Skip Navigation
 
 

Spotlight on the Liberal Arts


Spotlight on the Liberal Arts

The following is the second response from Paige Hochschild:

It is a great pleasure to have Brad Gregory here with us at the Mount.  The best thing about his book is that a number of us read it together—an indirect sort of thanks to the author!  The Unintended Reformation was the occasion for the display of some real intellectual rigour and inter-disciplinary conversation.  It was also the occasion for intra-denominational combat, pro- and anti-modern hymnody, methodological crises, and political-theoretical indignation.  In the end, however, as a small Catholic institution attempting to ask just the kind of questions about “Catholic identity” to which Gregory alludes, reading this book was (I hope) a constructive move on the part of our faculty to take on-going intellectual responsibility for our heritage and mission.[1]  John Haldane, a celebrated intellectual who spends about half of his time at Notre Dame, recently passed through town, giving a fine lecture on the modern Catholic university.  He proposed that small institutions like the Mount might become the last places where learning for wisdom could prevail over the forces of specialization, research outcomes and technical-career preparation; as a place where history would dominate broadly over the humanities as a method and sensibility; and finally as a place where something like Newman’s university could at last be instantiated—non-sectarian, but ordered to truth. 

Gregory’s book has received plenty of press, with some critiques more substantial than others.[2]   Even the title, over the striking cover design, immediately provokes a reaction.  I believe this is the intent, given that the final two chapters find Catholics and magisterial Protestants united as both perpetrators and victims of modernity.  While Gregory concludes without any trace of “nostalgia,” many readers wonder what the wistful praise of the Benedictine ideal might really conceal.  Gregory is not an ideologue; he is a cultural critic and an untimely prophet, and his overall “genealogical narrative” is deeply compelling.

Whether one considers outcomes such as economic injustice or environmental degradation (as Gregory frequently does), or whether one considers cultural symptoms such as the negative effects of social mobility, the shallow tone of public discourse, or the sad eschatology proclaimed from the side of a Walmart semi-trailer: “buy more stuff, for less money, and you will have a better life”—one must receive Gregory’s book as yet another warning about the dangers of modern forgetting.  Gregory freely admits that his argument is not original, following as it does in the line of Nietzsche, Funkenstein, MacIntyre, Lasch and Berry.  It is hard to celebrate our apparent inability to negotiate properly moral categories in a polity that prizes “negative liberty.”[3]  It appears that religious pluralism can only be preserved by the combination of a powerful secular state and the near-total subtraction of religion from public discourse: this is a crucial theme in Gregory’s book.  We all feel in our daily lives the price that we pay for the great benefit of progress through technological economy—and if we do not feel it, we should.  We should reflect upon the costs of our luxury, our ease, our shallow carelessness with the lives and well-being of others; we should feel that our excess de iure belongs to the wounded neighbor at our doorstep.

I offer two comments, one a constructive critique of Gregory’s philosophical starting-point, and the second as a word of encouragement to my colleagues to continue the conversation occasioned by Gregory’s book.  First, the foundational argument about a univocal metaphysics that almost inevitably generates Weberian disenchantment: this part of Gregory’s genealogy is familiar from various narratives of intellectual decline from the high Middle Ages on.  I am sympathetic with these, as a student of Augustine.  It is not clear what Gregory would like to see as a corrective, “non-dualist” theology of creation.  A world in which the God of Israel is appropriately transcendent, and yet “related to” creation not only in the order of grace—this could take many theological forms.  For Thomas Aquinas, the order of secondary causality can offer a total account of itself (even when it remains at heart unknown).[4]  It is not clear what it would look like to “invite God” into the university curriculum, or into a new, modern polity.   Disenchantment, at least for St. Thomas, might be a price worth paying for keeping philosophy and theology at the table of scientific wisdom.

