Student Spotlight: Tim Martin

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October 15, 2019

Student Tim Martin talks about his experience at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds in England.

Congratulations to student Timothy Martin, Master of Theological Studies Monastic Studies Candidate, on his paper submission and acceptance to the 2019 Leeds International Medieval Congress. The International Medieval Congress (IMC) “is an inclusive platform for the cultivation of discussion and research on any topic relating to the Middle Ages (300-1500). As the largest academic conference of its kind in Europe, the IMC attracts more than 2,700 medievalists from all over the world” (“About the IMC”). Read more about the IMC at their website

This summer, Tim traveled to the University of Leeds in England to deliver his paper titled “Fighting the Devil: The Use of Militant Terminology and Imagery by Medieval Ecclesiastics in Northern Europe.” The paper was presented as a part of the Violence and Clergy session and examined how the ecclesiastic community in northern France, between the 10th and 12th centuries, used specific terms and associated martial imagery to fight their own battles against a supernatural threat that they perceived as real as anything that their secular counterparts, the nobles and aristocracy, were battling. 

Tim has been attending the IMC as a participant for several years, but this was the first time he presented a paper; however, Tim has experience presenting papers locally and nationally, including at the Biennial Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society Conference and regional conferences in 2018 when he was invited to submit his paper to the IMC. 

When speaking with Tim about his experience, he said one of the best parts of the conference was the internationally shared interest in history with the fellow scholars and attendees. Through his presentation, he gained a renewed sense of importance and validation of his research. When asked how his time at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary influenced his trip and presentation, Tim emphasized the sense of community he experiences on campus and felt when he was touring cathedrals in York, Durham, and Glasgow. From his studies, Tim said he learned how to critically interpret the sources to reach a deeper level of understanding.

 Tim offered some advice for other students at Saint John’s: “Take every opportunity to travel and immerse yourself fully in the field of study that you have chosen. Make opportunities to experience what God has presented before you and incorporate those experiences into a fuller understanding for what lies ahead.”