Religion in the Medieval Mediterranean World

Our concentration in the history of the medieval Mediterranean world moves from a concern with particular portions of the Mediterranean littoral – Italy, southern France, Iberia, North Africa, and the Middle East – to explore contacts, exchanges, and conflicts across and around the Mediterranean. Areas of specific expertise include urban religious culture, monastic institutions, popular religiosity, and the cult of saints in Mediterranean Europe; mysticism, messianism, and antinomian and subversive movements in Islam; the religious culture of medieval Italy; and heresy, inquisition, and crusade in Latin Christendom.

More broadly, our faculty share an interest in the relations between religious identity, political power, social order, and cultural production. We cooperate closely with the interdisciplinary program in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies, and both students and faculty participate in the interdisciplinary reading group in medieval culture. Language instruction is available at all levels in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Persian, as well as other relevant languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish.

Recent dissertation topics include piety and community in late medieval Rome; sacred economies and local identities in the March of Ancona, 1348-1453; the struggle for religious and political authority in the fourteenth-century Papal States; and environmental devastation in southern France during the Albigensian crusade.

Core Faculty

Daniel Bornstein
Martin Jacobs
Mark Gregory Pegg
Hayrettin Yücesoy