The subordination of the divine to natural reason and a mechanistic world-view might be more effectively challenged through the hermeneutic-epistemological approach of Gadamer.  The criterion of certitude, and thus of scientific respectability, has been narrowed: reserved on the one hand to the empirical research of the hard sciences (‘empirical’ construed as quantifiable), and on the other hand to the conscience of Luther, who cried “faith that is not certain, is not faith at all!”  The “failure” of modern philosophy that Gregory diagnoses is at heart a matter of epistemology. Before we issue an invitation to God to return to the university, we must challenge our own disciplinary narratives of self-sufficiency.[5]

My second point, offered to my colleagues with whom I have shared these few weeks of conversation: with all the negatives, I think Gregory stands for us as a good example of a historian mindful of his limitations, even in his willingness to range far and wide in the hope that his story will resonate as truth-telling.  I am inclined to be as negative as Gregory—things are surely getting worse!  (I am waiting for another St. Benedict.)  However, I will offer a word of hope in the form of a non-triumphalist Catholic exhortation to the modern, over-specialized academy.  In 1998, a genuinely odd Polish Pope offered an encyclical to Catholics, particularly academics, which he claimed had special value and significance to him: Fides et Ratio said many things, but most important was the Pope’s conviction that the modern university was a microcosm of spiritual and intellectual malaise at large.  Could this place once again awaken and address the deepest questions of the human spirit?  Who am I?  What am I for?  What are we humans about?[6]  This text was not really about faith, but about human knowing: it was a call to return to a conviction that a) there is truth; b) we cannot know that truth exhaustively, ever, but we can still know things; and c) this truth is more precious than any other thing in life.  The encyclical was John Paul II’s treasured life-work, speaking to the arts, sciences, humanities and the social sciences: look for the truth proper to your discipline; just don’t forget what you are. 

In 2008, a planned lecture by another Pope (at La Sapienza University, Rome) was cancelled due to protests led by faculty.  In the text of this address, the autonomy of the secular university, founded originally by Pope Boniface VIII, was warmly acknowledged.  He claimed nevertheless good reason to speak in such a context, because of his role as Bishop of Rome, but even more because of the moral authority of a Church that could no longer claim anything like political authority in a pluralistic society.  He said it was his task to remind that university that its sole authority was truth.  What is truth?  Good question, and what would the Church have to say?  Well, Pope Benedict XVI talked about Rawls, and Plato’s Euthyphro; he asked, “what is the good that makes us to be true?”  He looks to the university, with its “proper autonomy of reason” embodied above all in the supreme place that Newman gives to philosophy (as the discipline that holds all others accountable to humane reasoning).  But the role of theology is significant: while the academic study of both philosophy and theology draw from a “great dialogue of historical wisdom,” theological reflection above all reminds human reason (“as a purifying force”) that it is limited

There is no tone here of sectarian anxiety over “Catholic Identity”, but a strong confidence that if the disciplines in the academy a) seek to order their work, by their proper principles, to truth-seeking; and b) converse openly, critically and above all humbly with one another, then a significant gesture is being made in the restoration of human culture.  Gregory at the end of his book opposes within Catholic intellectual life the “propositional” to the “participatory” (363).  This may be a true statement about the modern condition.  The reduction of “theological speech” to praxis-theory always runs the risk of ‘historicist black-holes.’  I would not give up too quickly on the transformative power of genuinely contemplative truth, even in the “historical and humanistic sciences.”[7]

PAIGE E. HOCHSCHILD is an Assistant Professor of Theology here at the Mount, and this is her second year full-time. She graduated from King's College and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a BA and MA in Classics; she spent three years at Notre Dame in the Medieval Institute before completing her PhD at University of Durham, England. Her dissertation was last year published by Oxford University Press, "Memory in Augustine's Theological Anthropology." In addition to Patristics and medieval theology, she has recently been doing research in modern Catholic theology and history before, during and after the 'Modernist Crisis.”

 


[1] Gregory, 363.

