Lesley-Anne
Dyer Williams, Ph.D.

Phone: 903.233.3383
Email: LesleyAnneWilliams@letu.edu

  • Assistant Professor of English


Lesley-Anne Williams teaches literature, Latin, and fine arts at LeTourneau University. She specializes in the ancient, medieval, and renaissance periods. Her classes feature a strong emphasis upon mythology and fairy tales. She holds graduate degrees in literature, theology, and philosophy, and this training can be seen in the ways she tries to integrate faith and learning in the classroom.

She has recently been coordinating a new liberal arts experience at LeTourneau­­—The Guild—that gives students the opportunity to approach their general education requirements in an intentional, communal, and interdisciplinary way.

After hours, she loves to swim and cook with her family. She and her husband, Will Williams, can often be found playing the latest historical board game, enjoying the Marvel universe, and reading “Peanuts” cartoons­­—that is, when they are not playing make believe with their young children.

 

EDUCATION

  • PhD in Medieval Studies(June 2007-Aug. 2011) - Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
    • Dissertation: "Translating Eternity in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance from Anselm to Thierry of Chartres."
  • MMS in Medieval Studies (Aug. 2005-May 2007) - Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
    • Thesis: "Being, Truth, and the Place of Wyclif's De Ente Predicamentali"
  • MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies (Oct. 2004-July 2005) - Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK
    • Thesis: "Wyclif's Theology of Time and Eternity" (Mark of Distinction)
  • BA University Scholars in Classics and Religion (Aug. 2000-May 2004) - Baylor University, Waco, TX
    • Thesis: "The Hermeneutics of Augustine on the First Chapter of Genesis.

 

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

2013 - 2015

Green Scholars Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow in Manuscript Research

Baylor University, Waco, TX

2012 - 2013

Postdoctoral Fellow, Thomas Jefferson Center for Core Texts and Ideas

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

2011 - 2012

Visiting Assistant Professor, Program of Liberal Studies

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Research Interests

Lesley-Anne William’s academic research focuses upon recovering the traditional meaning and significance of the divine attribute of eternity. This issue became important to her when she was wrestling with a particular passage from Milton’s Paradise Lost­—the one where Raphael draws an analogy between eternity and time that makes the telling of a story about the fall of the angels possible. She quickly discovered that contemporary secondary literature on time and eternity was inadequate for helping her understand exactly what was being implied about the nature of both eternity time. So much focus in contemporary philosophy and theology has been upon emphasizing the timeless aspect of eternity in classical theism that a long tradition of time as a moving image of eternity has been ignored. This tradition does not merely define time and eternity in opposition to each other and has influenced Christian culture in some surprising ways. She has examined this issue in the works of Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Bernard of Chartres, William of Conches, Peter Abelard, Thierry of Chartres, Bernard Silvestris, Dante, and John Wyclif.

Throughout her publications she contends that both eternity and time are kinds of life, and that time, as a created thing, is a kind of life that is made in the image of eternity. This analogy between eternity and time influences historical understandings of the quadrivium in medieval liberal arts education, the reciting of the psalms in traditional Jewish and Christian worship, the role of competition in mimetic production, and even the rise of poetry as an independent academic discipline.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • "Beautiful Bodies and Shameful Embodiment: The Paradox of Embodiment in Plotinus' Enneads," in Embodiment, ed. by Justin Smith. Oxford Philosophical Concepts Series. 2017.
  • "Roman Catholicism," Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. by Dan Treier. 2017.
  • "Veiled Platonic Triads and Peter Abelard's Theologia 'Summi Boni'," Rethinking Abelard: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by B. Hellemans, Brill Intellectual History Series. Leiden: Brill. 2014
  • "The Twelfth-Century Influence of Hilary of Poitiers on Richard of St.Victor's De Trinitate," Studia Patristica, vol. LXIX: Latin Writers Nachleben. Ed. by M. Vinzent. Leuven: Peeters. 2013
  • "Eternity as Maximum in Anselm's Monologion," Filosofia Unisinos 11, 3. 2010
  • "Wycliffe and the Wycliffites," Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. June 2010