Professor of History
Advisor, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center
Texas Tech University






Department of History, Texas Tech University (TTU), Lubbock, Texas 79409-l0l3
Office in Holden Hall 143
Home Address: 3109 25th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79410-2134
Telephone:; 806 742-3744 (History Dept.); or 806 834-7544 (office); or 806 438-1321 (Home)
E-Mail:; fax: 806-742-1060; web:


Academic Degrees (History):
         Ph.D. (1979), C.Phil. (1973), and M.A. (1971, M.A.) from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).  Honored as Social Sciences M.A. of the Year by the UCLA Alumni Association. 
        B.A. (1969) from the University of San Francisco. Magna Cum Laude, member of Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society.

Doctoral Dissertation: "Greek Influence on the Eleventh-Century Western Revival of Hermitism," directed by Gerhart B. Ladner. Doctoral examination fields in Roman History, Early Medieval History, Later Medieval History, History of Religions.


Fall 1981-. Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Department of History, TTU. Teaching medieval Europe and history of Christianity.

Fall 2011-18  Interim Director, Co-Director, Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center, TTU.

2013-14 Visiting Scholar, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA; Extended Reader, J. Paul Getty Research Institute.

2003-2004. Senior Research Associate, Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame. Researcher.

Spring 2001. Fellow, School of Historical Studies, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton. Researcher.

Spring 1981. Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University. Teaching history of Christianity.


Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016. Recipient of the Catholic Historical Association's Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian History for 2017. 

Church Reform and Social Change in Eleventh-Century Central Italy: Dominic of Sora and His Patrons. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997. Recipient of the Catholic Historical Association's John Gilmary Shea Prize for best book in Church history, 1998.  Translated by Paolo Golinelli as Riforma della Chiesa e trasformazioni sociali nell'Italia dell'XI secolo:  Domenico di Sora e i suoi patroniSora:  Centro Studi Sorani Vincenzo Patriarca, 2007.

Edited Volume:
Inventing Medieval Landscapes: Senses of Place in Western Europe. Edited by John Howe and Michael Wolfe. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.

Museum Exhibits Curated:
“Pre-Modern Bibles:  From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Complutensian Polyglot Bible" (with Janis Elliott). Exhibition presented at the Museum of Texas Tech University, August 15, 2018, through March 4, 2019. 

'The Medieval Southwest:  Manifestations of the Old World in the New." Exhibition presented at the Southwest Collection / TTU Special Collections Library, August 9, 2008, through April 4, 2009.

Exhibit Catalogs:
John Howe and Janis Elliott.“Pre-Modern Bibles:  From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Complutensian Polyglot Bible."  Lubbock, Texas: Tech University College of Arts and Sciences Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2019. 76 pp.

[Lynn Whitfield and John Howe, eds.] "The Medieval Southwest:  Manifestations of the Old World in the New." Lubbock, Texas:  The Southwest Collection / TTU Special Collections Library, 2009.  59 pp. An abbreviated version is available through a Southwest Collection Web site.

"Music of the Spheres? Astronomical Antecedents of the Staff System of Musical Notation." In progress.

"The Pilgrim's Reward: Early Medieval Conceptions of the Benefits of the Jerusalem Pilgrimage." In progress.

"Gregory VII and the Eleventh-Century Reform Movement."  For The Popes and the Papacy. Edited by Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt.  Volume 1 of  The Cambridge History of the Papacy. Edited by Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Robert A. Ventresca. Under contract with Cambridge University Press for publication in 2023.

"Peter Damian Looks at Military Violence."  Submitted and accepted for Violence and Violent Clerics in Medieval Europe. Edited by Andrew Villalon and Donald Kagay. Under contract with Brill, for publication in 2022.

"Western Monks and the East, 850-1050." In The Cambridge History of Medeival Monasticism in the Latin West. Volume I: Origins to the Eleventh Century. Edited by Allison Beach and Isabella Cochelin. 2 vols. Camdridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 1::631-45.