[2] Gregory has received plenty of scholarly criticism: from Mark Lilla, for writing an homage to After Virtue while pretending to do history; from Mark Noll, for a narrative that is basically correct, but which fails to lay adequate blame upon the medieval Church; from Dale Van Kley, for being an “unapologetic exercise in Catholic apologetics”; from Thomas Pfau, for inadequate hermeneutic attention to the sources that themselves have shaped the modernity that Gregory laments.http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/107211/wittenberg-wal-mart?page=0,1; for a video of the Lumen Christi event at University of Chicago (May 9, 2012), see http://vimeo.com/41909963; for Van Kley, see http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2012/marapr/rotstarted.html?paging=off; for Pfau, see http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2013/11/06/history-without-hermeneutics-brad-gregorys-unintended-modernity/.

[3] 18-9.  By contrast, Gregory does not support argumentatively his use of the term “teleological Christian morality” (233, 244); certainly this is not the only form of distinctively Christian morality.  Does the “fissiparous” genre of this book require the articulation of this teleology in philosophical terms, or not?  Are ‘practices’ (364; 266) enough to bring this morality to light?  On “negative liberty” see Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty” (1958), upon which Quentin Skinner patterns a “gothic,” Rawlsian (cf. ‘negative’ liberty of) freedom from restraint, as opposed to a positive, “Roman,” republican sort of liberty; cf. “A Third Concept of Liberty,” Proceedings of the British Academy, 117 (2002), 237-68.  By referring to Nietzsche, the association with Gregory is one of method, and not of the historiographical telos of the will-to-power.

[4] Thus Milbank may not constitute the most metaphysically reliable diagnostician of modernity; cf. Summa contra Gentiles 2.18.2, “creation is not a change, but the very dependency of the act of being upon the principle from which it is produced”; and on the non-redundancy of the perspectives of theology and (natural) philosophy, which “considers the proper causes of things… [which] belong to them by nature” (2.4.2).  On the essential unknowability of the “principles of things” see In Aristotelem De Anima, 1.1.15 and J. Pieper, The Silence of St. Thomas (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, 1999), 59-65.

[5] To my esteemed colleagues in history, a friendly provocation: yes, Skinner and Pocock admit that, at the end of the day, the historian has to buckle down and tell a story (even if cautiously described as a ‘narrative’).  This acknowledges that the historian must possess a measure of prudence and mature good sense in intuiting the whole that she cannot see materially or linguistically (as Skinner does, for example, at the end of Foundations of Modern Political Thought (1978), where he submits the striking historical generalization/story that “political thought became modern through a process by which ‘the state’ came to be seen as an impersonal structure and not merely an attitude of the ruler…”).  Pocock says that philosophers who do history are no better than “historiosophers”—fair enough, and perhaps Gregory reveals his basically philosophical interests too quickly.  However, the supposition that (all?) philosophers are unaware of the history within which their own questions are formed, precisely by making history into something that of itself generates knowledge and/or wisdom (and not by mere attempts at “relevance”), implies in turn that a good historian is safely committed to “what can be shown or said to have happened.”  Admitting the real danger of writing “historical fiction,” it seems that there is an opposite danger for historians who reckon that they attain “facts” through the methodological assumption that words are deeds—and in so doing, run the risk of making the facts of history to be the interpretation of history.  See J. G. A. Pocock, “Quentin Skinner: The History of Politics and the Politics of History,” Common Knowledge 10:3 (2004), 532-50.

[6] Fides et Ratio, 1.

[7] And I would take a look at Grant, on the university.  Cf. La Sapienza Address: “And that means at the same time that reason, in the end, bows to the pressure of interests and the charm of utility, constrained to recognize it as the ultimate criterion. To put this in terms of the point of view of the structure of the university: The danger exists that philosophy, no longer feeling itself capable of its true task, might degenerate into positivism; that theology, with its message addressed to reason, might become confined to the private sphere of a group more or less sizable. If, however, reason -- solicitous of its presumed purity -- becomes deaf to the great message that comes from the Christian faith and its wisdom, it will wither like a tree whose roots no longer reach the waters that give it life. It will lose courage for the truth and thus it will not become greater but less. Applied to our European culture this means: If it wants only to construct itself on the basis of the circle of its own arguments and that which convinces it at the moment -- worried about its secularity -- it will cut itself off from the roots by which it lives; then it will not become more reasonable and more pure, but it will break apart and disintegrate.”  Accessed at http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/benedict-xvi-s-planned-lecture-at-la-sapienza.

