Columba Stewart, OSB

Professor of Theology

A.B., Harvard College, 1979
M.A., Yale University, 1981
D.Phil., University of Oxford, 1989
Dominican Studium, Oxford, 1988-89

Office: Luke Hall 224
Phone Number: 320-363-3515
Email: [email protected]
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Area of Focus
  • Monastic Studies (Early and Medieval), Eastern Christianity

Research/Teaching Interest/Biography
  • Born 16 July 1957 in Houston, Texas. Professed as a monk of Saint John's Abbey, 11 July 1982; solemn profession, 11 July 1985; ordination to the diaconate, 12 July 1989; ordination to the priesthood, 8 June 1990.

Special Committees/Organizations
  • International Conference on Patristic Studies: attended quadrennial conferences in Oxford in August 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015.
  • North American Patristics Society, 1994–; attended annual meetings in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2016.
  • Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, 1996–.
  • Spiritus, a journal for critical essays on Christian spirituality (Johns Hopkins University    Press), editorial advisory board member, 2000–.
  • Symposium Syriacum. Attended quadrennial meetings in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016.
  • Society for Biblical Literature, 2006–. Attended annual meeting in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011,
    2012, 2013, 2014.
  • Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity.Area Editor for “Christian Religious Life.”
  • International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, 2009–.
  • North American Oriental Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue, 2010–.



  • Working the Earth of the Heart: the Messalian Controversy in History, Texts and       Language to 431, Oxford Theological Monographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press).         


  • “Manifestation of Thoughts in the Rule of Benedict,” Studia Patristica XXV: Papers      Presented to the Eleventh International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford 1991       (Louvain: Peeters), 451-56.
  •  “Scripture and Contemplation in the Monastic Spiritual Theology of John Cassian,”   Studia Patristica XXV: Papers Presented to the Eleventh International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford 1991 (Louvain: Peeters), 457-61.


  • “From logos to verbum: John Cassian's Use of Greek in the Development            of a Latin       Monastic Vocabulary,” The Joy of Learning and the Love of God: Studies in Honor of       Jean Leclercq  (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications), 5-31.
  •  “Asceticism and Spirituality in Late Antiquity: New Vision, Impasse, or           Hiatus?,”       Christian Spirituality Bulletin 4:1, 11-15; reprinted in American Benedictine Review 48 (1997), 254-65.


  • “Reimagining Early Monastic Spirituality,” review article on John Binns, Ascetics and Ambassadors of Christ: The Monasteries of Palestine, 314-631; David Brakke, Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism; Susanna Elm, ‘Virgins of God’: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, Christian Spirituality Bulletin 5, 22-25; reprinted as “Asceticism: A Feature Review,” American Benedictine Review 50 (March 1999), 3-10.


  • Cassian the Monk (Oxford University Press: New York). Translated into Rumanian      and Polish; Italian translation in progress
  • Prayer and Community: the Benedictine Tradition, Darton, Longman and Todd (U.K.)     and Orbis Books (USA).  Translated into Czech; Korean and Portuguese          translations   in progress.


  • “Evagrius Ponticus on Prayer and Anger,” Religions of Late Antiquity in Practice, ed.    Richard Valantasis (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 65-81.
  • “Monasticism” and “Anthony of Egypt,” The Early Christian World, ed. Philip Esler    (London/New York: Routledge), 344-66, 1088-1101.
  • “Desert Fathers,” Encyclopedia of Monasticism (Chicago: Fitzroy    Dearborn), 371-73.
  • Cassian Monahul [Rumanian translation of Cassian the Monk] (Sibiu: Editions    Deisis).


  • “‘We’? Reflections on Affinity and Dissonance in Reading Early Monastic       Literature,” Spiritus 1, 93-102.
  • “Imageless Prayer and the Theological Vision of Evagrius Ponticus,” Journal of            Early Christian Studies 9, 179-210.


  • “Il monachesimo e il Nuovo Testamento. Un fenomeno assente nel primo        cristianesimo,” “L’ascetismo premonastico,” “Il monachesimo in Gallia.       Martino di     Tours e l’isola di Lérins,” “San Benedetto,” “La Santa Regola,” “Il monachesimo in    Nord America,” “Ecumenismo,” Atlante storico del monachesimo orientale e occidentale,           ed. Juan María Laboa (Milan: Jaca Book), 22-25, 60-63, 76-79, 80-83, 254-57, 260-61;         French edition: La grande aventure du monachisme entre orient et occident (Paris:    Lethielleux); English edition: The Historical Atlas of Eastern and Western Christian Monasticism (Collegeville: Liturgical Press).


  • “Evagrius Ponticus on Monastic Pedagogy,” Abba, a Festschrift for Bishop           Kallistos          (Ware) of Diokleia, ed. John Behr, Andrew Louth, Dimitri Conomos (Crestwood, NY:           Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press), 241-
  • “John Cassian’s Schema of Eight Principal Faults and his Debt to Origen and   Evagrius,” Jean Cassien entre Orient et Occident, ed. Cristian Badilita (Paris:     Beauchesne), 205-19.


  • Kasjan mnich [Polish translation of Cassian the Monk] (Cracow: Tyniec).


