Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1062
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
Medieval and Renaissance Europe (especially Italy); History of Christianity; Religion, culture, society; Female religious life
- Medieval Christianity, ed. Daniel E. Bornstein (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009) (volume 4 of A People’s History of Christianity, general editor Denis R. Janz).
- Florence and Beyond: Culture, Society and Politics in Renaissance Italy, ed. David S. Peterson with Daniel E. Bornstein (Toronto Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2008).
- Bartolomea Riccoboni, Life and Death in a Venetian Convent: The Chronicle and Necrology of Corpus Domini, 1395-1436, ed. and trans. Daniel Bornstein (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
- Women and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance Italy, ed. Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
- The Bianchi of 1399: Popular Devotion in Late Medieval Italy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993).
- Mistiche e devote nell’Italia tardomedievale, ed. Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi (Naples: Liguori, 1992).
- Dino Compagni’s Chronicle of Florence, translated with introduction and notes by Daniel E. Bornstein (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986).
L23 154 Freshman Seminar: Saints and Society
The topic of this course is saints and society in medieval and early modern Europe. It will explore the complex relationships between exceptional holy men and women, the historical settings in which they lived, and the religious and cultural traditions on which they drew. It will consider saints as both embodiments of the highest ideals of their societies and radical challenges to ordinary patterns of social existence. Same as home course L22 History 154.
L23 180 Freshman Seminar in Religious Studies: Miracles
Miracles - those concrete manifestations of divine power at work in the world - have been a central feature of Christianity since its inception. This course uses the history of miracles to explore shifting notions of nature and the supernatural, power and grace, healing and holiness, community among the living and with the dead, and the functioning of the spiritual economy.
L23 343C Europe in the Age of the Reformation
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Europe was torn apart by the theological, social, and political upheaval created by Martin Luther's challenge to the Roman Catholic Church. We will examine the late medieval history of dissent and the social and religious environment that made the Reformation possible. We will also analyze the doctrines and the tactics of the principal branches of Protestantism and the Catholic Church's response, and the social and political impact of the Reformation. This course satisfies the pre-modern course requirement for the history major. PREREQ: SEE HISTORY HEADNOTE. Same as home course L22 History 343C.
L23 393 Medieval Christianity
This course surveys the historical development of Christian doctrine, ecclesiastical organization, and religious practice between the fifth century and the fifteenth, with an emphasis on the interaction of religion, culture, politics, and society. Topics covered include the Christianization of Europe, monasticism, the liturgy, sacramental theology and practice, the Gregorian reform, religious architecture, the mendicant orders and the attack on heresy, lay devotions, the papal monarchy, schism and conciliarism, and the reform movements of the fifteenth century.
L23 3977 The Making of the Modern Catholic Church
This course will examine the work of three church councils that put their stamp on the Catholic Church at key moments in its history, making it what it is today. The first section will be dedicated to the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), which defined the high medieval church as an all-encompassing papal monarchy with broad powers over the lives of all Europeans, Christian and non-Christian alike. In the second section we will turn our attention to the Council of Trent (1545-1563), which responded to the threat posed by the Protestant Reformation by reforming the Catholic church, tightening ecclesiastical discipline, improving clerical education, and defining and defending Catholic doctrine. We will conclude with a consideration of the largest church council ever, Vatican II (1962-1965), which reformed the liturgy and redefined the church to meet the challenges of the modern, multicultural, post-colonial world.
L23 408 Nuns
Nuns - women vowed to a shared life of poverty, chastity, and obedience in a cloistered community - were central figures in medieval and early modern religion and society. This course will explore life in the convent, with the distinctive culture that developed among communities of women, and the complex relations between the world of the cloister and the world outside the cloister. We will look at how female celibacy served social and political as well as religious interests. We will read works by nuns, both willing and unwilling, and works about nuns: nuns behaving well, and nuns behaving scandalously badly; nuns embracing their heavenly spouse, and nuns putting on plays; nuns possessed by the devil, and nuns managing their possessions; nuns as enraptured visionaries, and nuns grappling with the mundane realities of life in a cloistered community.
L23 4993 Advanced Seminar: Women and Religion in Medieval Europe
This course explores the religious experience of women in medieval Europe and attempts a gendered analysis of the Christian Middle Ages. In it, we will examine the religious experience of women in a variety of settings - from household to convent. In particular, we will try to understand how and why women came to assume public roles of unprecedented prominence in European religious culture between the twelfth century and the sixteenth, even though the institutional church barred them from the priesthood and religious precepts remained a principal source of the ideology of female inferiority. PREREQUISITE: Prior coursework in history or permission of the instructor. Pre-modern, Europe. Same as home course L22 History 4993.