UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Dr. Jodi Bilinkoff

Dr. Jodi Bilinkoff (History) received new funding from the City of Chicago Newberry Library for the project “John of the Cross (1542-1591): The History, Mystery and Memory of a Spanish Saint.”  

John of the Cross (1542-1591) is one of the most famous and revered figures in the history of Christian spirituality. For generations he has been esteemed as a mystic, spiritual guide and one of the finest poets in the Spanish language. Yet relatively little is known about him as a person, and few historians have examined his life or cult as a Catholic saint.

Dr. Bilinkoff proposes a new approach to the life, afterlife and reception of John of the Cross. The goal is not to write a conventional biography, but rather, undertake a critical study of the manifold, at times, conflicting meanings that John has held for individuals and communities, both during and after his lifetime. The case of John of the Cross offers a remarkable opportunity to investigate popular religious beliefs and practices, interpersonal relationships, identity formation, urban and ecclesiastical politics, and the meanings of memory, from the Age of Reformations to our own times.

Dr. Bilinkoff hopes the study will interest scholars of history, literature and religion in early modern Spain and Catholic Europe, as well anyone who has ever experienced the beauty and mystery of John’s poetry.