Professor Miri Rubin

Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History

Location Arts Two 3.08


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8369

I am a historian of Europe of wide interests. My research has ranged across the period 1100-1600, through the exploration of themes in the religious culture of Europe. I am interested in inter-disciplinary encounters, and these have animated my work.  I also enjoy disseminating history to diverse audiences all over the world.


My research has introduced new approaches to the study of social relations in the predominantly religious cultures of medieval Europe.

I have sought to understand the message of Christian charity as practised in medieval communities; to explore the meanings of the arch-sacrament, the Eucharist; to explore new narratives about Jews, which turned into public social dramas.

I enjoyed greatly the research for a book on the making of the figure of the Virgin Mary over 1500 years, as I did the preparation of the editorial project which followed: the translation and annotation of the Life and Passion of William of Norwich. This is a twelfth century Latin hagiographical text which contains the first know accusation of child murder brought against the Jews of Norwich.

In all my work I seek to understand issues of identity, community, and gender, the boundaries of cooperation and the threat of violence.

  • History of religious cultures
  • Social and community relations
  • Jewish-Christian relations
  • Gender, identity and the body: ideas as well as practices
  • Visual and material  expressions of ideas and practices

Current PhD Students

  • Julia BourkeCultivating Emotion: Cistercian Communities in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Britain
  • David HarrapDevotion, Devotional Spaces and the Imitatio Christi in Reformation England
  • Magdalena JanosikovaComposing Hebrew MateriaMedica in Early Modern Times: A Medical Treatise of Eliezer Eilburg
  • Ella KilgallonCreating sacred space beyond the convent: Women of the Franciscan Third Order in the Italian city
  • Amanda Langley

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate supervision 

I welcome applications from candidates interested in research a wide range of topics. Some of my PhD students have researched:

  • Carnival plays in 15th and 16th Century Europe
  • The Templars in Occitania
  • Political martyrdom in late medieval England
  • Miracles of the Virgin and attitudes to Jews in Anglo-Norman England
  • Uses of the Bible in late Medieval England
  • Vernacular Pastoralia in 13th and 14th-century England
  • Debates over the Immaculate Conception
  • Perceptions of Time in Late Medieval Burgundy
  • Diversity in Late Medieval  Ashkenazi Intellectual Discussion



Membership of professional associations or societies

Editorial Positions

Book Series

  • Medieval Pluralities: the Cultures of Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Brill, Leiden, 1994-2002
  • Medieval Religious Women, Brepols Publishers, 2010-
  • Medieval Cultures, published by Minnesota University Press, Minneapolis, 1994-2004
  • New Medieval Literatures, Oxford University Press, 1997-
  • Religion and Culture in the Middle Ages, University of Wales Press, 2005-


Appearances in the media