History Master’s Student Paper to be Published in Academic Journal

Melleray 1817

We are excited to announce that HI MA student, Jay Butler’s History 598 paper, “From Melleray to Gethsemani: Spreading Cistercian Spirituality in the Early Nineteenth Century,” was accepted for publication in the peer reviewed academic journal Cistercian Studies Quarterly.  

Butler picked his subject following a visit to Melleray Abbey, which is near where his sister lives in Brittany France.  Because he was interested in the history of the Abbey’s 1848 establishment of the first Trappist monastery in the U.S, an Abbey bookstore monk gave him an article another monk had written about the monastery.  When, on a return visit, he asked about the sources for the article, the Abbey librarian provided him with almost 100 pages of photocopied manuscripts on which the article he read was based.  Ever since then, he wanted to write about Melleray in the 19th century and as he got into it found many interesting research paths to follow. 

Butler graduated from UNCG (History major, French minor) and Harvard Law School.  He practiced law for many years in Raleigh before deciding to get a Masters in History from State.  He is a part time student and continues to practice law.  He hopes to leave law practice behind in a few years and continue to research, write and perhaps teach about monastic history.  

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