The following is the response from the first speaker Jamie Gianoutsos:

Brad Gregory’s book, The Unintended Reformation, provides a compelling look in the mirror.  What we see reflected back is a fractured and fractious society: a society which grows ever more politically and culturally polarized; which, through its insatiable consumerist desires and capitalist production, threatens the global environment, exploits human labor, and reduces human identity to self-fashioning through endless acquisition; a society bereft of agreed-upon and objective standards by which to judge human morality, values, and meaning.  Reading this book leaves one wondering alongside Gregory if any community or significant shared identity remains for contemporary American society beyond the “goods life.” 

This book impresses with its depth, breadth, and ambitious agenda, as well as its very knowledgeable discussion of topics as wide-ranging as theology, science, moral philosophy, and politics.  It provides a rewarding and enriching engagement with the historical past; and its very considerable import can be seen easily in the large number of commentaries that the work has generated. 

In connecting the contemporary crisis described above with its historical ancestry, The Unintended Reformation is at its best when analyzing the important, intellectual content of the Reformation and its effects.  In the second chapter, for example, Gregory artfully portrays how ideas of sola scriptura paved the way for contemporary relativism by compounding rather than solving the significant problems and abuses of the Medieval Church and its practitioners.  Although Reformers believed that abuses and immorality were symptomatic signs of the Church’s flawed foundation on false and dangerous doctrines, the Protestant answer of sola scriptura exacerbated rather than reduced problems by introducing a crisis of authority, and a bewildering pluralism of competing truth claims.[1]  The second chapter continues by demonstrating that the move to supplementary interpretative criteria for the determination of true doctrine, including the guidance of the Holy Spirit or discursive reason, increased rather than resolved the disagreements they were intended to overcome.[2]

There is thus an enormous amount of value, and very considerable matter for us all to think about in this crucial book. Yet the controlling idea of the book, with its commitment to laying the development of every one of these present-day problems at the door of the Reformation, leaves something to be desired.  In his “Introduction,” Gregory describes his genealogical method through the metaphor of a family tree, where one would “concentrate on different familial branches, one at a time, in order to determine the relationship between living descendants and ancestors in each.  Then you can compare the branches and their relationships, determine who is the progeny of whom,” etc.[3]  As The Unintended Reformation follows along the familial branches of science, ethics, university education, etc., it tends to land always on the same great-great-great-great-great-grandfather: the Reformation.  Granted, when one does a family genealogy and traces back generations as far as five centuries, one discovers that she shares many of the same ancestors with others.  A good friend of mine from London once boasted that she was a descendant of Pocahontas; but after I showed some enthusiasm about this, she then sheepishly admitted that over 100,000 people in Britain today could also claim Pocahontas as their ancestor.  The Unintended Reformation, however, seems to rely too heavily upon tracing everything to this one ancestor, which at times shrouds the fuller, richer, and more satisfying historical account which could be and has been told about the Reformation period and its consequences. 

Thus we find that the first chapter, which discusses how the intractable doctrinal disagreements among Protestants and between Protestants and Catholics had the “unintended effect of sidelining explicitly Christian claims about God in relationship to the natural world,” does not discuss the advent of the “new science” and Scientific Revolutions, as well as central figures including Vesalius, Copernicus, Bacon, and even Galileo.  The second chapter, which explains the historical development of Western hyper-pluralism pertaining to the “Life Questions,” does not discuss the exceedingly important technological advance of the printing press and the significance of new world discovery in understanding the teeming plurality of voices in early modern Europe.  Of course, when reviewing a book or article, one could always name this topic or that topic that the book could have covered; but my point here is somewhat different.  By neglecting these other subjects, and consistently painting the Reformation as the only plausible culprit that destroyed a harmonized, Christian society, this work in some important ways narrows, and perhaps even misrepresents, the historical account of the early modern period, as well as many of the causal factors which led to the contemporary phenomena Gregory wishes to uncover.  Paired with the often polemical tone of this book, there is a further (I assume unintended) consequence of focusing so single-mindedly on the Reformation: it has the potential of isolating readers, including historians, who are themselves devotedly Protestant.    

