Julia Bourke

PhD Student in the School of History

Thesis title: Cultivating Emotion: Cistercian Communities in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Britain

Email: j.e.bourke@qmul.ac.uk

Supervisor: Professor Miri Rubin

I am currently in the third year of my doctoral research, which examines emotions and emotional training in medieval Cistercian monasticism. My methodology combines traditional historical approaches with the latest research in neuroscience and neuropsychology, drawing on concepts like neuroplasticity and emotion regulation to examine the effects of Cistercian "orthopraxis". My thesis examines the way in which a range of Cistercian practices - from diet and sleep patterns to prayer and meditation - affect emotion, mood, and related states such as sin and virtue. I have a particular interest in caritas, acedia, amor et timor Dei, and meditations on death and judgement.