Medieval Studies
Boston College

Medieval Studies at Boston College presents innovative and traditional models for historical and cultural research and criticism in Fine Arts, History, Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Theology.
The prominence of Medieval Studies at Boston College attests to the vitality of the field and the importance of the questions that the study of the medieval period continues to generate today.

Boston College offers a concentration in Medieval Studies at the undergraduate, masters or doctoral level in the following departments: English, Fine Arts, History, Irish Studies, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, Slavic and Eastern Languages, and Theology.

Institutional resources

The O'Neill Library
The university's main library provides access to print publications and electronic databases essential to research in Medieval Studies, including primary texts (Migne's Patrologiae, Monumenta Germaniae historica, Corpus Christianorum and Sources chrétiennes), electronic full-text databases, (CETEDOC Library of Christian Texts, Thesaurus linguae Grecae, and Thomae Aquinatis opera omnia), electronic indexes (In principio: Incipit index of Latin texts, Art Index, ATLA religious database, Philosopher's index, Historical abstracts, Dissertation abstracts), and internet access to research library catalogs, electronic texts, and journals.
The library staff includes a bibliographer for Medieval Studies.
The Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections
The Burns Library houses 100,000 books on the religious, cultural, intellectual and political history of Western civilization. mong these are a collection of early printed books, late medieval manuscripts and facsimiles of important medieval manuscripts
The McMullen Museum of Art
The newly-designed university museum shows ground-breaking, interdisciplinary exhibitions of international importance.
The Director of the Museum served as curator of medieval art at the Museum of Fine Arts/Boston before coming to Boston College.
The Medieval Forum
This faculty-graduate student colloquium meets regularly during the academic year to review current research and discuss pertinent issues within medieval studies.
Members of the Forum served as curators for the McMullen Museum of Art exhibition "Memory and the Middle Ages", which included nearly 100 objects, including sculpture, manuscripts, prints, and metalwork.
The Institute of Medieval Philosophy and Theology (IMPAT)
IMPAT supports study and research of the medieval intellectual world and has established a research center, a faculty-student seminar, and a lecture series. IMPAT also offers graduate fellowships and assitantships.

Boston area resources

Boston Library Consortium / Boston Theological Institute consortium
Between them these consortia afford Boston College students and faculty borrowing privileges at fifteen public and university libraries and eight theology libraries in the Greater Boston area.
The B3T university consortium
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences participates in a consortium which permits cross-registration in medieval studies courses offered by Boston University, Brandeis University and Tufts University.
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)
One of the nation's finest art museums, the MFA houses the third-largest collection of medieval art objects in the United States.
The Boston Public Library (BPL)
The BPL's special collections encompass more than 200 volumes of manuscripts dating from the 10th to 16th centuries, from France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and England.


Raymond G. Biggar
PhD, University of Wisconsin
Middle English language and literature
Philip T. O'Leary
PhD, Harvard University
Irish Studies
Richard J. Schrader
PhD, Ohio State University
Medieval English literature
Fine Arts
Pamela Berger
PhD, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Medieval art history
Nancy Netzer
PhD, Harvard University
Medieval art; Director, McMullen Museum of Art
German Studies
Michael Resler
PhD, Harvard University
Germanic philology
Benjamin Braude
PhD, Harvard University
Medieval and Modern Islamic History
Robin Fleming
PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara
Medieval history
Virginia Reinburg
PhD, Princeton University
Late Medieval and Early Modern history
John H. Rosser
PhD, Rutgers University
Byzantine history and archeology
T. Frank Kennedy SJ
PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara
Early Music
Oliva Blanchette
PhD, Université Laval; PhL, College St. Albert de Louvain
Systematic Philosophy
Elizabeth Brient
MPhil, Yale University
Late Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
Thomas S. Hibbs
PhD, University of Notre Dame
Ethics and Philosophical Theology
Eileen C. Sweeney
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Norman J. Wells
PhD, University of Toronto
Medieval Philosophy
Romance Languages and Literatures
Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner
PhD, Yale University
Medieval French Literature
Dwayne E. Carpenter
PhD, University of California at Berkeley; PhD, Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley
Medieval Spanish Literature, Medieval Jewish-Christian Relations
Franco Mormando SJ
PhD, Harvard University
Early Vernacular Preaching
Laurie Shepard
PhD, Boston College
Medieval Romance Literature and Philology
Slavic and Eastern Languages
M.J. Connolly
PhD, Harvard University
Philology, Liturgy
Margaret Thomas
PhD, Harvard University
History of Linguistics
Stephen F. Brown
PhD, Université de Louvain
Medieval Theology and Philosophy
Mark S. Burrows
PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary
History of Christian Theology
Patricia DeLeeuw
PhD, University of Toronto
Medieval Church History
Ernest L. Fortin AA
PhD, Sorbonne
Political Philosophy and Ethics
Matthew L. Lamb
DrTheol, Universität Münster
German Philosophy and Theology
Willemien Otten
PhD, University of Amsterdam
Stephen J. Pope
PhD, University of Chicago
Louis Roy OP
PhD, University of Cambridge Theology
Margaret A. Schatkin
PhD, Fordham University; ThD, Princeton Theological Seminary

Sample courses

History of the English language; Old English; Beowulf; Old Irish; The Celtic heroic age; The Viking age of Britain; Chaucer: Canterbury tales; Chaucer's contemporaries; Modern Arthurian literature; Bibiography.

Fine Arts
Early medieval art in Ireland and Britain; Art of the early medieval world; Art of the late medieval world; History and art history into film; The museum of art: history, philosophy and practice.

German Studies
Mittelhochdeutsch; Die Lieder Walthers von der Vogelweide; German literature of the high middle ages; King Arthur in German literature.

Introductory archeology; The Late Roman empire; The Byzantine empire; The Vikings; Islamic civilization; Sources of Anglo-Saxon history; The Christian hero: The cult of saints in the Middle Ages; Church as state: The development of structures of authority in the Medieval Church; The Norman conquest; Serious entertainments: Ancient and Medieval historical writing; Community and wealth in the Middle Ages; Popular religion and popular culture, 1300-1600

English legal history

Medieval and Renaissance music

Medieval philosophy; Divine Illumination in medieval thought; The Image of the Infinite in Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa; Virtue and law in Aquinas; The medieval philosophy of logic and language; The origins of the modern fact/value dichotomy; Relationships of Medieval and Early Modern philosophy

Romance Languages and Literatures
History of French, Italian and Spanish; Masterpieces of Medieval French literature; Nobles and beasts, aaints and tricksters; The birth of Medieval vernacular lyric: Provençal poetry and the flowering of fin'amor; Dante; Boccaccio and the development of Italian prose; Sex, lies and manuscripts: El libro de buen amor and Celestina; Social and intellectual history of medieval Spain

Slavic and Eastern Languages
The language of liturgy; Old Church Slavonic; Old Russian; Classical Armenian; Sanskrit

Latin and Greek patristics; Medieval theology I & II; Medieval exegesis: Origen through Aquinas; The body in early Christian and medieval theology; Time and eternity in Augustine's Confessions; Augustine's City of God; Augustine and Aquinas on the Trinity; The development of theology as a scientific discipline; The ethics of Thomas Aquinas; Medieval religious poetry; Conversion in the Middle Ages; Figures and themes in early Christianity; Eleventh-century monastic spirituality; Medieval and reformation theology

Textual Studies
Latin paleography; Spanish paleography; Textual criticism; The medieval book

Latin and Greek
Latin literature; The history and structure of Latin; Greek
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