John Van Engen
Andrew V. Tackes Professor of Medieval History
Areas of Expertise
- Medieval European History
- Twelfth-Century Reform and Society
- Late Medieval Religious Movements
- Women Writers
- Canon Law
President of the American Society of Church History, Van Engen’s research interests range widely across the cultural, religious and intellectual history of the high middle ages. His areas of specialty include renewal during the 12th century, “Christianization” in Medieval European history and religious movements in the later middle ages. His books and essays have dealt with monasticism, women’s writing, schools and universities, inquisition, canon law, notions of reform, and medieval religious culture. The former director (for 12 years) of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute, Van Engen translates medieval texts from Latin and Middle Dutch. He has served as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University, and a visiting professor at Harvard University. He also is a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and a corresponding member of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.
At present Van Engen is completing several essays on late medieval women writers, as well as the reconstruction and complete translation of a previously little known woman mystic, preacher and spiritual autobiographer named Alijt Bake (1413-55). He is at work now on the narrative of European history from the eleventh into the thirteenth centuries, a book tentatively entitled Europe after the Year 1000.