Arriving at Tufts with PhD nearly in hand (I finished my dissertation during the first year of teaching), I have spent my entire professional career at this university. My teaching interests varied from the start. Ranging over the whole period of European history from antiquity to early modern times, the courses I've taught have included everything from a series of broad introductory surveys to supervision of focused projects on one or another facet of religion, social structure, thought and art, political organization, or identity and gender. In contrast, my research and writing have only gradually evolved. Here, my early work could be fairly described as history of philosophy (medieval, of course) pure and simple. Slowly the subject expanded to include more of religion and what is often described as medieval spirituality. By now I've brought in, on the one hand, social structure as well as wider cultural concerns, and on the other, more bounded topics such as natural science and political organization and ideology. Meanwhile I venture ever more deeply into the early modern world. A case in point: the working title for my current effort is "Science, Magic, Popular Belief and the Emergence of Modern Europe." Perhaps at last my formal scholarship is catching up to my pedagogy.


  • PhD in History, Harvard University, 1978
  • BA in History, Harvard College, 1969


Medieval, Early Modern Europe

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • The Light of thy Countenance. Science and Knowledge of God in the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2001).
  • Truth and Scientific Knowledge in the Thought of Henry of Ghent (Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy, 1985).
  • William Auvergne and Robert Grosseteste: New Ideas of Truth in the Early Thirteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983).
  • "The Philosophy of Nature in the Early Thirteenth Century," in Albertus Magnus and the Beginnings of the Medieval Reception of Aristotle in the Latin West, ed. L. Honnefelder et al. (M√ľnster: Aschendorff, 2005), 115-57.
  • "Duns Scotus on Metaphysical Potency and Possibility," Franciscan Studies 56 (1998), 265-89.

Current Projects

  • Research project: "Science, Magic, Popular Belief and the Emergence of Modern Europe."

Teaching/Courses Taught

History 20: Europe in the Early Middle Ages
History 21: Europe in the High Middle Ages
History 22: Renaissance and the Reformation
History 113: The Religious and Spiritual Map of Europe, 300-1500
History 114: Science, Magic, and Society, 1100-1700