Director of Medieval Studies
Phil Adamo received his B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the University at Albany (SUNY) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History (2000) from The Ohio State University. As a graduate student, he received several teaching awards, including the Provost’s Teaching Fellowship, and the Clio Award for Outstanding Teaching in History. In 2006, he received Augsburg’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning, and in 2014, the award for Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship. In 2014, The Medieval Academy of America, the oldest and largest association of medievalists in the world, presented Phil with the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching. This national award recognizes Academy members who are “outstanding teachers who have contributed to the profession by inspiring students at the undergraduate or graduate levels, or by creating innovative and influential textbooks or other materials for teaching medieval subjects.”
Phil’s current research concerns the medieval practice of ‘death-bed entry’ to monastic life. Medieval people believed that taking the monastic habit, even at the last minute, meant no time in purgatory, and a clear path to heaven. But what would happen if a knight or noblewoman who had become a religious did not immediately die, and then had a change of heart? Such occurrences were common enough that they caused many monastic orders to reconsider the practice, and to defend in court the promises and donations made to them. The practice also drew criticism from reformers and satirists, such as Gerald of Wales, who claimed that the entrants were insincere and the monasteries that accepted them were simply greedy.
Phil has also written extensively on the thirteenth-century, French monastic order known as the Caulites. His dissertation on the formation of the Caulite Order won the Ohio Academy of History Dissertation Award in 2001. His book, New Monks in Old Habits: The Formation of the Caulite Monastic Order, 1193-1267, is forthcoming from the Pontifical Institute of Medieaval Studies in Toronto. He collaborated with Joseph H. Lynch on the second edition of The Medieval Church: A Brief History (Routledge, 2013). He has also published articles in Cîteaux; Teaching History; Revue Mabillon; The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage; The Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writings; and the customizable class reader Exploring the European Past.
Phil is the Director of Medieval Studies at Augsburg, and serves as faculty adviser to the Goliard Society of Medievalists, a student club that sponsors a variety of activities, from field trips to historic sites to attendance at medieval plays and festivals. He is also the Director of Medieval Minnesota, a summer camp at Augsburg College.
- B.A. SUNY-Albany
- M.A. The Ohio State University
- Ph.D. The Ohio State University