Majella Franzmann

Professor Majella Franzmann

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2001
  • Section(s): Religion, Classical Studies


Professor Franzmann is an Honorary Professor, Department of Studies in Religion, at the University of Sydney, after serving as Pro Vice-Chancellor Humanities at two universities (Otago, 2008-10; Curtin, 2010-15). Her research has focused primarily on religions of the early centuries CE, especially gnostic religions, with the assistance of both national (ARC Large/Discovery) and international (DAAD; Humboldt Foundation) research grants. She has facility with both German and French, and studied Maori language at undergraduate level while PVC at Otago University. She undertakes research work with ancient languages including Syriac, Coptic, Latin, New Testament Greek, and Biblical Hebrew. Her monographs include studies of the Odes of Solomon (1991), and the Gnostic Jesus of the Nag Hammadi (1996) and Manichaean texts (2003).

She has worked in research teams studying social and cultural change in fourth-century Egypt as a result of Christianisation (2000-02), and the fourteenth-century remains of Manichaeans and the Church of the East in China (2002-04; 2005-09). She has more recently combined her research on Women in World Religions (2000) with her expertise in Manichaeism for a project on Women in Manichaeism with Professor Madeleine Scopello (CNRS Sorbonne).

Professor Franzmann has been a member of major national and international scholarly associations for her areas of research (Australian Association for the Study of Religions [AASR]; Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas [SNTS]; International Association of Manichaean Studies [IAMS]; Society for Biblical Literature [SBL]; and Association pour l’à tude de la littà rature apocryphe chrà tienne [AELEC]). She is currently a member of the editorial board for the international journal Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies. She has assisted with reviews for Offices of Higher Education in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria for the accreditation of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Theology (1993-2007). In a more general academic capacity, she has served on the Governing Council of Polytechnic West, Perth (2011-15) and as a member of the Expert Working Group, Securing Australia’s Future (SAF) 13 project of the Australian Council of Learned Academies: Review of national research training schemes (2015-16).

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.