"Hermits in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (with Kathryn Jasper). In The Cambridge History of Latin Monasticism. Volume II: The High and Late MIddle Ages.  Edited by Allison I. Beach and Isabelle Cochelin.  2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. 2:684-696..      

"Fulbert," Gerbert," "Nilus," and "Romuald." In Routledge Medieval Encyclopedia Online. Accepted for publication 2018, the first two in proof in January 2019. 

“Pre-Modern Bibles:  From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Complutensian Polyglot Bible" (with Janis Elliott). M: The Magazine of the Museum of Texas Tech University (Spring/Summer 2018): 32-35.

 "Reforming Reform: Steven Vanderputten's Monastic Histories."  The Catholic Historical Review 102 (2016): 814-19.

"Military Secrets of the Knights Templar: The Rule." Medieval Warfare 6(5) (2016):20-24.

"Voluntary Ascetical Flagellation: From Local to Learned Traditions." The Haskins Society Journal 24 (2012): 4l-61

"Preface.”  In Reassessing Reform:  A Historical Investigation into Church Renewal.  Edited by Christopher M. Bellitto and.David Zachariah Flanagin.  Washington, DC:  Catholic University of America Press, 2012. Pp. ix-xii. 

“Did St. Peter Damian Die in 1073?  A New Perspective on His Final Days."  Analecta Bollandiana 128 (2010): 67-86.

"Re-Forging the 'Age of Iron':" Part I:  The Tenth Century as the End of the Ancient World?" History Compass 8/8 (2010): 866-87, 10.1111/j 1478-0542.2010.00707 x.

"Re-Forging the 'Age of Iron':" Part II:  The Tenth Century in a New Age?" History Compass 8/9 (2010): 1000-1022. 10.1111/j. 1478-0542.2010.00708.x.

“Amatus of Montecassino,” “Anjou,” “Heriger of Lobbes (d. 1007),”  “Rather of Verona (887-974),” and “Wolfger of Prüfening.”  In The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Edited by Robert E. Bjork. 4 vols. Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2010. 1:48, 1:64, 2:793,4:1386, and 4:1738. 

"Martyrs." Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Edited by Larissa Taylor, Leigh Ann Craig, John B. Friedman, Kathy Gower, Thomas Izbicki, and Rita Tekippe. Leiden: Brill, 2009. Pp. 382-86.

"Baronius and Dominic of Sora." In Baronio e le sue fonti: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Sora, 10-13 ottobre 2007. Edited by Luigi Gulia. Sora: Centro di Studi Sorani "Vincenzo Patriarca," 2009. Pp. 327-40.  Published in Italian as "Baronio e San Domenico di Sora." In La Tradizione storica di San Domenico di Sora: Atti del Convegni del Millenario. Edited by Luigi Gulia. Sora: Edizioni Casasmari, 2012. Pp. 213-27.

"St Berardus of Marsica (d. 1130):  'Model Gregorian Bishop'."  Journal of Ecclesiastical History 58 (2007): 400-416.

"Gaudium et Spes: Ecclesiastical Reformers at the Start of a 'New Age'."
 In Reforming the Church before Modernity:  Patterns, Problems, and Approaches, Edited by Christopher M. Bellitto and Louis I. Hamilton.  Burlington, VT / Aldershot, England:  Ashgate, 2005.  Pp. 21-35.

"St. Benedict the Hermit as a Model for Italian Sanctity: Some Hagiographical Witnesses." The American Benedictine Review 55 (2004): 42-54.  Translated as “Der heilige Benedikt als Eremit und Modell für italienische Heiligkeit:  Einige hagiographische Zeugnisse.”  Monastische Informationen no. 130 (2007):  20-25.

"Creating Symbolic Landscapes: Medieval Development of Sacred Space." In Inventing Medieval Landscapes. Edited by John Howe and Michael Wolfe. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002. Pp. 208-223.

