Fellows 2011–2012


Ronald L. Grimes is currently Visiting Professor of Ritual Studies and an ISM Fellow in Sacred Music, Worship, and the Arts. He is Director of Ritual Studies International and co-editor of the Oxford Ritual Studies Series and is the author or editor of several books on ritual, including Ritual, Media, and Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2011); Rite Out of Place: Ritual, Media, and the Arts (Oxford University Press, 2006); and Deeply into the Bone: Re-Inventing Rites of Passage (University of California Press, 2002). Grimes is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, where he taught courses on religion and the performing arts, field research in the study of religion, ritual studies, and indigenous religions. Grimes held the Chair of Ritual Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from 2005-2010. For the academic year 2011-2012, he is Senior Research Scholar and Senior Lecturer at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he is working on a project entitled Ritual and the Improvisational Arts.

Basilius Jacobus Groen is a scholar of liturgical and ritual studies, who focuses on the role of language (both verbal and nonverbal) in the various Eastern and Western liturgical traditions, past and present. His research project on Adequate Liturgical Language and Vernacular Tongues will examine the tension between the language used in worship and the actual vernacular tongue, an issue having to do with cultural and religious identity, questions of unity and uniformity of ecclesiastical worship, and with the intelligibility of liturgical rites. In 2010 he was a guest speaker on the Institute’s Liturgy Symposium series. He visits Yale from the University of Graz, where he is the chair of liturgical studies and sacramental theology, and the director of the Institute of Liturgy, Christian Art, and Hymnology. He is also the UNESCO Chair of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Southeastern Europe at the Institute of Liturgy, Christian Art, and Hymnology.

Aaron Rosen is currently the Albert and Rachel Lehmann Junior Research Fellow in Jewish History and Culture at the University of Oxford, where he holds a research fellowship at St. Peter’s College. He earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of California Berkeley and a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University.

Dr. Rosen has written widely on religion and the arts in publications including The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The New Humanist, Jewish Quarterly, Art and Christianity, Religion and the Arts, the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, and the Journal of Jewish Studies.  His first book, Imagining Jewish Art:  Encounters with the Masters in Chagall, Guston, and Kitaj (Legenda, 2009), was shortlisted for the Art and Christian Enquiry International Book Prize, and has been reviewed in a range of scholarly journals as well as the popular Jewish press.  In that book, Dr. Rosen looked at how modern Jewish painters have made use of a Christian visual heritage in ways which shed light on these artists’ identities, while also re-framing wider problems for modern Jewish thought.  He is currently working on a new book, The Hospitality of Images:  Modern Art and Interfaith Dialogue, which will consider how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim artists respond to shared dilemmas.  Dr. Rosen has lectured to academic and popular audiences across the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as in Russia and Australia.  He has taught courses at the BA and MA/MSt level on a variety of subjects in both religious studies and visual culture. Titles of his past courses include:  Key Figures in Jewish-Christian Dialogue, Modern Jewish Thought, Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust, The Bible:  Its Use and Influence, Jewish Art from Antiquity to the Present, Image and Icon in Christian Tradition, Modern British Art, and Modern British Comics, Caricatures, and Graphic Novels.

The musicologist Hana Vlhová-Woerner was most recently a Lecturer in Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In New Haven, she will continue work on her book Chant and Its Transformations in Late-Medieval Bohemia, investigating the development of music repertories in Bohemia from the “restoration” of Gregorian chant in the newly-founded Prague Archbishopric in the middle of the fourteenth century to the creation of the Czech (Hussite) vernacular liturgy. Her work will present a direct connection between the reestablishment of the plainchant tradition in the fourteenth century and the ambitious project of the vernacular liturgy from ca 1420, the first vernacular liturgy in European history intended for use in a parish church.

Postdoctoral Associate

Anne McGowan received her PhD from the University of Notre Dame in May 2012. During her Yale fellowship year she will expand upon the work of her dissertation, entitled “In Search of the Spirit: The Epiclesis in Early Eucharistic Praying and Contemporary Liturgical Reforms,” to explore the textual and dialogical engagement of liturgical matters among various Christian traditions, East and West, ancient and modern (and points in between). She will lay the groundwork for a book-length study of the Western interpretation, incorporation, and occasional exploitation of Eastern liturgical theologies and practices from the sixteenth century to the present.