In his introduction, Gregory criticizes the historical profession for its strict periodization and narrow fields of inquiry.[4]  Yet this type of historical training need not, and in fact has not always produced only “supersessionist” narratives, as Gregory seems to suggest, nor is it unable to provide invaluable information about the relationship between the pre-modern, modern, and contemporary world.   In the past 40 years, practitioners of intellectual history in particular have successfully demonstrated the impact of ideas over wider historical swaths of time and place.  The work of J. G. A. Pocock, for example, has importantly demonstrated that ideas are very important events, and should be treated as such by historians.  His magisterial work, The Machiavellian Moment, which was a watershed in the field of intellectual history, traced the development of republican ideas from Renaissance Italy to seventeenth-century England to eighteenth-century America, while simultaneously demonstrating how these ideas successfully challenged the Christian-Medieval conceptions of time and authority by drawing upon and responding to classical philosophy.  Pocock’s book has been hailed as relevant and insightful for understanding modern American politics, as the Machiavellian language of republicanism he details is still spoken today in debates over political corruption or the right to bear arms.  In his method, which was drawn and developed from reading Wittgenstein, Kuhn, and other theorists of language, historical causation remains a primary concern.  Although Pocock’s book may be exceptional, the periodization and specialized training of historians in America and Britain has not prevented the production of books with equal breadth and significance, as well as accounts that broadly trace the development of ideas over significant periods in time.[5]

Because of its commitment to fighting supersessionist history, while at the same time seeking to demonstrate how harmful the Reformation has been on contemporary society, Gregory’s book downplays the many ways that we could be said to have benefited from the Reformation and the conflicts it helped to produce.   Gregory’s discussion of the English Revolution of 1649 is a prime example of this—indeed, one will not find a positive comment about this revolution on any page.  The English Civil Wars and resulting Revolution are described, through the words of one Presbyterian preacher, as a “gangrenous cancer of doctrinal pluralism and disruptiveness.”  It was “ruinously” and “inconclusively destructive,” Gregory goes on to say.  Puritans “temporarily unsettl[ed] royal control of the Church of England,” until the “Lessons [were] learned” and “instability was swiftly steadied” with King Charles II’s restoration to the throne in 1660.[6]  If Gregory’s book was one’s only reference to this significant British event, one would not know that the English Revolution produced one of the earliest and most sophisticated arguments for freedom of the press and free speech as articulated by John Milton; nor would one realize that during the conflict, Levellers marched to the doors of Parliament demanding that the vote be extended to all Englishmen, not just the richest with land, and that Leveller women claimed equal rights to men in petitions and demonstrations; nor that the English revolution’s “world turned upside down” provided the platform for utopian groups to acknowledge the evils of private property and nascent consumerism; nor that it allowed Quaker women to preach and prophesy in the midst of a highly misogynistic and patriarchal society.[7]  Real political gains came from the bloodshed and religious turmoil of England; England’s internal revolutions provided firm articulations of basic political rights and equality under the law, which would pave the way for popular sovereignty, the right to trial by jury, the writ of habeas corpus, and many other fundamental freedoms found in the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Apart from a few, isolated comments in the conclusion, there is little acknowledgement of these real goods in Gregory’s work.

