PhD, University of California, Berkeley
STM, Order of Preachers
BA, MA, The Johns Hopkins University
BA (Philosophy), MDiv, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
As a historian of Medieval Christianity, my great love has been the religious culture of medieval Italy. Within days of my priestly ordination in 1985, I went to Bologna, Italy, and spent two years doing the research for my first book, which was on the preaching of the early Dominicans and its impact on the politics of the cities where they preached. This experience left me with an abiding love of Italians and all things Italian, especially the food, history and culture.
My research and writing have included extended periods in "il bel paese", during which I did the research for two of my other books, one on the life of lay people in the age of Saint Dominic, Saint Francis, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure, the other on Saint Francis of Assisi himself. As a scholar, I have been mostly influenced by my teachers in the History Department at the University of California, Berkeley, especially Peter Brown in Patristics, and Robert Brentano in Medieval Church History.
Three historians of religion have inspired my quest to uncover and make known the lived religion of medieval lay people: Robin Lane Fox, for his work on the lived experience of Ancient Christians and pagans, E. P. Sanders, for similar work on ancient Judaism, and Eamon Duffy, for his wonderful reconstruction of the lives of ordinary Catholics in pre-Reformation England. My current research involves the history of Dominican Lay Penitents (today's Dominican Laity) and that of Dominican lay brothers.
My personal hobbies and interests include detective novels, model railroading, hiking and walking and, last but not least, the music of Gilbert & Sullivan.
I am a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty of the GTU, American Catholic Historical Society, American Historical Association, American Society of Church History, The Medieval Academy of America, and Iuris Canonici Medii Aevi Consociatio (International Society of Medieval Canon Law).
Aristotelian Logic (PH-1115)
Medieval Christianity (HS-6350)
Medieval Mystics Seminar (HSSP-4342/HSSP-5474)
History of Christian Eschatology (HSST-2310)
Francis of Assisi: A New Biography. Ithaca NY: Cornell Univ. Press, May 2012.
Ad Completorium Liturgiae Horarum secundum Usum Ordinis Fratrum Praedicatorum. Oakland, CA: Provincia Ss. Nominis Jesu Ordinis Praedicatorum, 2010. (Liturgical Music).
Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125–1325. University Park PA: Penn State Univ. Press, 2005. Winner of the ACHA Howard R. Marraro Prize for best book published in Italian history, 2006.
Revival Preachers and Politics: The Great Devotion of 1233. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992.
John Williamson Nevin. The Mystical Presence: A Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinist Theology of the Holy Eucharist, edited by Augustine Thompson. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2000.
John Williamson Nevin. The Anxious Bench; Antichrist; and the Sermon Catholic Unity, edited by Augustine Thompson. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock, 2000.
"Civil and Religious Subsidiary in the Italian Republics, 1160-1300." In Subsidiarity: Origins, Development, and Applications, edited by William E. Fahey. Ypsilanti, MI: Sapientia Press (forthcoming).
"The Dominican Liturgy and Vatican II, 1962-1969." Antiphon, 16 (2012).
"Preconciliar Reforms of the Dominican Rite Liturgy, 1950-1962." Antiphon, 15 (2011): 185-201.
"The Origins of Religious Mendicancy in Medieval Europe." In The Origin, Development, and Refinement of Medieval Religious Mendicancies, edited by Donald S. Prudlo, 3-30. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2011.
"The First Witch Trial in Italy: Todi, 1428." In Medieval Italy: A Documentary History, edited by Katherine L. Jansen et al., 203-16. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.
"Lay versus Clerical Perceptions of Heresy: Protests against the Inquisition in Bologna, 1299." In Praedicatores Inquisitores, 1: The Dominicans and the Medieval Inquisition: Acts of the First International Seminar on the Dominicans and the Inquisition, Rome 23-25, February 2002, 701-730. Rome: Istituto Storico Domenicano, 2004.
"From Texts to Preaching: Retrieving the Medieval Sermon as an Event." In Preacher, Sermon and Audience in the Middle Ages, edited by Carolyn Muessig, 13-37. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2002.