure).[2]

Dr. Vinzent has held academic posts as Senior Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge (1991-3), Senior Research Fellow at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaft (tenure), Berlin (1993-5), C4-Professor (non-tenure) for History of Theology in the times of the Reformation and Modernity, University of Mainz, Germany (1996-7), C4-Professor for History of Theology (tenure), University of Cologne, Germany (1997-9), HG Wood Professor of Theology, University of Birmingham (1999-2010), including a stint as Head of Department (1999-2001). He joined the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London in September 2010.

Since 2003 he has served as one of the Directors of the International Conference on Patristic Studies, is Editor-in-Chief of Studia Patristica, the conference's official publication, and the editor of the series Eckhart: Texts and Studies. Together with Professor Allen Brent he is directing the major research project on 'Early Christian Iconography and Epigraphy', a project generously funded by the British Academy (2011–12).


  • Meister Eckhart’s On the Lord’s Prayer: Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary (Leuven: Peeters, 2012). ISBN 9789042925847
  • Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament, (Ashgate, 2011). ISBN 9781409417910
  • The Art of Detachment, (Leuven: Peeters, 2011). ISBN 9781409417927
  • Der Ursprung des Apostolikums im Urteil der kritischen Forschung, Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte Band 89, (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006). ISBN 9783525551974
  • Markell von Ankyra, Die Fragmente; Der Brief an Julius von Rom, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 39 (Leiden: Brill, 1997). ISBN 9789004109070
  • Pseudo-Athanasius, Contra Arianos IV. Eine Schrift gegen Asterius von Kappadokien, Eusebius von Cäsarea, Markell von Ankyra und Photin von Sirmium, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 36 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996). ISBN 9789004106864
  • Asterius von Kappadokien, Die Theologischen Fragmente, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 20 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1993). ISBN 9789004098411


In a series of monographs he has published on early Christian beliefs (Monarchianism, Trinity, Apostles' Creed) and their reception in the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment and in contemporary theology. His main contribution to the field of historical theology is his radical attempt to read sources non-anachronistically. As a result, Christianity is seen as a religion which developed its contours much later than previously assumed. In his recent monograph on the Resurrection, he argues that its foundational writings, especially the canonical and non-canonical Gospels, all stem from the middle of the second century, and even Paul's letters, written around the mid first century, only became influential a hundred years later. The Roman teacher and businessman Marcion of Sinope is identified as one of the key thinkers and founders of Christianity. Key concepts like Christianity as a separate 'religion', being based not only on sayings of a Rabbi Jesus, but on the exemplary life of a divine messenger and saviour Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again, the 'Gospel' as a new literary genre that encapsulates the novelty of Christ's message and of Christianity, the 'New Testament' as the title of the collection of the foundational writings of this new religion (in antithesis to the 'Old Testament' of the Jewish law and the prophets), the introduction of sacraments, new ways of fasting and asceticism all go back to this Roman teacher.[3]

Similarly, Dr. Vinzent has shown that the Christian Creed is a later development and, like that of Christian festivals (except Easter which was adopted from Judaism, but was radically altered by Marcion - a change which was adopted only at a time when the other festivals were introduced) is a product of the fourth century. Especially the Apostles' Creed seems to have derived from the dogmatic disputes in the 340 AD.[4]

On the basis of Dr. Vinzent's views, the early history and the nature of Christianity looks very different from our common understanding. Christianity developed as one of the Jewish sects and did not move beyond this framework before the reconceptualization by Marcion of Sinope in the years after 140 AD. Moreover, the various theologies and communities that mushroomed from the mid second century became gradually influenced by the 'Gospel(s)' and 'Paul'.

A more recent research area of Dr. Vinzent is Meister Eckhart (ca. 1260-1329), his writings and thinking. Vinzent argues that Eckhart was an extraordinarily creative Christian thinker who re-conceptualized almost every key idea of his religion. He shows that Eckhart challenged even core concepts like the 'Trinity', the 'Fall', the 'Sacraments' and other ideas that normally are taken for granted as being central to Christianity.[5]

Both subject areas link to Dr. Vinzent's attempt to push the boundaries of theology and to develop a radical transformational theology by which this subject such as the resurrection are understood as being principally open to challenge, criticism and reformulation. He claims that theology is measured against its natural claim of dealing with the very first principle(s) and truth. As such, it cannot be conceived as a closed system, but needs to be co-essential with that of its own object.


  1. ^ "Markus Vinzent faculty page". King's College London. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Pioneering Energy from Waste Plant Proposed in Doncaster". Waystone corporation. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Vinzent, Markus (2011). Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the making of the New Testament. Ashgate. pp. 84–96. ISBN 9781409417927. 
  4. ^ Vinzent, Markus (2011). Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the making of the New Testament. Ashgate. pp. 181, 226. ISBN 9781409417927. 
  5. ^ Vinzent, Markus (2011). The Art of Detachment. Peeters. pp. 1–26. ISBN 9789042925267. 

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