Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Emily Cain, PhD

Title/s:  Assistant Professor

Office #:  Crown Center 431

Phone: 773.508.2201


CV Link: Cain CV


PhD, Fordham University (New York City)

MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ)

BA, John Brown University (Siloam Springs, AR)

Research Interests

Dr. Cain’s primary area of research is Christian Late Antiquity and its intersection with the Greco-Roman World. Her dissertation, which she is developing into a book manuscript entitled Through a Mirror Darkly: Mystical Metaphors of Sight from Paul to Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine of Hippo, rethinks the ways in which early Christian authors understood their relationship to the world and to the divine through visual metaphors. Using close textual analysis, she demonstrates that ancient authors engaged in a series of epistemological debates about the reliability of sensory knowledge, and argues that early Christians applied those same debates to knowledge of the divine through visual rhetoric. She traces this theme through Eastern and Western Christianity in the writings of Philo, Clement, and Gregory of Nyssa in the East and Tertullian and Augustine of Hippo in the West. By taking a thematic approach, her analysis uncovers the trend that vision of God tends to be portrayed as successful in Eastern Christianity and unsuccessful in Western Christianity. Thus, she shows that visual rhetoric is a key to unlock how early Christians understood themselves in relation to both the world and to the divine.

For more information, please visit https://luc.academia.edu/EmilyCain.