This semester I’m teaching a graduate seminar (the first since I’ve started at RIC). Over the course of the semester, I’ll be posting some reflections on the course and the material we’re covering, partly to sort through some of my own thoughts and also in solidarity with my students, who will also be blogging. So […]

The latest news cycle brings a media storm about Tuesday’s (January 17) confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos: news stories, live-streaming of the event, video clips saved for later, tweets on both sides of the political divide, and of course hot-takes. Consider this one of the latter. Specifically, I want to respond to […]

When I first started working on texts related to the biblical Judith in Anglo-Saxon England (which I discuss here), I had several goals: one of these was to provide more exposure to literature other than the Old English poem Judith. The sermon On Judith by Ælfric of Eynsham was one of the main texts that sparked my interest. Ælfric […]

Just before Christmas, Mark Hay published a piece over at Vice about certain accounts of Jesus’ miracles as a child. Specifically, Hay discusses apocryphal (extra-biblical or non-canonical, different terms for these stories that aren’t in the Bible) stories in which (in his words) “Lil’ Jesus used his divine powers to terrorize teachers, kill Jewish children, and […]

During the season leading up to Christmas known as Advent, the Christian story of Jesus’ birth is often a centerpiece of Western culture. Yet many Christians also celebrate another miraculous story during this time: the Conception of the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother. The feast day is traditionally observed on December 8, exactly nine months before the […]

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For previous posts, see Part 1 and Part 2.] When we think of the medieval period and religion, one of the […]

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For an introduction to the series, and some general examples, see Part 1; for the next post in the series, […]