Thomas J. Heffernan is an expert on religious anthropology, ancient literature, and historical linguistics, and holds the Kenneth Curry Chair in the Humanities in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee. After completing his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, he was awarded a fellowship by the Medieval Academy of America for the study of Latin palaeography at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including Sacred Biography: Saints and Their Biographies in the Middle Ages and The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, as well as over 60 scholarly essays and reviews. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has appeared on National Public Radio and a number of television broadcasts, and has lectured for the National Geographic Society and on adventure cruises.