Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Dr. Marc B. Cels

Associate Professor, History


  • Email:
  • Toll-free in North America: 1-844-795-7731
  • Office hours: Thursdays, 4:00-5:00 PM (MST)
  • Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
    Athabasca University
    1 University Drive
    Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3

President, Canadian Society of Medievalists/ Société canadienne des médiévistes


  • B.A. (Hons.) (University of Calgary)
  • M.A. Medieval Studies (University of Toronto)
  • Ph.D. Medieval Studies (University of Toronto)


I joined Athabasca University in 2008 as Assistant Professor of History at the Centre for Global and Social Analysis. I co-ordinate and tutor several Distance Education courses on ancient, medieval and early modern Europe—that is, up to about 1700 CE.

My work focuses on the Latin books written to educate friars and other priests across Europe in their duties of preaching and hearing confessions, especially in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. These often dry texts interest me because they can reveal the thoughts, hopes, and feelings of medieval people. My dissertation and subsequent research has focused on anger, one of the Seven Deadly sins. This topic touches upon the history of violence, conflict and reconciliation, as well as medieval psychological and medical theories.

I live peaceably in Edmonton, Alberta.

Selected Publications

Articles and Book Chapters:

"Forgiveness in Late Medieval Sermons: On the Unforgiving Servant." Medieval Sermon Studies 62.1 (2018): 42-60.

"'An Irous Man': Anger and Authority in the Summoner's Tale." Chaucer Review 53, no. 3 (2018): 305-32.

"Vade prius reconciliari": The Double Binds of Priestly Peace-Making in Medieval England," in From Learning to Love: Schools, Law, and Pastoral Care in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Joseph W. Goering, ed. Tristan Sharp, Isabelle Cochelin, Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Abigail Firey, and Giulio Silano, 386-401 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2017).

"Pastoral Texts," in The Encyclopedia of British Medieval Literature, ed. Siân Echard and Robert Rouse (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)

"Anger in Thomas of Ireland’s Manipulus Florum and in Five Texts for Preachers." Florilegium 29 (2012 for 2014): 147-170.

"Interrogating Anger in the New Penitential Literature of the Thirteenth Century,"Viator 45, no.1 (2014):203-220

"Reconciling Mendicant and Secular Confessors in Late Medieval England," Journal of Medieval History 38, no.2 (2012): 225-43.

"God's Wrath against the Wrathful in Medieval Mendicant Preaching,"Canadian Journal of History/Annals canadiennes d'histoire 43, no. 2 (2008): 217-26.

Translation (from Latin)

"Questions Concerning the Jews: Proposals from the Secretariat for the Promotion of the Unity of Christians," in Michael Attridge, ed., Jews and Catholics Together: Celebrating the Legacy of Nostra Aetate. (Ottawa: Novalis, 2007): 166-176.

Books: Children's Non-Fiction

Life on a Manor. Medieval World. Crabtree Publishing: St. Catherine's, 2005.

Life in a Monastery. Medieval World. Crabtree Publishing: St. Catherine's, 2005.

Art and Literature in the Middle Ages. Medieval World. Crabtree Publishing: St. Catherine's, 2005.

Updated February 22 2021 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.