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Zachary Matus

assistant professor


Telephone: (617) 552-3791

Office: Stokes Hall, Room S303




Harvard University, 2010

Academic Profile

Professor Matus’ teaching interests include the intellectual and cultural history of Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages.  He is particularly concerned with intersections between religious, magical, and scientific activities. His book project examines how various members of the Franciscan Order justified alchemical practice as a quintessentially Christian endeavor in spite of increasing ecclesiastical suspicion that alchemy was either fraudulent or demonically inspired. Professor Matus is a past Fulbright scholar.

Representative Publications

  • “Alchemy and Christianity in the Middle Ages”, History Compass (forthcoming)
  • “A Change of Complexion: Reconsidering Roger Bacon’s Apocalypticism in Light of His Alchemical and Scientific Thought”, Harvard Theological Review 105: 2 (2012)