Kevin L. Hughes

Chair, Humanities Department and Classical Studies Program
Associate Professor,
Theology and Religious Studies
Medieval and Early Modern Historical Theology

Villanova University, St. Augustine Center 304


Who Am I?

  • I have been teaching at Villanova University since 1997.

  • My research specialties are in Ancient and Medieval Christian theology, spirituality, and history

  • My teaching interests are both contemporary and historical, since I believe that the tradition can open new possibilities for contemporary Christian life and practice

  • I have an abiding interest in the Franciscan tradition

  • I am interested in bringing rigorous scholarship to a wider audience, both academic and pastoral. A substantial part of my work outside the classroom involves adult education/faith formation/retreat speaking.  Click here for some topics on which I have recently presented.

Curriculum Vitae


Helpful links for THL-1050/Hon 1825:

Some thoughts on Good Reading

What to do in a reading response Paper

How to think about more formal writing


Course for Spring 2008

Archive:   Previous Courses Offered



What is Scriptural Reasoning? And Why Might You care?

Now AVAILABLE from Catholic University of America Press:

Constructing Antichrist:

 Paul, Biblical Commentary, and the Development of Doctrine in the Early Middle Ages.

 by Kevin L. Hughes 11262601.jpg (48564 bytes)

History makes strange bedfellows. This book suggests that two figures – one historical, one mythical; one who stands at the beginning of Christianity, the other who stands at its imagined end -- are intimately related in the history of theology. This book assumes, rather than argues, that Antichrist has a history. The figure of Antichrist does not spring fully formed from the pages of Scripture. Rather, he is a figure whose profile and significance took shape over nearly a millennium of reflection on a variety of hints and clues scattered throughout the Scriptures and traditions of Christian faith. But some clues are more significant than others. In this case, such reflection on Antichrist is tied in a particularly strong way to the man medieval Christians knew simply as ‘the Apostle’ – St. Paul of Tarsus.

What does Paul have to do with Antichrist? In this study, I argue that the western medieval doctrines of Antichrist and the Last Days cannot be understood rightly apart from the development of Latin traditions of New Testament exegesis. 2 Thessalonians -- a brief but important Pauline text in New Testament apocalyptic literature -- was a center of speculation and debate about matters apocalyptic in the early church. Thus, the way one decides to interpret Paul shapes the way one understands Antichrist. Will the fall of Rome signal the End of Time? Is Antichrist to be a single individual in the future, or is it better to understand it in the spiritual sense, "the Body of Antichrist" (evil people) within the "Body of Christ" (the church) right now? Medieval Christians wrestled with these questions by grappling both with the 2 Thessalonians itself and with the traditions of interpretation that preceded them. By the twelfth century, the tradition of reflection had distilled from the many and various early interpretations a synthetic understanding of Antichrist and the End as both present and to come, both historical and spiritual. This study documents the process of distillation as it occurs through the formal genre of commentary. Through the mechanism of scriptural commentary, medieval scholars aimed to correlate and synthesize the questions they brought to the text with the many possible senses of the text and the words of the fathers on the text into one intelligible whole. Commentaries on 2 Thessalonians, then, provide the ‘architecture’ for the developing doctrine of Antichrist.



Other Projects on the Horizon:

The Mystical Pedagogy of St. Bonaventure: A Reappraisal of the Collations on the Six Days of Creation.  Monograph manuscript in process, aiming for completion by 2008.

“What’s Theological about Historical Theology? An Inquiry into Method”

“The Disciplines of Wonder: Notes on the Theological Vocation.”