Chair, Professor

Professor Clark works on the Christian tradition in the Middle Ages. Her Ph.D. is from Columbia University and she has been teaching at the University of Vermont since 1988. Her research focuses on medieval styles of piety, questions of gender, the role of the body, and women's religious life. She has published two books on Elisabeth of Schönau, a twelfth-century visionary nun, and has also published articles on Hildegard of Bingen, Gertrude of Helfta, women's monastic communities, the cult of the Virgin Mary, and cognitive theory in the study of religion. Her current research is on medieval illustrated prayer books and the sermons of Johannes Nider. Her teaching at UVM includes participation in the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program, TAP, and the Honors College.

"My teaching and research reflect a feminist perspective that pushes me to take very seriously questions about gender, authority, and women's experience. My study of religion also hinges on questions about identity: what kind of identities do particular religious practices and beliefs enable for a community or an individual? I use an historical approach to get at these issues. In my teaching, I challenge students to take up these tasks through a process of critical reading and discussion of particular case studies. My courses include ‘Women in Christianity to 1500,’ ‘Religion and Ways of Knowing,’ and 'Seeing the Sacred: Vision in Early and Medieval Christianity,' as well as  courses in the history of Christianity and an introduction to the study of religion focused on biblical materials."

Publications

Elisabeth of Schönau: The Complete Works (translation and critical introduction).  New York, 2000.

Elisabeth of Schönau: A Twelfth-Century Visionary.  Philadelphia, 1992.

“When Pictures Tell the Story: Imagination and Cognition in an Illustrated Prayer Book.”  Mediaevalia 40 (2019): 27-58.   

“Remembering Phoebe in the Twelfth Century: The Forgotten Deacon in Paul’s Letter to Romans.”  Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures 45.1 (2019): 1-28.

“From Arnulf of Lisieux to Stefania of San Silvestro: A Twelfth-Century Letter and Its Hagiographical Afterlife.” Franciscan Studies 76 (2018): 23-38.

“Hildegard of Bingen and Women’s Mysticism.” Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism, ed. Glenn Alexander Magee.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Associations and Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • The Medieval Academy of America
  • The Vermont Medieval Colloquium

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Medieval Christianity
  • Women in the Middle Ages
  • Medieval devotional practices
  • Monasticism

Education

  • Ph.D. in Religion, Columbia University
  • M.A. in Religion, Columbia University
  • B.A., magna cum laude, College of Mount Saint Vincent

Contact

Phone:
  • (802) 656-0231
Office Location:

481 Main Street, Room 201

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 11-12, Wed 12-12:50 and by appointment

Courses Taught

REL 023 - D2: What Is the Bible? An introduction to the study of religion through an examination of the creation of biblical and related texts of ancient Babylon, Israel, and the early Christian movement. Investigate their diverse religious practices and our own assumptions about unfamiliar cultures. Credits: 3.0

REL 110 - Religion and Ways of Knowing How do religious people know? How do we know about religion? Examines some of the diverse ways in which human beings, in a variety of cultural contexts, have claimed knowledge that transcends empirically gained and verifiable perceptions. Credits: 3.0

REL 124 - Christianity Historical study of the Christian tradition examining major religious movements of early, medieval, and Reformation Christianity, and the spirituality of Christians during these periods. Credits: 3.0

REL 125 - Women in Christianity to 1500 Women's roles in early and medieval Christianity, including women's religious orders, religious identities, mystical writings devotional practices, and their relationships to structures of ecclesiastical authority. Prerequisite: Three hours in Religion. Credits: 3.0

REL 173 - Studies in Gender & Religion Selected topics focusing on the social and religious construction of gender and the shape of women's religious lives. Religious traditions studied vary by semester. Prerequisite: Three hours in Religion. May be repeated up to six hours. Credits: 3.0

REL 224 - Studies in Christianity Examination of selected issues, movements, periods, or individuals within the Christian tradition. Credits: 3.0