Donald Prudlo - Faculty & Adjuncts

Donald Prudlo

Donald Prudlo
Donald Prudlo
Department Chairperson of Philosophy, Religion and Sociology
Warren Professor of Catholic Studies
College of Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion
- - Chapman Hall Room 205


PhD – University of Virginia MA – Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College BA – Christendom College

Research Interests

My research focuses on the many facets of medieval Dominican thought and history. I have written on the main saints and movements of the order, which includes the birth and development of Thomism. I am particularly interested how theology and history interact in the lives and writings of the saints of the Christian tradition. After books on canonization and infallibility, as well as on individual saints and scholars, my next large project will be an intellectual history of the Dominican order from its foundations to the canonization of St. Thomas Aquinas in the fourteenth century.

I am also active in textual scholarship, and have collaborated on editions of theological works, such as Hugh of St. Cher’s Speculum ecclesiae and Peter of Verona’s Summa contra Hereticos. I have completed an edition on the life of St. Peter Martyr by Thomas Agni. For my future projects in the field of close textual and paleographical studies, I am looking at making an edition of the sermons of Ambrose of Siena, a student of Albert the Great and companion of Aquinas. I have also completed the transcription of three lives of St. Peter from the Renaissance and hope to edit and translate them. I am also looking at making an edition of the first comprehensively Thomistic work in history, Alberto of Brescia’s De officio sacerdotis. I also am quite keen to introduce my students to study in the original languages and to help them get exposed to paleography. I am currently translating Bl. Bartholomew of the Martyrs Stimulus Pastorum, a guide for Catholic Bishops during the Catholic Reform period.

In terms of long-term research goals, I am very interested in continuing my collaboration with NYU Press’ ecumenical “Christian Theologies” series, where I interact with the theologians of the Catholic Reformation and discuss their ideas on an issue by issue basis. I am also interested in engaging the “Bologna School” of historians, who are very active in the Italian- and French-speaking worlds, but whose ideas have not yet been analyzed fully in the Anglosphere. I also want to write several works for a broader audience, particularly on aspects of sainthood in the Catholic Tradition and finish my collaboration on the first canonized lay saint, Omobono of Cremona.

I have also been involved in several projects that use databases which map the material and textual cultures of medieval sainthood. I have in particular active in creating databases of medieval miracles, which can sort by various geographical and social conditions, using the extremely rich material available in miracle stories. These have resulted in the publication of several papers, and which, given effort and funding, could become comprehensive datasets for the use of future scholars.

Teaching Interests

I teach multiple courses in ancient, medieval, reformation, and religious history and thought. I have developed many new courses, including: History of World Religions; Ancient and Medieval Intellectual History; a two-semester History of Christianity course; History of Islam; and Reformation Historiography. I have also pioneered new programs, including a series of seminars on the roots of the American Tradition, as well as colloquia on the thought of such thinkers as Augustine and Cicero. Many of these classes were taught collaboratively with my colleagues. I teach across the entire realm of Christian thought, interweaving history, theology, and philosophy. I am very much committed to an interdisciplinary approach and want to use Catholic studies to provide a comprehensive perspective for students across the humanities. My favorite class is my small Honors group that I teach every year. For many, it is the first time they have ever encountered serious ideas. It is a privilege to introduce them to that intellectual world.

“Seek truth while you are young, for if you do not, it will later escape your grasp” – Plato, Parmenides, 135d.

“What provokes us, incites us, need not come from our own time. Indeed our own time may be and probably is so disordered that it cannot really alert us to the truth, to what is. This is why books from another time are so precious to us and why we need to find them, read them. Someone who knows Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Augustine, or Aquinas will never be too far from the truth, never out-of-date.” – James Schall, S.J.



Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Book Reviews

  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘The Lay Saint’”, 2021.
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘S. Homebon De Crémone, « père Des Pauvres » Et Patron Des tailleurs,’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Miracles in Medieval Canonization Processes,’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Johannes Meyer, Das Amptbuch,’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages,’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘ Charisma and Religious Authority: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Preaching, 1200 – 1500’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘A Companion to Clare of Assisi’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century,’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘The Lord As Their Portion: The Story of the Religious Orders and How They Shaped Our World’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Inquisitori Lombardi Del Duecento’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘The Dominicans and the Pope: Papal Teaching Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern Thomist Tradition’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Passion and Order: Restraint of Grief in the Medieval Italian Communes’.”
  • Prudlo , Donald. “‘Heresy and the Persecuting Society in the Middle Ages: Essays on the Work of R. I. Moore,’.”

Courses Taught

  • Seminar: Special Topics in Religion
  • Independent Study
  • Medieval Culture Or Self-Fashioning in The Renaissance
  • Independent Readings
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Greek History, Philosophy and Drama
  • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Explaining Religion
  • Topics in Philosophy and Religion

Professional Affiliations

  • National Association of Scholars
  • Academy of Catholic Theology
  • American Catholic Historical Society

Awards & Honors

  • Professor of the Year
  • Individual Grant for Research
  • Mellon Fellowship for Research in the Vatican Film Library
  • Distinguished Teacher Award (top teacher Arts and Sciences)
  • Faculty Research Award
  • Distinguished Research Award (top researcher – Arts and Sciences)
  • Faculty Scholar Lecturer Award (top researcher university-wide)
  • Faculty Research Grant for travel to Italy
  • Grant for Research in Munich
  • Fellow
  • Funding for research at the Ambrosiana Collection
  • Professional Development grant