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Staff Profile

Dr Giles Gasper

Personal web page

Associate Professor (Reader) (High Medieval History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 46570

(email at g.e.m.gasper@durham.ac.uk)

Giles Gasper is Reader in High Medieval History at Durham University. He specializes in the intellectual history of the high middle ages (11th-13th centuries), particularly in the development of theology. He also has interests in Patristic and early medieval thought, and in the history of science. He is principal investigator on the inter-disciplinary Ordered Universe project to edit, translate and contextualise the scientific works of Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253), working with an international team of scientists, educationalists and medievalists. The Dimensions of Colour: Robert Grosseteste's De colore (2013) emerged from the pilot project for Ordered Universe. Subsequent volumes will be published by Oxford University Press in a seven volume series The Scientific Works of Robert Grosseteste. The Ordered Universe has active collaborations with a variety of creative artists, namely Cate Watkinson, Colin Rennie and other glass artists at the UK National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland, Sculptor Alexandra Carr, Filmmaker Alan Fentiman and Projection Artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid. Carr and Gasper direct a Leverhulme Trust funded Artist in Residence placement Sculpting with Light, with principal activities in Durham in 2017. Gasper is a regular participant in the UK National Festival of Humanities, represented the Arts and Humanities Research Council at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2015 (with Hannah Smithson and Tom McLeish), and featured on BBC Radios 4’s In Our Time. Gasper, together with Smithson and McLeish, was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Engagement at the University of Oxford (2016). A second strand of research focuses on notions of ‘economy’ and order in the High Middle Ages. This has focal points on medieval monastic thought, the theology of Creation and hexaemeronic commentary, Salvation theology and medieval food culture. Recent work in this area includes a study of twelfth century culinary recipes for the English Historical Review co-authored with Faith Wallis (McGill), and forthcoming edited volumes on Biblical Exegesis in the Middle Ages, and Spiritual and Material Economies in Northern Europe. Gasper was an international partner in a major inter-disciplinary research project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, running from the Cultural Historical Museum, University of Oslo, on 'Economies of Salvation in the Middle Ages', 2013-2016 working particularly with numismatists, liturgists and archaeologists. Money and the Church in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200 (co-ed. with S. Gullbekk, 2015) was produced from this project. Gasper has written extensively on Anselm of Canterbury, including St Anselm of Canterbury and His Legacy (2012) and his earlier Anselm of Canterbury and His Theological Inheritance (2004) and papers on various aspects of Anselm’s thought, career and posthumous reputation.

Giles Gasper welcomes inquiries from postgraduates in any aspect of intellectual or cultural history of the 11th-13th centuries, especially the development of theology, monastic life, spiritual and material culture, and the history of science.

The following PhD and MA by Research students are working under Giles Gasper's supervision:

Cullen McKenney: Piers Plowman and his Theological Inheritance

Stephanie Britton: Anselm, Eadmer and Osbern of Canterbury 

Gabriel Fidler: Norman Space, Sacred and Secular

Rosalind Green: The Carthusians in England: a Re-assessment

Kathy Bader: Science, Learning and Community in the Severn and Wye Valleys in the 12th Century

Rick Vert: Identity in Northern Britian in the 12th Century

Abigail Steed: Vengeance in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman Society

Barbara Hargreaves: Monasteries and Medical Care

Jon Turnock: Romanesque Ecclesiastical Sculpture and Lordship in Northern England

Caroline Yeldham: Medieval Food and the Transmission of Recipes in the 13th Century

Giles is also external supevisor for Kaja Kollandsrud (University of Oslo) and Tim Farrant (University of Oxford)

Giles has sponsored a number of Visiting Fellows to Durham:

2017 Institute of Advanced Study Fellowship: Professor Hannah Smithson, Department of Experimental Psychology and Pembroke College, University of Oxford

2015 Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Slater Fellowship: Professor Faith Wallis, Departments of History and Social Studies of Medicine, McGill Univesity, Montreal, Canada

2012 Institute of Advanaced Study, Senior Research Fellowship: Professor Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, Canada.

