American Society of Church History Recognizes University of Notre Dame Scholar

Katie Bugyis, an assistant professor in the program of liberal studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, has been awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History. The award honors outstanding scholarship in the history of Christianity by a first-time author.

Dr. Bugyis was honored for her book, The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England During the Central Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2019) which reconstructs the history of Benedictine nuns through examination of their own liturgical documents — and recovers evidence of their liturgical functions, including preaching, reading the gospel liturgically, hearing confessions and pronouncing absolution.

“This history challenges the prevailing narratives about these women’s liturgical practices, which confine them exclusively to the care of priests,” Dr. Bugyis said. “My book shows that these women acted as ministers in their own right, caring for their own spiritual needs, as well as those of the laity who visited them.

“To receive the Brewer Prize is not just a vote of welcome acclamation of my research from peers in my field,” Dr. Bugyis continued. “It is an affirmation of scholarship that seeks to tell a new history of women from the past on their own terms, in their own words.”

Dr. Bugyis holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a P.D. in medieval studies from the Univerity of Notre Dame. She also earned a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School.

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