I am studying the intellectual and religious culture of the high Middle Ages, in search for ideas and modes of thought different from mine. I am attracted by the way medieval theologians attempted to provide rational explanations for Christian doctrinal issues, magic and the supernatural, and recently completed a book addressing the way 13th century Parisian theologians analyzed altered states of consciousness. My current project delves into cognitive practices of medieval students, and especially visual thought in an attempt to write a biography of a habit: the habit of drawing little tree diagrams while reading and thinking. I spend, therefore, long hours looking for and looking at medieval manuscripts of different kinds. I am fond of placing intellectual and scientific texts in the vibrant context of medieval universities, monasteries, politics, literature, architecture and music. The people of the high Middle Ages continue to surprise me with their vigor and originality, expressed in highly complex scholastic works, intricate polyphonic music, prose and cathedrals, novel religious activism and ideas of chivalry. While this is my research area, I have a lively laywoman interest in many other areas in both humanities and science, particularly cognitive science, musicology, chemistry, zoology, gardening, sustainability, and other things I have probably forgotten.
Dr. Ayelet Even Ezra