Steven A. Schoenig, S.J.

Associate Professor 



Ph.D., Columbia University, 2009

M.Phil., Columbia University, 2004

M.Div., Weston Jesuit School of Theology, 2001

M.A., Fordham University, 1999

B.A., Creighton University, 1991


I am interested in the religious history of the Middle Ages from a cultural perspective: how ideas, values, and relationships were incarnated in symbols, customs, behaviors, and structures. In this vein, my research centers on the history of ecclesiastical institutions, such as the papacy, church councils and synods, and canon law, and on the history of religious expressions, such as the liturgy, monastic life, and the cult of the saints. So far the chief topic of my research has been the pallium, a woolen band used as a liturgical vestment and a papal badge, which the medieval popes laid upon the tomb of St. Peter and then conferred on other bishops as a mark of honor. By gradually manipulating the use of and supporting a certain understanding of this customary gift, the popes exercised control over key bishops and subordinated them more effectively to the Roman church. In addition to these areas, I enjoy studying the medieval Latin language and the manuscripts that transmit it. Geographically and chronologically, my interests tend to focus on the Empire in the central Middle Ages (c. 800-c. 1200).

Courses Taught:

  • Senior Seminar: Death, the Afterlife, and the End of the World in Medieval Life and Thought
  • The Carolingian and Ottonian Worlds
  • Reform and Revolution in the Central Middle Ages
  • ​Graduate ​Seminar: Reform and Revolution in the Central Middle Ages
  • History Teaching Practicum
  • Origins of the Modern World to 1500
  • The Middle Ages to 1100
  • Senior Seminar: Medieval Popes and Papacy
  • Graduate Seminar: Religious Life in the Middle Ages
  • Graduate Seminar: The Medieval Papacy
  • Topics in Medieval Canon Law
  • Readings in the Medieval Papacy
  • German Readings in Medieval History

Honors and Fellowships:

  • Mellon Faculty Development Award, 2015
  • Alpha Sigma Nu (honor society of Jesuit colleges and universities)
  • Eta Sigma Phi (honorary society for classical studies)
  • Brebner Travel Award, Columbia University, 2008
  • Richard Hofstadter Fellowship, Columbia University, 2002-2005
  • Joseph F. O'Callaghan Prize in Medieval Studies, Fordham University, 1997-1998
  • Outstanding Student of New Testament Greek, American Bible Society, 1991

Scholarly Publications:

Essay in an Edited Volume

  • “Withholding the Pallium as a Tool of the Reform.” In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Congress of Medieval Canon Law, edited by Peter Erdö and Sz. Anzelm Szuromi, 577-588. Monumenta Iuris Canonici, ser. C: Subsidia, 14. Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2010.  

For further information on research and publications in progress, please see my current CV.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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