John H. Van Engen F'08, F'79

John H. Van Engen
Andrew V. Tackes Chair of Medieval History
History
University of Notre Dame

ACLS Fellowship Program 2008
Professor
History
University of Notre Dame
The Spirit of Twelfth-Century Europe: Reason and Revolt, Reading and Romance, in a World of Custom

Twelfth-century Europe served medievalists through much of the twentieth century as the best answer to an abiding fascination with the origins of modernity. With it they laid claim to a medieval “renaissance” (Haskins) and “reformation” (Constable) that first set the tone for a distinctively European culture. In an age where neither the classics nor the Christian religion serve as presumptive paradigms, however, this period (roughly 1050-1200) needs a new conceptual approach and a new narrative. This study examines cultural dynamics that cut across religion and learning and politics, approaches it by way of forms of communication distinctive to the era, and shows how Europeans did indeed begin to think afresh about nearly all things from God to nature, the human to society.

Research Fellowships for Recent Recipients of the PhD Degree 1979
Assistant Professor
University of Notre Dame
Rupert of Deutz: A Benedictine Theologian