CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–August 8, 2016. Doctoral student Edward Gray of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been selected as recipient of the 2016 DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute grant, which funds research projects that further scholarship on the Vincentian tradition, past and present.
Gray, a doctoral candidate studying at Purdue University, was awarded a grant to pursue his research on the interconnection of religion and politics and how noble families, namely that of Louise de Marillac, helped to influence the centralization of the French state.
Doctoral student Edward Gray of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been selected as recipient of the 2016 DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute grant.
“What really interested me was the religion and politics question, which is so different from how it’s viewed now. Back then there was no separation of the two,” said Gray. “I find history terribly interesting. It’s something I’ve always been fascinated by — going back into time.
Researching the Marillac family
This July, Gray will begin a year-long study in Paris, France, of documents from the Archives Nationales, the archives of the Daughters of Charity and the Bibliothèque Nationale to learn more about members of the Marillac family and the roles they played in advancing the Catholic reformation. Gray also plans to pursue research about Louise de Marillac’s role in founding the Daughters of Charity and her work with Vincent de Paul.
“My research will contribute knowledge to the field to show the increasing influence the titled families had and show how important women were to this process,” added Gray.
“Not enough is known about Louise and not enough is known about the Marillac family. With St. Vincent de Paul, we tend to think about the Gondi family, who became his patrons and helped finance his work with the poor. The Marillacs were just as important a Catholic noble family,” says the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., senior executive for university mission at DePaul University in Chicago. “What Ed is going to do is look at the key figures in the Marillac family, including Louise, to assess their roles in the French spiritual renewal.”
“There has been some recent scholarship that provides some great documentary sources, especially on the life of Louise’s uncle, Michel de Marillac. Ed’s research promises to break new ground on Marillac family research,” Udovic said.
Supporting Vincentian scholarship
The Vincentian Studies Institute is the premier international organization promoting Vincentian studies. Founded in 1979, the institute is sponsored by DePaul University as a part of the university’s Office of Mission and Values. The Institute’s mission is to promote a living interest in the heritage of the Vincentian Family founded by St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660).
“We have a long history of publishing Vincentian scholarship and we want to encourage a new generation of Vincentian scholars,” said Udovic.
“There are many scholars out there who might be interested in writing about a Vincentian topic but lack the support to do so. In particular we’re interested in supporting doctoral students,” Udovic said.
“What stuck out to me most about the Vincentian Studies Institute is that it is so focused on the issues that are central to my research,” said Gray. “It puts me in contact and conversation with scholars who aren’t studying the Marillac family per se, but are studying the same issues and puts me with an institutional backing that will allow my project to flourish.”
At DePaul University, there are two types of grant programs, the Vincentian Endowment Fund for members of the DePaul University community, and the Vincentian Studies Institute for external researchers from around the world.
“Over the years we’ve been very successful at funding doctoral research and post-doctoral research for this rising generation of Vincentian scholars, with the hope that with this financial support they will do their dissertation, write their article or write their book, and have a commitment, moving forward, for that Vincentian research to be their research agenda throughout their career.”
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