Despite all this talk of ancestors and method, when one closely examines what this book labels as the “Reformation,” one discovers that the book is actually describing several different phenomena related to the Reformation: revolts, revolutions, religious wars, commercial expansion, and very limited toleration laws.  The second and fourth chapters helpfully demonstrate how specifically Protestant belief and practices shaped the particular crises of the sixteenth century.  But in the first, third, fifth, and sixth chapters, the content of intellectual debate and practice in the Reformation has actually less to do with the story than the fact that these theological divisions divided Europe, created an authority crisis, and instigated often brutal wars.  The book even demonstrated that significant intellectual changes which paved the way for secular science and the secular university actually occurred in the pre-Reformation world—with Scotus, Occam, and Erasmus.[8]

As it informs, challenges, stimulates, and provokes, The Unintended Reformation can thereby leave one with a central question:  Was it really the Reformation that caused everything laid at its door?  Or, was it the fact that some group or movement in the sixteenth century effectively challenged the monopoly of the Medieval Catholic Church?  Had the Albigensians in France, the Hussites in Bohemia, or the Muslims in Spain successfully established and maintained their religion and practice in several regions of Europe – would any of these have eventually led to large-scale religious wars, and thereby also to consumerism, tolerationism, secularism?  Or, further, would the development of the printing press, New World exploration, or the advent of modern science, explain how the modern world emerged from the early modern, even if the Reformation had never occurred?

___________________________________________________________________________

JAMIE GIANOUTSOS received her B.A. from Baylor University in 2006, majoring in Great Texts of the Western Tradition and Political Science. After being awarded the Marshall Scholarship, she completed an M.A. in English Renaissance Literature from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and an M.Phil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge. Jamie returned to the U.S. in 2008 to pursue a Ph.D. in History at the Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of John Marshall. This summer, she will defend her dissertation, entitled: “Reading a Gendered Rome: Tyranny and Republican Thought in England, 1603-1660.” Jamie joined the Mount Saint Mary’s history department in 2012, where she teaches early modern and modern European history courses and the civilization sequence of the core curriculum.

 


[1] Gregory, Unintended Reformation, 86 and 100.

[2] Ibid, 369.

[3] Ibid, 4.

[4] Ibid, 7.

[5] Quentin Skinner, Foundations of Modern Political Thought (vols. I and II); John Marshall, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture; Richard Tuck, Natural Rights Theories, and The Rights of War and Peace; Eric Nelson, The Greek Tradition in Republican Thought

[6] Gregory, Unintended, 108, 154, 305, 371.

[7] John Milton, Areopagitica (1644); Andrew Bradstock, Radical Religion in Cromwell’s England; Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down; Phyllis Mack, Visionary Women; Norbrook, Writing the English Republic

[8] Gregory, Unintended, 36-39; 322-23.

bradsgregory

One of the most fascinating books read by Mount faculty members that has caught the interest of many is Dr. Brad S. Gregory’s (University Notre Dame) book The Unintended Reformation. During the past fall semester, thirty-four members of the Mount faculty participated enthusiastically in three reading groups facilitated by theologians David Cloutier and David McCarthy, and historian Charles Strauss. The members make up approximately 1/3 of the faculty, and participants came from all four of the university’s colleges as well as the seminary. The reading groups have met four to five times each to actively discuss the points brought about from the book, the implications it has on Catholic universities, and interpretations of Dr. Gregory’s message.

On Friday, April 25th, the author of the book Dr. Gregory will be visiting the Mount to give a public lecture at 3:00 PM, followed by a faculty seminar at 5:00 PM. During the faculty seminar, two Mount professors, Dr. Jamie Gianoutsos and Dr. Paige Hochschild, will have the floor to each give a prepared response to Dr. Brad Gregory about the book. Following the responses, Dr. Gregory will respond to the comments. Afterwards, Dr. Cloutier will facilitate questions and answers, as well as general discussion, between the reading groups, respondents, and author.

theunintendedreformation

The book is described as the following:

In a work that is as much about the present as the past, Dr. Gregory identifies the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation and traces the way it shaped the modern condition over the course of the following five centuries. A hyperpluralism of religious and secular beliefs, an absence of any substantive common good, the triumph of capitalism and its driver, consumerism—all these, Gregory argues, were long-term effects of a movement that marked the end of more than a millennium during which Christianity provided a framework for shared intellectual, social, and moral life in the West.

drmurry

Assistant Professor of history Dr. Gregory Murry has just published a major study of Renaissance Italian politics.  The book, The Medicean Succession: Monarchy and Sacral Politics in Duke Cosimo Medici’s Florence, marks the first time a Mount professor has published with the prestigious Harvard University Press.

