Caroline Bynum

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Caroline Walker Bynum (born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1941)[1] is an American Medieval scholar. She is a University Professor emerita at Columbia University and Professor emerita of Western Medieval History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She was the first woman to be appointed University Professor at Columbia. She is a former Dean of Columbia's School of General Studies,[1] and served as President of the American Historical Association in 1996.

Education and Career[edit]

Bynum received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1962 and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.[1] Her honors include the Jefferson Lecture, a MacArthur Fellowship, and fourteen honorary degrees[1] including degrees from Harvard University,[2] the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania.[citation needed] She taught at Princeton University from 2003-2011, Columbia University from 1988-2003, University of Washington from 1976-1988, and Harvard University from 1969-1976.[3] In 2015, she was the Robert Janson-La Palma Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University.[4] Bynum's work has focused on the way medieval people understood the nature of the human body and its physicality in the context of larger theological questions and spiritual pursuits.


  • Christian Materiality An Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe (2011)[5]
  • Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond (2007), winner of the American Academy of Religion's 2007 Award for Excellence, the 2009 Gründler Prize, and the Haskins Medal of the Medieval Academy of America in 2011.[6]
  • Metamorphosis and Identity (2005)[7]
  • The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity: 200-1336 (1995) which received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from Phi Beta Kappa and the Jacques Barzun Prize of the American Philosophical Society.[8][9]
  • Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion (1991), winner of the Trilling Prize for the Best Book by a Columbia Faculty Member and the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the Analytical-Descriptive Category from the American Academy of Religion[10]
  • Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (1988)
  • Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages (1984)


  • Federal Republic of Germany, Grand Merit Cross with Star (2013)
  • Federal Republic of Germany, Order of Merit (2012)
  • Haskins Medal (2011)
  • Gründler Prize (2009)
  • Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (2007 and 1992)
  • American Society of Church History, Distinguished Career Award (2005)
  • Mark van Doren Teaching Award of Columbia College (2002)
  • Harvard University, Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School (2001)
  • Jefferson Lecturer (1999)
  • Columbia University, Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching (1997)
  • Barzun Prize (1996)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize (1995)
  • Trilling Prize (1992)
  • Philip Schaff Prize (1989)
  • MacArthur Fellowship (1986–9)[12]
  • Berkshire Prize (1985)
  • Distinguished Teacher Award from the University of Washington (1981)


  1. ^ a b c d Caroline Walker Bynum short CV at Institute for Advanced Study website (retrieved June 29, 2009).
  2. ^ "Harvard awards 8 honorary degrees" Archived July 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Harvard University Gazette, June 9, 2005.
  3. ^ "Caroline Walker Bynum". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Caroline Walker Bynum | School of Historical Studies". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  5. ^ "Christian Materiality". MIT Press. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Caroline Walker Bynum | School of Historical Studies". Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  7. ^ "Metamorphosis and Identity". MIT Press. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  8. ^ "The Jefferson Lecture" at 1999 National Endowment for the Humanities Annual Report.
  9. ^ Bynum, Caroline Walker (1996-05-01). Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200-1336. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231515627. 
  10. ^ "Fragmentation and Redemption". MIT Press. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  11. ^ "Caroline Walker Bynum". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  12. ^ "MacArthur Fellows August 1986" Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  • Women Medievalists and the Academy, Edited by Jane Chance, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005, pp. 995–1006.

External links[edit]