About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. My translation of Hildegard's Book of Divine Works is available from Catholic University of America Press here. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

48th International Congress on Medieval Studies: May 9-12, 2013

I am pleased to announce that I have received a portion of the 2013 James J. Paxson Memorial Travel Grant from the BABEL Working Group, to help defray the cost of my attendance at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in a few weeks.

I will be presenting on Thursday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m., in Session 94 (Bernhard 210), “Hildegard von Bingen: Bridges to Infinity,” sponsored by the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies. My paper is titled, Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript.” I have copied the abstract below, and you can read the full text here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Act of Cowardice

An Open Letter to Every Senator who Voted Against Background Checks:

I write to you with a heart aggrieved by your shameful decision this week to vote against the implementation of universal background checks for firearms’ transactions. This was a bill designed to close loopholes exploited by criminals and the mentally ill to purchase firearms to which they have no legal right at gun shows and over the Internet. It was also a bill that, contrary to the claims made falsely against it, did not infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of American citizens; indeed, little more than a decade ago, its provisions were openly supported by the National Rifle Association. It was a bill with overwhelming popular support (not to mention the support of a majority of your fellow senators), which you callously ignored because you were cowed and frightened by the shameless voices of mendacious bullies. This week, you perverted democracy.

Friday, April 05, 2013

O eterne Deus (Symphonia 7)

An Antiphon for God the Father by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Theophany of Caritas
(Divine Love)
Liber Divinorum Operum
I.1 (Lucca MS 1942)
O eterne Deus,
nunc tibi placeat
ut in amore illo ardeas
ut membra illa simus
que fecisti in eodem amore,
cum Filium tuum genuisti
in prima aurora
ante omnem creaturam,
et inspice necessitatem hanc
que super nos cadit,
et abstrahe eam a nobis
propter Filium tuum,
et perduc nos in leticiam salutis.      

O eternal God,
may you be pleased
to blaze once more in love
and to reforge us as the limbs
you fashioned in that love,
when first you bore your Son
upon the primal dawn
before all things created.
Look upon this need
that over us has fallen,
draw it off from us
according to your Son,
and lead us back into salvation’s
   wholesome happiness.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

O magne Pater (Symphonia 6)

An Antiphon for God the Father by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias III.12:
The New Heaven & New Earth.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 225v.
O magne Pater,
in magna necessitate sumus.     
Nunc igitur obsecramus,
obsecramus te
per Verbum tuum,
per quod nos constituisti
quibus indigemus.
Nunc placeat tibi, Pater,
quia te decet,
ut aspicias in nos
per adiutorium tuum,
ut non deficiamus,
et ne nomen tuum
     in nobis obscuretur,
et per ipsum nomen tuum   
dignare nos adiuvare.
O Father great,
in great necessity and need we are.
Thus we now beg,
we beg of you
according to your Word,
through whom you once
     established us
full of all that we now lack.
Now may it please you, Father,
for it behooves you,
to look upon us
with your kindly aid,
lest we should fail again
and, lost, forget
     your name.
By that your name we pray—
please kindly help and bring us aid!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

O pastor animarum (Symphonia 4)

An Antiphon for the Redeemer by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1:
The Redeemer (detail).
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 41v.
O pastor animarum
et o prima vox
per quam omnes creati sumus,    
nunc tibi, tibi placeat
ut digneris
nos liberare de miseriis
et languoribus nostris.
O shepherd of our souls,
O primal voice,
whose call created all of us:
Now hear our cry to thee, to thee,
and deign
to free us from our miseries
and feebleness.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

O quam mirabilis (Symphonia 3)

An Antiphon for the Creator by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Humanity as Microcosm.
Liber Divinorum Operum I.2
(Lucca MS 1942)
O quam mirabilis est
prescientia divini pectoris
que prescivit omnem
Nam cum Deus inspexit
faciem hominis quem formavit,  
omnia opera sua

in eadem forma hominis
integra aspexit.
O quam mirabilis est inspiratio
que hominem sic suscitavit.

How wonderful it is,
that the foreknowing heart divine
has first known everything
For when God looked upon
the human face that he had formed,
he gazed upon
     his ev’ry work and deed,
reflected pure
in that humanity.
How wondrous is that breath
with which he inspires humanity,
    rousing us to life!

Monday, April 01, 2013

O virtus Sapientie (Symphonia 2)

An Antiphon for Divine Wisdom by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias III.5: The Zeal
or Jealousy of God.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 153r.
O virtus Sapientie,
que circuiens circuisti,
comprehendendo omnia
in una via que habet vitam,
tres alas habens,
quarum una in altum volat  
et altera de terra sudat
et tercia undique volat.

Laus tibi sit, sicut te decet,
O Sapientia.
O Wisdom’s energy!
Whirling, you encircle
and everything embrace
in the single way of life.
Three wings you have:
one soars above into the heights,
one sweeps about the earth,
and with the third you fly
Praise be to you, as is your due,
O Wisdom.