Phil is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Saint Louis University, focusing on the Cistercian Order's involvement in the crusading movement and the persecution of heresy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. His dissertation, "Arnau Amalric and the Cistercians, 1153-1225: Crusade, Heresy and Religious Reform," employs Arnau Amalric (abbot of Cîteaux from 1201-1212) as a prism to analyze the Cistercians' increased participation in these ventures. Throughout his tenure as abbot of Cîteaux, Arnau Amalric interacted with the leading figures of the day, combatted heresy in Languedoc, guided the Cistercians through the Fourth Crusade, Albigensian Crusade, and the victory at Las Navas de Tolosa, and participated in the Fourth Lateran Council, making him an ideal figure around which to center a study. Utilizing untapped and underutilized sources involving Arnau Amalric and the Cistercians, this project demonstrates how the Cistercians came to see this activity as a fulfillment of their seminal vision to reform and discipline medieval Christian society.
In addition to his interest in the nexus of medieval monasticism, the crusades, and heresy, Phil remains fascinated by religious violence across time and space and historical theory and practice. In 2012, Phil was awarded the Graduate Student Association Brennan Summer Fellowship for exam study. He has also received departmental support for dissertation research to Madrid and Birmingham, UK in 2013 and for presenting a paper at the American Historical Association in 2014. Phil has presented several conference papers at medieval conferences in Kalamazoo, MI; Leeds, UK; and Saint Louis, MO, and from 2011-2014, he served on the planning board of the Crusades Studies Forum.
Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Phil earned his B.A. in History and the History of Philosophy from Marquette University in 2009 and his M.A. in History from Saint Louis University in 2011. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, jigsaw puzzles, and following the EPL (Go Gunners!) and the NHL (Go Wild!).