Holly Johnson,

2005 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS   39762

Holly Johnson

Professional Bio:

Holly Johnson teaches courses in medieval English literature and specializes in late medieval sermons. Her recent volume, The Grammar of Good Friday: Macaronic Sermons of Late Medieval England (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), offers a detailed study of Good Friday preaching and an edition with translation of five highly imaginative, rhetorically sophisticated macaronic (mixed Latin and Middle English) Good Friday sermons preached in late medieval England (c. 1350-1450). She has published articles on the art of preaching on Good Friday, the seven deadly sins, and domestic imagery in Easter sermons, some of which include editions of previously unpublished medieval sermons. She is currently working on the sermons of Master Robert Rypon, a Benedictine monk educated at Oxford who lived in Durham, England at the turn of the fifteenth century. Fifty nine of Rypon’s sermons are extant in one manuscript housed in the British Library. Scholars have mined these sermons for what they reveal about late medieval preaching, monastic learning, the medieval understanding of the seven deadly sins, and the lay religious life of late medieval Durham, but to date there are no editions or translations of these sermons, so for most scholars and students of medieval literature and history, this rich material remains inaccessible. Dr. Johnson is now preparing two volumes of selected sermons of Robert Rypon which will be part of the Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations series published by Peeters Publishers (Louvain, Belgium).


Ph.D. 2001      The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A. 1989       The University of Maryland
B.A.  1987      The University of Maryland

Teaching Interests:

Old and Middle English Literature

Recent Courses:



The Grammar of Good Friday

The Grammar of Good Friday: Macaronic Sermons of Late Medieval England. Sermo 8. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012.



“Robert Rypon and the Creation of London, British Library, MS Harley 4894: A Master Preacher and His Sermon Collection.” Medieval Sermon Studies 59 (2015): 40-58.

“The Imaginative Landscape of an English Monk-Preacher: Robert Rypon and the Court of Memory.” Mediaeval Studies 75 (2013): 177-204.

“The Divine Dinner Party: Domestic Imagery and Easter Preaching in Late Medieval England.” Traditio 67 (2012): 385-415.

“A Fifteenth-Century Sermon Enacts the Seven Deadly Sins.” Sin in Medieval and Early Modern Culture: The Tradition of the Seven Deadly Sins. Ed. Richard G. Newhauser and Susan J. Ridyard. York: York Medieval Press, in association with Boydell & Brewer, 2012. 107-31.

“God’s Music-Making: The Cross-Harp Metaphor in Late-Medieval Preaching.” Medieval Perspectives 22 (2007 [2011]): 48-59.

“The Hard Bed of the Cross: Good Friday Preaching and the Seven Deadly Sins.” The Seven Deadly Sins: From Communities to Individuals. Ed. Richard Newhauser. Leiden: Brill, 2007. 129-44.

“Fashioning Devotion: The Art of Good Friday Preaching in Chaucerian England.” Speculum Sermonis: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Medieval Sermon. Ed. Georgiana Donavin, et al.  Disputatio 1. Turnhout: Brepols, 2005. 315-34.

Professional Honors and Awards

Professional Service