 

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Projects

Department of History

Research Interests

  • History of Theology
  • Medieval intellectual history
  • Monastic Life
  • Spiritual and Material Culture of the High Middle Ages
  • Medieval Science

Teaching Areas

  • Medieval Britain c.1000-c.1300
  • Medieval Europe c.1000-c.1300

Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2017). Scripture and the changing culture of theology in the High Middle Ages. In Producing Christian Culture: Medieval Exegesis and Its Interpretative Genres. Gasper, Giles E. M., Watson, Francis & Matthew Crawford Routledge. 117-144.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2017). Theology at Le Bec. In A Companion to the Abbey of Le Bec in the Central Middle Ages (11th-13th Centuries). Pohl, Benjamin & Gathagan, Laura L. Brill. 13: 206-227.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2016). Orderic Vitalis, Historical Writing and a Theology of Reckoning. In Orderic Vitalis: Life, Works and Interpretations. Rozier, Charles C., Roach, Daniel, Gasper, Giles E. M. & van Houts, Elisabeth Boydell and Brewer. 247-259.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2016). The Fulfillment of Science: Nature, Creation and Man in the Hexaemeron of Robert Grosseteste. In Robert Grosseteste and the pursuit of Religious and Scientific learning in the Middle-Ages. Cunningham, Jack P. & Hocknull, M. Cham: Springer. 221-242.
  • Tanner, B. K., Bower, R. G., McLeish, T. C. B. & Gasper, Giles E. M. (2016). Unity and Symmetry in the De Luce of Robert Grosseteste. In Robert Grosseteste and the Pursuit of Religious and Scientific learning in the Middle-Ages. Cunningham, Jack P. & Hocknull, M. Springer. 18: 3-20.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2015). Contemplating Money and Wealth in Monastic Writing c.1060-c.1160. In Money and the Church in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200: Practice, Morality and Thought. Gasper, Giles E. M. & Gullbekk, Svein H. Ashgate. 39-76.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2015). Money and the Church: Definitions, Disciplines and Directions. In Money and the Church in Medieval Europe, 1000-1200: Practice, Morality and Thought. Gasper, Giles E. M. & Gullbekk, Svein H. Ashgate. 3-16.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2014). Between Dialectic and the Sacred Scripture: Anselm of Canterbury and the Bible. In Prayer and Thought in Monastic Tradition: essays in honour of Benedicta Ward SLG. Bhattacharji, Santha, Williams, Rowan & Mattos, Dominic London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. 181-195.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. & McKinnell, John S. (2014). Introduction. In Ambition and Anxiety: Courts and Courtly Discourse, c.700-1600. Gasper, Giles E. M. & McKinnell, John S. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies & Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University. 1-16.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2014). The Beauty of Creation. In Anselmo e la ‘nuova’ Europa. Cipollone, G. & Boari, M.S. Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press. 41-56.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. & Logan, Ian (2012). Anselm: A Portrait in Refraction. In Saint Anselm of Canterbury and His Legacy. 1-25.
  • Gasper, Giles E.M. (2012). Tractarian Echoes: Michael Ramsey and the Anglican Responses to Anselm of Canterbury. In Saint Anselm of Canterbury and His Legacy. Gasper, Giles & Logan, Ian Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, Toronto Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Durham University. 341-359.
  • Gasper, Giles E. M. (2007). A northern monastic sermon collection. In Treasures of Durham University Library. Gameson, R. London: Third Millenium. 42-43.
  • Gasper, Giles E.M. (2006). An Anglican Anselm. In Anselm and Abelard: Investigations and Juxtapositions. Gasper, Giles E.M. & Kohlenberger, H. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. 103-117.
  • Gasper, G (2001). Towards a theology of light in the twelfth-century renaissance. In Outside Archaeology: Material Culture and Poetic Imagination. M. Henig and C. Finn British Archaeological Reports International Series 999: Oxford. 21-27.
  • Gasper, G (2000). The Norman arrow finds a ready target. In Not Angels But Anglicans: The Story of Christianity in the British Isles. H. Chadwick Norwich: Canterbury Press.

Edited book

Journal Article

Translated Chapter in Book

  • Giles E. M. Gasper & Charles C. Rozier (trans.) (2016). 'Archaeological Investigations at the Abbey of Saint-Evroult-Notre-Dame-des-Bois by Anne-Sophie Vigot '. In Orderic Vitalis: Life, Works and Interpretations. Roach, Daniel, Rozier, Charles C., Gasper, Giles E. M. & van Houts, Elisabeth (ed.). Boydell and Brewer. 375-384

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Ethics, Religion & Beliefs: Medieval history, in particular medieval religious thought, the crusades, and church history in general
  • Theology: Medieval history, in particular medieval religious thought, the crusades, and church history in general
  • History & Archaeology: Medieval history, in particular medieval religious thought, the crusades, and church history in general
  • Medieval history: Medieval history, in particular medieval religious thought, the crusades, and church history in general
  • Middle Ages & Early Modern History: Medieval history, in particular medieval religious thought, the crusades, and church history in general

Supervises