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Photo of Professor Christina Van Dyke


On January 27, 2023, Christina Van Dyke, term professor of philosophy, published her new book, A Hidden Wisdom: Medieval Contemplatives on Self-Knowledge, Reason, Love, Persons, and Immortality, which explores how medieval women contributed to philosophy and theology in the late Middle Ages. 

Her work analyzes the vibrancy of medieval contemplative philosophy and demonstrates how the questions asked during this time period remain relevant to contemporary life. Van Dyke argues against the assumption that women were not part of philosophical conversations in the Middle Ages, claiming that scholars were looking in the wrong places for evidence of their contributions to this area, especially between 1200 and 1500, when there was a dramatic rise in the production and consumption of mystical and contemplative literature. Looking past scholastic treatises, A Hidden Wisdom showcases how medieval women were a part of these philosophical conversations and often shaped the debates surrounding them. Van Dyke’s analysis illustrates women’s involvement in tackling complex philosophical questions on wide-ranging issues involving love, intellect, immortality, and many other topics that continue to fascinate us.