I am a historian of Europe of wide interests. My research has ranged across the period 1100-1600, through the exploration of themes in the religious culture of Europe. I am interested in inter-disciplinary encounters, and these have animated my work. I also enjoy disseminating history to diverse audiences all over the world.
My research has introduced fresh approaches to the study of social relations in the predominantly religious cultures of medieval Europe. I have sought to understand the message of Christian charity as practised in medieval communities; to explore the meanings of the arch-sacrament, the Eucharist; to explore new narratives about Jews, which turned into public social dramas. I enjoyed greatly the research for a book on the making of the figure of the Virgin Mary over 1500 years. In all my work I seek to understand issues of identity, community, and gender, the boundaries of cooperation and the threat of violence. My research interests include: history of religious cultures; social and community relations; Jewish-Christian relations; and gender, identity and the body: ideas as well as practices.