Office Hours

Things that I had to think about this afternoon in the course of meeting with students:

1. Modern art displayed in spaces formerly used for religious worship; 12th-century Cistercian arguments for and against the use of ornament in devotion; the definition of art; the exhibitions at the newly-restored Collège des Bernardins (beautifully photographed by one of my students)

2. Humbert of Romans and the purpose of preaching; the purpose of reading religious literature and how it differs from the way in which academics tend to read; how to read doctrine from outside the tradition in which it was written

3. The relations between Byzantium and the West in the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries

4. Literature on the medieval engagement with the liturgy and on the concept of conforming oneself to the image of God; unedited treatises on the idea of the soul; devotional miscellanies in the collections at the Regenstein and Newberry libraries

5. Eusebius

6. Haskins' The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century; Gilson's The Spirit of Medieaval Philosophy; Southern's The Making of the Middle Ages; Tellenbach's Church, State and Christian Society at the Time of the Investiture Contest; Huizinga's Autumn of the Middle Ages; historiographical "gaps" vs. passionate convictions; why we study history and our relationship to the scholarship that has come before

7. The high medieval nobility's relationship to religion, whether institutionally or spiritually, somewhere in Europe but probably Germany

All this after spending the morning preparing for tomorrow's discussion on Eusebius and spending lunchtime leading a staff meeting on Beowulf. This evening I have to prepare for a second discussion tomorrow on Bonaventure's Breviloquium, parts 3 & 4. Oh, and I also read a book proposal this morning on the religious significance of trees.

Just in case anyone wonders what, as a professor, one does all day.


  1. I was finally achieving some peace with the notion that I'd left academia, was enjoying other intellectual stimulation, and that it wasn't quite as interesting as I'd remembered it being.
    That only took about 4 1/2 years.

    Now I'm reconsidering again.
    Thanks. :)


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