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Professors Abroad: Timothy Johnson in Milan

Mar 22, 2010
by Staff

In what he called one of the high points of his career, Timothy Johnson, professor of religion and Liberal Studies Chair at Flagler, presented research at a prestigious conference at Catholic University of Milan this past September.

Johnson joined scholars from around the world at the conference, “Religiosity and Civilization, Religious Forms of Identity,” which was hosted by the university’s Department of Medieval Studies. He was one of only two Americans invited to attend — the other was from Princeton University.

“It’s very, very important for someone like myself to be able to present the results of my research to an international group of peers to hear from them their critiques,” Johnson said. “For me it was very, very rewarding.”

The conference was about the construction of religious identity in the middle ages, and Johnson was asked to present a paper on the stories of St. Francis composed by St. Bonaventure, who was one of the premier theologians of the Franciscan Order.

“I’ve done a lot of work on the writings about the saints,” said Johnson, who said for the last year he has been focusing his research on how the recounting of those stories over time, by various institutions, helped to form identity.

Johnson, a Fulbright Scholar, is also working to bring a research conference to Flagler in 2011 that will be called, “From La Florida to La California: The Genesis and Realization of Franciscan Evangelization in the Spanish Borderlands.” He said the conference will coincide with celebrations for St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary and should attract several well-known scholars from North American and Europe.

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