The Friars Preachers: The First Hundred Years of the Dominican Order


When Dominic of Caleruega began preaching in southern France in the early 1200s, he would have had no idea of the far reaching influence that the band of men he would attract would leave such a broad and enduring influence on medieval history.

Women’s Devotional Bequests of Textiles in the Late Medieval English Parish Church, c.1350-1550

Medieval woman reading

My investigation is set within the context of the current high level of interest in the workings of the late medieval parish.

Monastic Space and the Use of Books in Anglo-Norman England

Canterbury - Eadwine Psalter

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical Research on: Monastic Space and the Use of Books in Anglo-Norman England.

The Augustinian Canons in England and Wales: Architecture, Archaeology and Liturgy 1100-1540

Augustinian - Canons Regular

The Augustinian canons remain very much the Cinderellas of British medieval monastic history.

St George’s Day: A Cultural History

St. George slaying the Dragon

The modern celebration of St. George’s Day, frequently associated with intense English nationalism, grew out of a religious feast that commemorated a Middle-Eastern individual who died protesting an intolerant empire.

Transformations of Print into Painting: A Case Study of the Context of Prints in an Illustrated Brigittine Psalter

Brigittine Psalter

This liturgical psalter raises issues of the production and consumption of religious texts in convents in the northern Netherlands.

On Omissions and Substitutions in the Medieval English Translations of the Gospel

Wessex Gospels/West-Saxon Gospels

In view of this we carried out research on two English medieval translations of John’s Gospel, believing that their comparison would not only reveal differences in the perception and experience of biblical concepts (expressed through language), but also those in culture, society and cognition that occurred in the period between their occurrence.

The King’s Three Images: The representation of St. Edward the Confessor in historiography, hagiography and liturgy

Edward the Confessor - Bayeux Tapestry

This study will revolve around the characterisation of Edward as constructed in the various surviving texts, and its emphasis will be twofold: my primary concern is to explore how St. Edward the Confessor’s images were constructed, i.e. how he is represented in the various texts written about him.

Christ in Motion: Portable Objects and Scenographic Environments in the Liturgy of Medieval Bohemia

Christ entering Jerusalem on an ass

It accordingly seems clear, from many preserved accounts, that by the end of the fifteenth century the rubric of the Church of Prague was no longer the same and that progressive versions contained different layers of alteration to the performance practice of Palm Sunday ritual.

Teaching the Creed and Articles of Faith in England: Lateran IV to Ignorantia sacerdotum

Old books

The broad conclusion of this thesis is that the available evidence shows that the basic principles of Christian doctrine were available both to the lower clergy who would preach and teach the Creed and Articles of Faith and also to the laity who would receive this preaching and instruction.

Dramatic ritual and preaching in late Anglo-Saxon England

biblical images

My thesis involves an examination of the dramatic liturgical ritual of the late Anglo-Saxon period and its relationship to other aspects of Christian worship, especially vernacular preaching.

Making the martyr: the liturgical persona of Saint Thomas Becket in visual imagery

Murder of Thomas Becket - image in Canterbury Cathedral


Scottish saints cults and pilgrimage from the Black Death to the Reformation, c.1349-1560

Scottish pilgrims badges

This thesis will question this premise and provide the first indepth study of the cults of St Andrew, Columba of Iona/Dunkeld, Kentigern of Glasgow and Ninian of Whithorn in a late medieval Scottish context, as well as the lesser known northern saint, Duthac of Tain.

The Mystery of the Marble Man and his Hat: A Reconsideration of the Bari Episcopal Throne


Until the twentieth century, the throne was universally held to have been sculpted in or immediately before 1098 for Elias, the abbot of San Nicola and archbishop of Bari and Canosa.

Church Wall Paintings and Mosaics: Principles of their arrangement and relationship to church architecture

Medieval Orthodox Wall Mosaic

The history of Orthodox church wall-painting and mosaics, East and West, is a very rich one. On the one hand it reveals tremendous creativity in the Church’s response to architectural and pastoral changes. On the other hand it shows how consistently it has been faithful to unchanging spiritual principles.

English Mystery Plays – Staging Patterns and Orality Features

English Mystery Plays

Medieval English theatre is a term covering a large body of plays, performances and theatrical activities. The entire period of medieval drama spans for five hundred years.

“The Eucharist and the Negotiation of Orthodoxy in the High Middle Ages”

Waldensians depicted as witches

This paper is part of Adam Hoose’s dissertation. It examined the differences between Waldensians and Franciscans in their treatment of the Eucharist. It also explored why the Waldensians were unsuccessful in their bid to become a legitimate religious order and were eventually marginalized as heretics.

“Kings as Catechumens: Royal Conversion Narratives and Easter in the Historia Ecclesiastica” by Carolyn Twomey (Boston College)

King Edwin of Northumbria

This is the first paper from the Haskins Conference at Boston College – it focused on Bede’s narratives of Royal conversion.

Sacrilege, Sacrifice and John Barbour’s Bruce

John Barbour

The narrative accomplished on this plane is critical to the foundation, or re-foundation, of royal order after a usurpation, yet it is more than a dynastic expedient;3 rather, it is a story that, even as it bridges the gaps in credibility and legitimacy attendant upon a new royal line, primally reinforces the governing fictions of kingship as an institution.

Performance, transmission and devotion: understanding the Anglo-Saxon prayer books, c.800-1050

Anglo Saxon prayer book

This thesis offers a corrective to standard histories of medieval devotion that circumvent the Anglo-­‐Saxon contribution to medieval piety, by investigating private prayers found in certain manuscripts between 800 and 1050. It examines the manuscript tradition of prayer, to reveal the reality of prayer performance in Anglo-­‐Saxon England.

A Cluniac Office of the Dead

Abbey of Cluny

The office of the dead has become a familiar portion of the divine office to anyone who studies chant, but this is the limit of most research. Although Cluny maintained a reputation for its frequent celebration of the office of the dead, the Cluniac office of the dead has only been mentioned in passing in many chant studies.

Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman Monastic Culture

Statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, England

This thesis looks at the ways in which Benedictine monks contributed to the fashioning of images of Jews in sources related to the Marian cult in the post-Conquest period, 1066-1154.

The Libro de la Regla Vieja of the Cathedral of Seville as a Musicological Source

Cathedral of Seville, Seville, Spain

The significance of this regla de coro to Seville’s pre-Tridentine use prompted me to seek here a deeper understanding of the book, and especially the textual transmission of its contents, confusion over which has led, hitherto, to most of the difficulties and errors concerning its dating.

VAGANTES: Between Tradition and Change: Monastic Reform in Three fifteenth-century German Redactions of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt

St. Mary of Egypt 3

Using the life of St. Mary of Egypt, this paper will consider three different Middle High German versions produced by reform communities and will analyze how the reform ideologies and goals manifest in the texts.

A Reassessment of the Feast of Fools: A Rough and Holy Liturgy

Feast of fools by Pieter Brueghel The Elder (16th century)

A younger contemporary of Richard of St.-Victor, Jean Beleth (fl. 1160), acknowledged the popular name of the feast: “The feast of the subdeacons, which we call ‘of fools’, by some is executed on the Circumcision, but by others on Epiphany or its octave.’

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