Thomas Santa Maria

Thomas Santa Maria's picture
I am a third year in Renaissance Studies and History. My area of interest is the religious and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, especially Italy. More specifically, I focus on Early Modern Catholicism, especially the activities of the Jesuits in the decades following the Council of Trent. In particular, my research interests relate to sense history, and the challenges presented by the ambivalent role of the senses in the spiritual life. Should the senses be trusted as tools that move the mind to God and profit the soul leading to eternal life, or guarded as the gates of sin that incite the body to lust and damn the soul leading to eternal death? For sources I work with early modern devotional and theological writings as well as sermons. Thanks to good fortune, my research has brought me to Rome on a few occasions, and I hope to return there as my dissertation work progresses.

Before Yale, I completed a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at Boston College. Prior to that I attended the College of the Holy Cross where I completed the honors course in history, classics, and Catholic Studies. While at Holy Cross, I also competed in varsity track and field, and continue coaching and officiating to this day.

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