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History Student Colloquium

Senior history students present their honors and other research projects.

In our annual History Student Colloquium, senior history students present their honors senior theses and other research projects.

The 2022 presentations are:

Adrienne Ora

Behold, My Servant Shall Understand: Medieval Jews and Christians and the Literal Interpretation of Scripture

Honors thesis. This presentation will discuss the definition, history, and significance of the literal sense of Scripture in the Medieval Jewish and Christian mindset. Using the servant song of Isaiah 52-53, the idea of literal interpretation will be examined in how it shaped Jewish and Christian identity over the Patristic and Medieval periods, and how changing perceptions of the literal sense are evident in the exegetical literature. After some examples of interpretation, the importance of the literal sense of Scripture, and comparative exegesis in general, to understanding Medieval Jewish-Christian relations will be discussed, along with some modern implications. 

Adrienne Ora is a graduating senior from Midland, Michigan, majoring in History, Classics, and German and minoring in Medieval Studies. This fall she will be beginning a Master’s program in Medieval and Byzantine Studies at the Catholic University of America, where she hopes to continue studies in Jewish-Christian intellectual relations and exegetical history. 

Jonah Powell

The Long Conquest: The Norman Aristocracy in Wales and Ireland, 1066-1206

Independent study. Between 1066 and 1206, the Normans and Anglo-Norman aristocracy pushed the boundaries of the Kingdom of England beyond those of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdom and into the Celtic lands of Wales and Ireland. Their conquests, while sometimes featuring royal direction and involvement, were largely the responsibility of powerful, semi-independent Marcher Lords. But who were the Marcher Lords? What was their origin, what did they do, and how did they do it? These are but some of the questions I hope to answer in this discussion of this peculiar subset of the broader Anglo-Norman nobility.

Jonah Powell is a history major out of Saranac, Michigan, with minors in Classical Studies, Medieval Studies, and Political Science. He has presented previously on the Conquest-era Norman nobility for the Michigan Academy of Arts, Science, and Letters.


This talk is part of history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are warmly welcome to attend. 


April 2022
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