Notre Dame represented at international conference

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 10-9-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Broome Campus

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus, Core Curriculum and Theology coordinator, Sr Carmel Posa sgs, has gained valuable academic experience after attending the International Medieval Conference at the University of Leeds.

The conference is the biggest of its kind in Europe and brought together 1500 medieval scholars from around the world.

Sr Carmel was one of those to present during the conference. Her paper, titled: ‘Discretio: An Embodied Reading of Rule of Benedict in the Letters of Heloise of the Paraclete”, was one of three presented at a session titled: Gender, Nature and Religious Tradition.

The session was moderated by Professor Constant J Mews, a world expert on Sr Carmel’s area of study. Sr Carmel said Professor Mews introduced her to a number of important scholars, both European and American, over the course of the conference.

“The exposure to outstanding research and scholarship within and beyond my field of study was a highlight of the conference,” she said.

Sr Carmel is currently in the final stages of her PhD thesis at the Melbourne College of Divinity and chose to attend the conference after being awarded a travel bursary by the College. Her research has focused on the theology and spirituality of the body in the writings of Heloise of the Paraclete”.

Heloise (d. 1164) is perhaps better known for her brief, yet passionate love affair with Peter Abelard (1079-1142) – arguably the greatest intellectual mind of the twelfth century who taught for some time at the first Notre Dame University in Paris. However, Heloise was also a noted intellectual in her own right and later a famous Benedictine Abbess of twelfth century France.

“It was a valuable experience for me at this final stage of my thesis writing. I received constructive critique and encouragement from the scholars from various European institutions, many of whom I have read and researched for my work,” she said.

“The opportunity to have conversations, and to network with other graduate students and scholars from various disciplines with widely differing interests has been of enormous benefit for my own academic pursuits in the areas of theology and history and also for the development of my teaching on the Broome Campus.”

Media contact Mike Doyle 9192 0668