"The Hagiography of Jumièges (Province of Haute-Normandie) (Sources Hagiographiques de la Gaule VII)." In L'hagiographie du haut moyen âge en Gaule du Nord: manuscrits, textes et centres de production. Edited by Martin Heinzelmann. Beihefte der Francia 52. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2001. Pp. 91-125.

"The Hagiography of Saint-Wandrille (Province of Haute-Normandie) (Sources Hagiographiques de la Gaule VIII)." In L'hagiographie du haut moyen âge en Gaule du Nord: manuscrits, textes et centres de production. Edited by Martin Heinzelmann. Beihefte der Francia 52. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2001. Pp. 127-92.

"Review Article: Revisiting the Holy Man." The Catholic Historical Review 86 (2000): 640-44.

"Oblates" and "Saints, Italian Benedictine." Encyclopedia of Monasticism. Edited by William M. Johnston. 2 vols. Chicago / London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000. 2:945-46; 2:1113-15.

"La Vita Leopardini (BHL 4882), source pour la Paix de Dieu.'" Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 40 (1997): 175-80.

"Peter Damian and Monte Cassino." Revue bénédictine 107 (1997): 330-51.

"The Conversion of the Physical World: The Creation of a Christian Landscape." In Varieties of Religious Conversion in the Middle Ages. Edited by James K. Muldoon. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1997. Pp. 63-78.

"`Fatal Discord' in an Eleventh-Century Central Italian Family." Medieval Prosopography 16 (1995): 1-15.

"Review Article: Hagiographical Handbooks." The Catholic Historical Review 80 (1994): 757-61.

"Monasteria Semper Libera: Cluniac-Type Monastic Liberties in Eleventh-Century Central Italian Monasteries." The Catholic Historical Review 78 (1992): 19-34.

"Elias Speleotes," "Elias the Younger," "Neilos of Rossano," and "Phantinos the Younger." Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. 1:687(2x), 2:1450, 3:1646.

John Howe / Julia Whitsitt.  "Creating Freshman Learning Communities through Paired Classes." The Freshman Experience Newsletter 4(2) (Fall, 1991): 11.

"Review Article: Lectio Hagiographica." The Catholic Historical Review 76 (1990): 564-69.

"Bruno of Querfurt," "Letald of Micy," "Richard of Bury and the Philobiblon," and "Translations of the Saints" (with Daniel Callam). Dictionary of the Middle Ages. 13 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1982-89. 2:391, 7:552, 10:386, and 12:144-45.

"The Nobility's Reform of the Medieval Church." American Historical Review 93 (1988): 317-39.

"Review Article: Saints and Society through the Centuries." The Catholic Historical Review 72 (1986): 74-82.

"The Date of the Life of Saint Ebbo of Sens." Analecta Bollandiana 104 (1986): 131-43.

"The Date of the Life of Saint Vigor of Bayeux." Analecta Bollandiana, 102 (1984): 303-12.

"The True Date of the Life and Miracles of St. Symeon of Polirone." Studi medievali, 3rd ser., 25 (1984): 291-99.

"Review Article: Saintly Statistics." The Catholic Historical Review 70 (1984): 74-82.

"The Awesome Hermit: The Symbolic Significance of the Hermit as a Possible Research Perspective." Numen 30 (1983): 106-19.

"The Date of the Vita Judoci by Abbot Florentius." Analecta Bollandiana 101 (1983): 25-31.

"The Alleged Use of Cursus by Bishop Arbeo of Freising." Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi 42 (1982): 129-31.

