Congratulations to Magda Hayton who won the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

Magda Hayton (CMS 2015) has been awarded this year’s Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize by The Canadian Society of Medievalists ( Here is what the chair of the award committee wrote: “Magda Hayton’s Inflections of Prophetic Vision: The Reshaping of Hildegard of Bingen’s Apocalypticism as Represented by Abridgments of the Pentachronon is a truly magisterial work completed at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Joseph Goering.  The project traces, in exemplary scholarly fashion, the reception of Hildegard of Bingen and her works, as they were handed on, repackaged, elaborated and utilized in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries especially by Cistercian writers and also by secular university masters at Paris and elsewhere.  She identifies three distinct periods of reworking:  a specifically ‘Cistercian apocalyptic’ moment of the 13th century that saw widespread re-reading and re-working of Hildegard in mostly [French and German] Cistercian houses;  a second moment in the 13th century – also largely associated with the Cistercians – where we see a convergence of Hildegard’s apocalyptic vision with that of Joachim of Fiore;  and finally, Hildegard’s powerful influence on the 14th and 15th century theologian and conciliar leader Pierre d’Ailly, where Hayton shows how crucial Hildegard’s voice was informing the theological soul-searching of the late medieval church. The project – which rests upon truly fundamental codicological work – … is accompanied, in the form of an appendix, by an edition of Pierre d’Ailly’s Invectiva Ezechielis and the so-called Schism Extracts.  As her external examiner, John Van Engen writes, through it all, ‘Hayton is a sensitive interpreter of the religious dimensions of quite dramatic stuff:  prophecies of the overthrow of the clerical church, a general purging, and a new spiritual age.’”

Dr Hayton is currently an associate research member of McGill University’s Centre for Research on Religion in Montreal where she is preparing a book manuscript currently titled Inflections of Prophetic Vision: Hildegardian Apocalypticism and Religious Culture in the Thirteenth Century.

Congratulations to Richard Shaw winner of the 2014 Eusebius Prize

Congratulations to Richard Shaw (CMS 2014) on being awarded the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize by the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. This prestigious award is given each year to the best essay submitted on a topic relating to early Christian history.

Richard Shaw’s prize-winning essay – to be published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History in Summer 2016 – is entitled, “When did Augustine of Canterbury die?” Through a dissection of the implications of the primary sources used by the Venerable Bede, Richard was able to deduce the precise date of St Augustine’s death: a piece of information lost for more than thirteen hundred years. In this exploration of the sources Richard was also able to throw light on the nature of the early mission church in England and its relationship with Rome, as well as on Bede’s own ways of working in producing the Ecclesiastical History.

Richard is a tenure-track Assistant Professor, as well as Chairman of the History Department, at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom (, Barry’s Bay, Ontario, which is currently applying for full degree-granting status.

Congratulations Richard!

Congratulations to Alice Sharp Hutton for her Honorable Mention!

Congratulations to Alice Sharp Hutton (CMS 2015) for her Honorable Mention!

The Canadian Society of Medievalists ( has singled out Alice’s thesis with another PhD thesis for honourable mention for the Leonard Boyle Prize at the last CSM meeting. Here is the citation to appear in the minutes of the society:
The first [thesis to obtain an honorable mention] is Alice Hutton Sharp’s “In Principio: The Origins of the Glossa Ordinaria on Genesis 1-3”, written at the Centre for Medieval Studies (UofT), under the supervision of Alexander Andrée.  The project untangles the knotty textual development of the Glossa Ordinaria from its early 12th century origins in the school of Laon from the evidence of 16 early manuscripts, refining our understanding of the history of 3– and 4-fold reading schemes, and bringing the methods of codicology, philology and history into a single, fully-formed, academic voice.  She is now installed in a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at McGill University, where is pursuing work on medieval cosmology, philosophy and theology.