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Daniel E. Thiery, Ph.D.

Daniel E. Thiery, Professor of Medieval History, received his Ph.D. in Medieval Studies in 2003 from the Center for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. He is author of the study, Polluting the Sacred: Violence, Faith and the 'Civilizing' of Parishioners in Late Medieval England (2009) and co-editor of the collection of essays, "A Great Effusion of Blood'? Interpreting Medieval Violence (2004). Dr. Thiery’s research and writing stem from an interest in late medieval and early modern English culture, especially the enactment, control, valorization and/or denigration of violence. His prior research has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Richard III Society and Medieval Academy of America. In 2015, Dr. Thiery was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS) in recognition of the impact of his scholarship on audiences beyond his immediate scholastic peers. He has taught in the Honors Program Humanities Sequence since Fall 2003 [HON 102: The Medieval World and HON 201: The Modern World]. Dr. Thiery also teaches courses in Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation History as well as a Special Topics course on Medieval England. In 2003, Dr. Thiery created a course on the composition, endurance and alteration of attitudes toward violence, titled ‘The History of Violence’. This course, which Dr. Thiery continues to teach, became the centerpiece course for the Integrated Core Theme, ‘Violence’, an integral component of Iona’s college core curriculum.

Dr. Thiery is currently researching and writing a book exploring the history of violence from ancient Greece to the present age, titled Heroic Restraint: A History of Violence.  


Latin, German, French and English (American, Canadian and British!)

Other Academic and College Interests

Rather than stereotypically acquiring a Lamborghini in midlife, Dr. Thiery has recently pursued his longstanding interest in archaeology, completing basic courses in archaeological practice (University of Oxford), human osteoarcheaology (University of Leiden) and the archaeology of Hadrian’s Wall (Newcastle University). Dr. Thiery is looking forward to more study and possible participation in a ‘field school’ to augment this coursework.

Dr. Thiery has served as faculty advisor of the Iona Cross Country team since 2004. Though an avid runner, he is in no way responsible for the longstanding success of the Gael harriers.

Reviews of Polluting the Sacred

"This is a fascinating short work on a large and important subject, the influence of Christian belief on violent behaviour in the Middle Ages...thoughtful scholarship brought imaginatively to bear on sometimes very vivid sources...this is an excellent book which deserves to be widely read." - James Sharpe (Journal of Ecclesiastical History), author of A Fiery and Furious People: A History of Violence in England

"It is clever, learned and current with the literature. For a book that is partly intellectual, theological, cultural and social history, the author certainly had numerous decisions to make concerning coverage of topics and issues. Given the ambitious subject matter, his overall analytical framework coheres nicely...The main body of the work is well-written and the arguments convincing...Thiery has produced an innovative and sophisticated book that draws from many important sources for people doing late medieval English religious and social history..." - Gary Gibbs (Journal of Social History)

"Thiery's book on late medieval English parishioners assigns religion its rightful place in 'the civilizing process'" - Mary Alberi (Pace University), Church History

"Als Beitrag zur weiterhin kontroversen Disziplinierungsdebatte kann die Studie aber mit Gewinn gelesen warden." - Beat Kumin (University of Coventry), Historische Zeitschrift