Signed Reviews:
Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2006), Catholic Historical Review (2011, 2009, 2006, 2004, 1999, 1996, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987 [2x]); De Re Militari (2013); English Historical Review (2005); Francia (2001, 1996); H-Net Review: H-Catholic (2004, 2002, 2000) [online]; History Teacher (2011, 1995, 1984 [2x], 1983); The International History Review (2004); Medieval Review [online] (2021, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2006, 2003, 1999 [2x]); Mediaevistik (2001, 2000 [2x]); Religious Studies Review (1995, 1993 [2x], 1988); Speculum (2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 1995, 1994 [2x], 1986 [3x]); Theological Studies (2009, 2004).

American Catholic Historical Association Annual Meeting (1996, 1995); American Historical Association Annual Meeting (1983); American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch (1983); Association of Ancient Historians Annual Meeting (1986); Baronio e le sue fonti:  Convegno internazionale di studi, Sora (2007); Byzantine Studies Association Annual Conference (1986); Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies of the State University of New York at Binghamton Conference(1989); Charles Homer Haskins Society for Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman and Angevin History International Conference (1996, 1993, 1990, 1989, 1987, 1982); Conference of Texas Medievalists (1982); Ecclesia Semper Reformanda: Vatican II. Aggiornamento, and Church Reform before Modernity. A Conference on the Fortieth Anniversary of Vatican II (2002); Erasmus Institute Seminar of the University of Notre Dame (2004, 2003); French Historians in Texas Conference (1999); German Institute in Paris Seminar (1995); Illinois Medieval Association (2000); International Congress on Medieval Studies (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1982, 1981, 1979); International Medieval Congress, Leeds UK (2015); International Seminar on Pre-Reformation Theology and the American  Cusanus Society (2008); Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies Luncheon Colloquium (2001); Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies Medieval Seminar (2001); Medieval Academy of America (2011, 2005); Medieval Academy of America / Medieval Association of the Pacific Annual Convention (1998); Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame (2004); Mid-America Medieval Association (1992); MRSC Virtual Spring Symposium (2021); Pennsylvania State University Medieval Conference (1999); Rice University Medieval Colloquium (2002); Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association (1992); Sewanee Medieval Colloquium (2018); Society for French Historical Studies (2007); Southeastern Medieval Association (1996, 1982); Southwestern Social Science Association (1987, 1982); Texas Medieval Association (2018. 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 1999, 1996, 1992); TTU History Department Faculty Research Colloquium (1999, 1982); TTU Honors Program "Pizza with the Profs" (1996, 1995); UCLA Medieval Latin Colloquium (1995, 1988); Western Association of Faculty Governance (1997); Western Society for French History Annual Conference (1988); Women's Council of the West Texas Museum Association Art Seminar (1997 [2x], 1996, 1986 [2x], 1985, 1984).

American Academy in Rome (2015); American Philosophical Society (1989); Big 12 Faculty Fellowship (2002); City of Lubbock Grant Review Committee and the Civic Lubbock, Inc. Board (2018); Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris hospitality grants (1998, 1995); Dumbarton Oaks Institute (1982); Erasmus Institute [Notre Dame] Carey Faculty Fellowship (2003-2004); Fulbright travel grant (1989); Getty Center for the History of Art (1995); Gloria Lyerla Memorial Fund Library Research Travel Grant (1998); Helen Jones Foundation, Lubbock TX (2017, 2007); Humanities Texas (2017, 2007); National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute "Writing as Quest" (1991); NEH Summer Stipends (1992); NEH Travel-to-Collections Grants (1988); Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities (2007); School of Historical Studies of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (2001); TTU Arts & Sciences New Faculty Development Fund (1982); TTU Faculty Development Leaves (2007, 2001, 1995, 1988); TTU Graduate School Summer Research Award, 1992 (for Howe and Cynthia Rosser); TTU Research Enhancement Funds (1991-92 and 1984-85); TTU University Task Force on Student Retention (1990); UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow (1995 and 1979-82); UCLA CMRS Visiting Scholar (2013-2014).

Regular participant in the work of the Texas Tech History Department, of Texas Tech University, of the Lubbock community, and of the national/international scholarly community.

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