School of Humanities and Sciences

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  • Hester Gelber

    Hester Gelber

    Professor of Religious Studies and, by courtesy, of German Studies, Emerita

    BioHester Gelber specializes in late medieval religious thought. She has taught courses on philosophy of religion as well as medieval Christianity. She has written extensively on medieval Dominicans, including: Exploring the Boundaries of Reason: Three Questions on the Nature of God by Robert Holcot OP and most recently It Could Have Been Otherwise: Contingency and Necessity in Dominican Theology at Oxford 1300-1350. She has now retired.

    Professor Gelber received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 and has taught at Stanford since 1978, beginning as a part-time lecturer in Philosophy before moving to Religious Studies in 1982.

  • Fiona Griffiths

    Fiona Griffiths

    Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Religious Studies and of German Studies
    On Leave from 10/01/2023 To 06/30/2024

    BioFiona Griffiths is a historian of medieval Western Europe, focusing on intellectual and religious life from the ninth to the thirteenth century. Her work explores the possibilities for social experimentation and cultural production inherent in medieval religious reform movements, addressing questions of gender, spirituality, and authority, particularly as they pertain to the experiences and interactions of religious men (priests or monks) with women (nuns and clerical wives). Griffiths is the author of Nuns' Priests' Tales: Men and Salvation in Medieval Women's Monastic Life,The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2018) and The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century, The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2007); she is co-editor (with Kathryn Starkey) of Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019) and (with Julie Hotchin) of Partners in Spirit: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Her essays have appeared in Speculum, Early Medieval Europe, Church History, the Journal of Medieval History, postmedieval, and Viator. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; the Stanford Humanities Center; and the Institute of Historical Research (University of London). Griffiths is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America.

  • Christopher Gurley

    Christopher Gurley

    Ph.D. Student in Religious Studies, admitted Autumn 2022

    BioChristopher Spencer Gurley, Jr is a Ph.D. student in the Religious Studies Department at Stanford University, where he specializes in American Religion and is pursuing a Ph.D. minor in history. His research explores the intersection of African American history and U.S. Catholic cultural life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is specifically interested in the religio-racial histories of U.S. Catholicism, Black identity constructions, Catholicism in the rural south, and the socio-historical politics of class and belonging regarding Black masculinity and manhood. 
    Before joining the Stanford community, he studied U.S. History at Georgetown University as a Patrick Healy Fellow. Chris earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Tennessee State University and his Master of Theological Studies degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School. He also holds a Master of Arts in Religion degree from Yale Divinity School, where he was chosen to become an Elie Wiesel-Martin Luther King, Jr. scholar at Oxford University.