British MP calls for state funeral for Richard III

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth believes that a state funeral would be appropriate for the recently-discovered remains, believed to be those of King Richard III. "I think he should have a state funeral because he is the last English monarch to have died on a battlefield," said Ashworth.

Masculinity in the Middle Ages

Dr Pat Cullum and Dr Katherine Lewis of the University of Huddersfield are hoping to learn more about what it meant to be a man in the Middle Ages. To foster scholarship, the two professor have created a new network, called the Bishop's Eye.

Dwynwen's church to be restored

Santes Dwynwen, daughter of Welsh King Brychan Brycheiniog, who died in the 5th century, is considered the patron saint of Welsh lovers. Now a ruined church at Llanddwyn on Anglesey has been scheduled for restoration.

Early Irish monastery discovery "beyond wildest dreams"

Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of an early medieval monastery in Carrowmore, Co Donegal, Ireland. The site was previously known as an early Christian settlement, but the discovery of a circular boundary wall leads experts to believe that a monastery was located there.

Driving Russia's Golden Ring

Despite the aggrevation of Russia's roads,  a road trip around the country's Golden Ring, "a circuit of about 10 ancient towns northeast of Moscow, each with its own set of glittering onion-domed churches and medieval fortresses," can be rewarding. Freelance writer iand a former Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, Celestine Bohlen, discusses her recent trip.

Mesa parishioners undertake "scriptorium" project

A group of women from St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Mesa, Arizona, have created their own medieval scriptorium. Under the leadership of SCA member Lee Kitts, the women have completed the Book of Genesis, with plans to finish the other 65 books of the Old and New Testaments. Maria Polletta of has the story. (slideshow)

St Donnan's grave found on Eigg

St Donnan, who brought Christianity to Scotland's West Highlands, was killed by Viking riaders in the early 7th century. Now archaeologists from the University of Birmingham are investing remains found at Kildonnan Graveyard to ascertain if the body is that of the saint.

Spanish Inquisition follows priest to the New World

According to trial records, Catholic priest Pedro Ruiz Calderón not only practiced Black Magic, but he was really good at it. The trial took place as part of the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico City in 1540.

Scottish walkers revive ancient pilgrimage

"Pilgrimage is about remembering 'our journey toward heaven,'" said Cardinal Keith O'Brien who recently led a group on the ancient pilgrimage from Edinburgh to St Andrews, Scotland.

Celibacy resisted in medieval Church

Celibacy for Christian clerics was not required until the 10th century, and new research reveals that resistance was widespread.

German cloister windows grace English church

A feature in Vidimus Magazine, a journal dedicated to medieval stained glass, showcases twelve 16th century demi-figures found in windows at Holy Trinity Church, Hatton, Warwickshire, England. The figures depict Old Testament kings and prophets. (photos)

"Fake" shroud one of many

“The Turin Shroud is only one of the many burial cloths which were circulating in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. There were at least 40,” said Antonio Lombatti of the Università Popolare in Parma, Italy. His paper on the subject is scheduled to appear in Studi Medievali.

Artifacts discovered in 13th century Bulgarian monastery

A team of archaeologists has found a number of structures and artifacts, dating to the 13th century, from an excavation of the St. Peter and St. Paul Monastery at Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Scholar discovers "missing link" in early Gregorian chant sources

Researchers have long believed that no manuscripts of early Italian Gregorian chant survived, but Holy Cross professor Daniel DiCenso believes he has found the Monza manuscript, a source dating to the mid 9th century.

Controversy continues over role of Hagia Sophia

Devout Muslims in Istanbul are calling for the re-opening of the historic 6th century Hagia Sofia as a mosque. The move would break a Turkish law prohibiting worship in the monument.

"Absolutely fantastic" digitization project by Oxford and Vatican libraries funded

A US$3.17 million , four-year project, funded by the Polonsky Foundation, will make available for the first time materials from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford.

16th century censorship

Long before the internet, writers with opinions contrary to those of the powers-that-be were victims of censorship. One such writer was the Dutch humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam whose writings were considered in conflict with the Catholic Church.

New book studies distortions of First Crusade histories

In a recent article for the New York Times Sunday Review, author and director of the Center for Byzantine Research at Oxford, Peter Frankopan,  discusses his new book The First Crusade: The Call From the East.

Remains of St. John the Baptist found (again)

Archaeologists excavating a church in Bulgaria have found a small ossuary with an inscription claiming to be the remains of St. John. Radio carbon and DNA testing have given some collaboration to the claim.

Class Central offers free university courses online

Eternal students who find themselves unable to attend traditional university classes may wish to consider the offerings of Class Central, a free, online project offered by Stanford's Coursera, MIT and Harvard led edX (MITx + Harvardx), and Udacity.

Scotland's first bullaun stone discovered on Isle of Canna

Scottish archeaologists are excited about the discovery of a bullaun or "cursing stone" linked to an early Christian cross on the Isle of Canna. The small, round stone, marked with a cross, dates to around 800 CE. (photo)

Exhibit reveals genius of Albrecht Dürer

A recent article in Christie's New Art Newspaper reviews a major exhibition of work by Germany's greatst artist Albrecht Dürer, The Early Dürer at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 24 May-2 September, 2012.

Hildegard von Bingen formally made a saint

Pope Benedict XVI has canonized Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German nun who is popularly known today as a mystic and composer.

New Glastonbury Thorn vandalized

In 2010 vandals damaged the fabled Holy Thorn tree of Glastonbury, England, said to have been a cutting of the thorn first planted by Joseph of Arimathea. Now the replacement tree, planted soon after, has also been vandalized.

King James Bible featured at Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas

The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford are sponsoring the exibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence February 28 - July 29, 2012 at the Harry Ransom Center of the university of Texas in Austin.

Cathedrals: "our greatest architectural glories”

In a recent article and podcast for BBC News Magazine, David Cannadine "looks at a selection of the world's cathedrals and the important contribution that they have made to the broader lives of their respective cities and countries."

800-year-old choir boys don't look a day over 19!

Even though the Thomanerchor of Leipzig in Germany is celebrating its 800th anniversary, its boys don't look a day over 19! Once conducted by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Thomanerchor is considered to be the oldest choir in the world.

Skeletons halt resurfacing of Scottish road

Authorities have halted resurfacing work around Greyfriars Garden in St. Andrews, Scotland after the discovery of skeletons believed to be Franciscan monks from the 15th century.

Living the monastic life at Penn

In a world where the college experience usually involves football and parties, students of Justin McDaniel's religious studies class at the University of Pennsylvania should expect something differrent: a firsthand experience of what it's like to be a monk.

Heart of St Laurence O'Toole stolen from Dublin cathedral

Police in Dublin, Ireland are puzzled by the theft of the heart of St Laurence O'Toole, a 12th century relic housed at Christ Church Cathedral. The heart, in a wooden box, was stolen March 2, 2012 when the protective metal bars were cut.