  • “Evagrius Ponticus and the ‘Eight Generic Logismoi’,” In the Garden of Evil:  The          Vices and Culture in the Middle Ages, ed. Richard Newhauser (Toronto: Pontifical        Institute of Medieval Studies), 3-34.
  •  “Christian Spirituality in the Roman Empire, 100-600 CE,” The    Blackwell Companion             to Christian Spirituality, ed. Arthur Holder (Oxford: Blackwell), 73-89.


  • “Monastic Perspectives on Celibacy,” Sexuality and the U.S. Catholic Church: Crisis       and Renewal, ed. Lisa Cahill (New York: Crossroad), 120-25.
  • Opening Keynote Address, The Encounter of the Early Church with the Greek and Roman World: A View from Monastic Theology,” Proceedings of the Catholic     Theological Society of America 61, 1-13.


  • “Il ritratto scritto. I Dialoghi di Gregorio e il loro impatto storico,”Benedetto. L’eredità   artistica, ed. Roberto Cassanelli and Eduardo López-            Tello Garcia (Milan: Jaca     Book), 11-24; French edition: “Le portrait écrit. Les Dialogues de Grégoire et leur            impact historique,” Benoît et son héritage artistique (Paris: Cerf, 2007); Spanish edition:         “El retrato escrito: los Diálogos de Gregorio y su impacto histórico,” San Benito. El             arte benedictino (Zamora: Ediciones Montecasino/Bilbao: Ediciones Mensajero, 2009).


  • “Prayer,” Oxford Handbook of Early Christianity, ed. Susan Ashbrook Harvey and         David Hunter (New York: Oxford University Press), 744-63
  • “Yours, Mine, or Theirs? Historical Observations on the Use, Collection,           and Sharing   of Manuscripts in Western Europe and the Christian      Orient,” Malphono w-Rabo d-           Malphone. Studies in Honor of Sebastian P. Brock, ed. George Kiraz (Gorgias Press),            603-60.
  •  “Prayer among the Benedictines,” A History of Prayer: From the Early Church to the       Reformation, ed. Roy Hammerling (Leiden: Brill), 201-22.


  • “Early Monasticism and Community Movements Today: What is Old and New, and                         How Do They Meet?,” in One Heart, One Soul, Many Communities, ed. Mary Forman                 (Collegeville: Liturgical Press), 3-23.


  • “Monastic Attitudes towards Philosophy and Philosophers,” Studia Patristica XLIV:               Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies (Oxford 2007).                               (Louvain: Peeters), 321-27.
  • Entries on “Benedictine Order,” “Monasticism,” “Monastic Vows,”The Cambridge                             Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Daniel Patte (Cambridge/ New York: Cambridge                              University Press).
  • “The Origins and Fate of Monasticism,” Spiritus 10, 256-63.


  • “Evagrius and the Eastern Monastic Tradition on the Intellect and the Passions,”                              Modern Theology 27, 263-75; rpt. in Faith, Rationality, and the Passions, ed. Sarah                               Coakley (Malden, MA/ Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell), 67-79.
  •  “The Use of Biblical Texts in Prayer and the Formation of Early Monastic Culture,”    American Benedictine Review 61, 193-206.
  • “Monastic Space and Time,” Western Monasticism ante litteram: The Spaces of Early      Monastic Observance, ed. Hendrik Dey and Elizabeth Fentress (Turnhout: Brepols), 43-51.                


  • “Benedictine Monasticism and Mysticism,” Wiley- Blackwell Companion to ChristianMysticism, ed. Julia Lamm (Malden, MA/ Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell), 216-36.
  • “False Alternatives? The Active/Contemplative Dichotomy,” Misson and Monasticism. Acts of the International Symposium at the Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselmo, Rome, May 7-9, 2009, ed. Conrad Leyser and Hannah Williams, Studia Anselmiana 158 (Rome, 2013), 19-22.
  • Translation of Hildemar of Corbie’s commentary on Ch. 4.17-78 of the Rule of Benedict, available at
  • “The Ascetic Taxonomy of Antioch and Edessa at the Emergence of Monasticism,” Adamantius 19, 207-21.


  • “Re-thinking the History of Monasticism East and West: A Modest tour d’horizon,” Prayer and Thought in Monastic Tradition. Essays in Honour of Benedicta Ward SLG, ed. Santha Bhattacharji, Rowan Williams, Dominic Mattos (London:  Bloomsbury), 3-16.


  • “Another Cassian?” (review article), Journal of Ecclesiastical History 66, 372-376
  • “Patristics beyond ‘East’ and ‘West,’” Patristic Studies in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Carol Harrison, Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Theodore de Bruyn (Turnhout: Brepols), 317-41
  • “HMML and Syriac Manuscripts,” Manuscripta Syriaca. Des sources de première main, ed. F. Briquel Chatonnet and M. Debié, Cahiers d’études syriaques 4 (Paris: Geuthner), 1-16.


  • “Evagrius Beyond Byzantium: the Latin and Syriac Receptions,” Evagrius and His Legacy in Byzantium and the West, ed. Robin Darling Young and Joel Kalvesmaki (South Bend: Notre Dame University Press), 206-35.


  • “Psalms and Prayer in Syriac Monasticism: Clues from Psalter Prefaces and their Greek Sources,” Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th Centuries, ed. Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony and Derek Krueger (London and New York: Routledge).