The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

The Rev. Canon James F. Turrell, Ph.D.

Norma and Olan Mills Prof of Divinity, Assoc. Dean for Academic Affairs, Sub-dean of the Chapel of the Apostles

B.A., M.Div., Yale University, M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

The Rev. Canon James F. Turrell, Ph.D.

Turrell studied history as an undergraduate at Yale (B.A., 1991) before pursuing a divinity degree there (M.Div., 1996). He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem (PA) in 1996.  After parish work, he studied history at Vanderbilt University (PhD, 2002), focusing on religion in early modern Britain and working under Margo Todd. He was an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow. His doctoral dissertation addressed confirmation and catechizing in the early modern Church of England, showing that in place of the (ostensibly required) ritual of confirmation, the church actually ignored confirmation and instead enforced knowledge of the catechism as the prerequisite for full participation in the life of the church. 

Turrell teaches courses on liturgy and on the history of early modern England. His research focuses on early modern Britain, though some of his scholarship also addresses more recent issues in Christian initiation. His publications include Celebrating the Rites of Initiation (Church Publishing, 2013) and contributions to the Brill Companion to Richard Hooker, the Brill Companion to the Eucharist in the Reformation, and the Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer, as well as articles in the Anglican Theological Review, The Seventeenth Century, Anglican and Episcopal History, and Studia Liturgica.

Turrell oversees the seminary’s Chapel of the Apostles on behalf of the dean and serves as associate dean for academic affairs, facilitating the work of the faculty in instruction. He also serves as priest associate at All Saints’ Chapel.

Turrell CV