The Medicean Succession traces the unlikely success of a duke appointed by political compromise at age seventeen.  Drawing on a wide variety of archival and published sources, Murry examines how Cosimo and his court successfully employed the image of a divinely-inspired monarch.  Attentive to theological rhetoric and culture, Murry posits that Cosimo was able to channel preexisting local religious assumptions as a way to establish continuities with Florence’s republican and renaissance past.  In one of the first reviews, Steve Donoghue, of Open Letters Monthly, calls Murry’s Book “shrewdly intelligent and rollingly entertaining.” 

Dr. Murry came to Mount St. Mary’s in 2010, after completing doctoral work at Penn State.  He was an undergraduate, majoring in Catholic Studies, at University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).  At the Mount, Dr. Murry has been exercised leadership in the history department’s honor society, and in the development and implementation of the new Veritas Program.  Last spring Dr. Murry received the Class of 1950 Award for outstanding service to the university, and was named the Monsignor Tinder Professor in recognition of his support of the liberal arts.

The chair of the Mount’s history department, Dr. Curtis Johnson, notes, “Over the years, Mount St. Mary’s faculty members have published their work with prestigious academic presses and have won national awards for their essays, articles and monographs.  Dr. Gregory Murry has added his name to the above list.  The history department is very proud of Dr. Murry and his accomplishment.”

College of Liberal Arts faculty Jamie Gianoutsos, lecturer of history, Greg Murry, assistant professor of history, and University Professor Carol Hinds of the English department, recently took a group of sophomore honors students to Washington D.C. as part of the Veritas course Imagination and Invention. They went to the National Gallery, where Dr. Murry lectured on Van Eyck's painting "Annunciation, " and Prof. Gianoutsos lectured on Jacques Louis David's painting "Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries." The group also visited the Folger Shakespeare Library, and saw a Folger production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. For many of the students, this was the first time seeing a live performance of Shakespeare.

The trip allowed the students to apply the history and art theory they are learning in the classroom, and for many it was very rewarding. "I've never enjoyed a play as much, " said Micuela Kowalski of the Shakespeare performance.

"I feel very privileged to be a part of a program that treats students to trips like this," Peter Kelly said.

The trip was sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors Program.

students at national gallery of art

students in DC

dr murry lecturing

Speaker John Haldane of St. Andrew's in Scotland talks about the future of the [establishment of a] university based regarding philosophy, education, and the Catholic tradition. Hosted by the College of Liberal Arts at Mount St. Mary's University. Filmed on September 23, 2013.

The Future of the University: Philosophy, Education, and the Catholic Tradition
with Professor John Haldane, Ph.D. of the University of Saint Andrews.

New Internship Component to History Major

As part of the History Department's concentrated focus on career planning, beginning with the Class of 2017 all history majors will complete an internship. Depending on student circumstances, internships will be 1-, 2- or 3-credit experiences. Students can complete an internship during the regular semester or over the summer, from the spring of their sophomore year up to graduation. History majors can also complete more than one internship (up to 12-credit hours are allowed) during their time at the Mount.

Faculty advisors in the History Department will encourage students to look for internships early in their undergraduate years. All history majors will learn about internship opportunities in HIST 202 Making History; the university's Career Center, along with Samantha Rife, the department's Administrative Assistant, will also serve as valuable resources as students seek relevant internships. The new component of the major is based on a commitment to importance of practical experience in developing students' skills and preparing for the post-college job market.

 
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | admissions@msmary.edu | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | inquiry@msmary.edu | 301-682-8315