Office—University of Florida, Department of History, 220 Keene-Flint Hall, P.O. Box 117320, Gainesville, FL 32611-7320. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, editor, historian, theologian, administrator, and educator. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, lecturer, 1993-94; Trenton State College (now College of New Jersey), Ewing, adjunct assistant professor, 1993-94; Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, assistant professor of history, 1994-95; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, adjunct assistant professor, 1995-2001; University of Florida, Gainesville, assistant professor, 2002-06, associate professor of history, 2006—, member of affiliate faculty in religion, 2005—, member of affiliate faculty in early modern studies. Lilly seminar on religion and higher education, administrator, 1996-2000.
(With Howard Louthan) John Comenius: The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, Paulist Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(Editor) Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education: Perspectives, Models and Future Prospects: Essays from the Lilly Seminar on Religion and Higher Education, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 2001.
(Editor, with John W. Coakley) Readings in World Christian History, Orbis Books (Maryknoll, NY), 2004.
Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
An associate professor of history at the University of Florida, Andrea Sterk is a writer, editor, historian, theologian, and educator. She is also a member of the university's affiliate faculty in religion and of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She holds an M.T.S. degree from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. As a historian of religion, she focuses her academic work on the religious history of Late Antiquity and Byzantium, noted a biographer on the University of Florida Web site. Her teaching interests mesh with her scholarly pursuits, and she regularly presents courses on topics such as Byzantine civilization, ancient and medieval Christianity, Late Antiquity and the later Roman Empire, pagan religion and Christianity in Late Antiquity, women in the Middle Ages, religious conversion, and the ancient world.
Sterk is the editor of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education: Perspectives, Models and Future Prospects: Essays from the Lilly Seminar on Religion and Higher Education. The book is a collection of eighteen essays derived from the Lilly Seminar on Religion and Higher Education, which took place regularly from 1997 to 1999. The contributions "offer an insightful and good-humored perspective on the links between religion and higher education," observed Library Journal reviewer Leroy Hommerding. The contributors include a range of academic professionals from various religious backgrounds, including Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and agnostics. In their works, the writers explore issues related to religion in higher education, how their religious beliefs affect their approach to academic work, and how their research and teaching influence their religion and vice versa. "This book will be useful to the scholar of higher education because it provides a variety of explanations— especially in terms of disciplines and fields of study in the social sciences and humanities—of the relationship of theology and religion to higher education," remarked Philo Hutcheson in the Journal of Higher Education. "The essays in Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education cover a wide variety of topics, from whether religious beliefs affect students' relationships with their teachers to how faith can influence the interpretation of poetry, and they each make a worthwhile contribution," observed American Enterprise contributor Naomi Schaefer. A Publishers Weekly critic concluded that the book "offers a vivid and informative account of religion and scholarship over the last few decades and poses constructive questions for its future."
Sterk also served as the editor, with John W. Coakley, of Readings in World Christian History, a collection of seventy-six primary source documents from the earliest days of Christianity's origins to the middle of the fifteenth century. "This collaborative effort is intended to show the wide diversity of forms and differences of cultures by which Christian faith crossed borders of language, historical traditions and spirituality," commented a contributor to the International Review of Mission. The diverse materials presented in the book include materials from the Apostolic fathers, the Didache, the Gospel of Thomas, a variety of early medieval writings, excerpts from Bede's History, the Nestorian Stone, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and more. Also included are materials from Asia and Africa, including biographies of Christian monks in China and accounts of war between Muslims and Ethiopian Christians. Throughout, the "documents represent the geographical spread of ancient and medieval Christianity through theological treatises, letters and chronicles," commented the International Review of Mission writer. That same critic concluded that, with this collection, Sterk and Coakley present a "rich and imaginative collection showing the variety of cultures in the early centuries of Christian faith."
In Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity, "Sterk aims to understand the development of the ‘monk-bishop’ ideal and its implications for the structures of authority within the Christian East," noted reviewer George E. Demacopoulos in the Journal of Religion. Sterk notes that historically, the bishop and the monk had different religious responsibilities. The bishop was an overseer of the church, responsible for administrative duties, conducting services, teaching and counseling, and in general acting as an overseer of the Christian community. Monks, in contrast, were to lead a more reclusive life and to "seek God in prayer and solitude," stated Robert Louis Wilkin in a First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life review. In her book, Sterk reports that in the late fourth century, many leading bishops opted to take up the monastic lifestyle as led by the monk. Sterk's "fine book is an examination of this transformation" in the Eastern church as it happened in the early Byzantine period, Wilkin reported. "Sterk's volume is a very readable, informative study that successfully documents the growth of the monk-bishop ideal for the Byzantine church," Demacopoulos stated. Lionel R. Wickham, writing in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, commented that Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church is "a well researched book with useful references to the primary and secondary literature. It is plainly written and reports accurately, and with sound judgment, on persons and principles."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Enterprise, January-February, 2003, Naomi Schaefer, "God and Man at College," review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education: Perspectives, Models and Future Prospects: Essays from the Lilly Seminar on Religion and Higher Education, p. 54.
Church History, March 1, 2006, Harry Rosenberg, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church: The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity, p. 174.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, March, 2002, review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education, p. 67; November, 2004, Robert Louis Wilken, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church, p. 59.
International Review of Mission, January, 2005, review of Readings in World Christian History, p. 163.
Irish Theological Quarterly, James O'Kane, Volume 70, issue 1, 2005, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church, p. 90.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April, 2005, Lionel R. Wickham, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church, p. 343.
Journal of Economic Literature, September, 2002, review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education, p. 1018.
Journal of Higher Education, November-December, 2003, Philo Hutcheson, review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education, p. 722.
Journal of Religion, April, 2006, George E. Demacopoulos, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church, p. 304.
Journal of Theological Studies, October, 2006, Marcus Plested, review of Renouncing the World yet Leading the Church, p. 718.
Library Journal, February 1, 2002, Leroy Hommerding, review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education, p. 113.
Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2001, review of Religion, Scholarship & Higher Education, p. 82.
Andrea Sterk Faculty Home Page,http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/sterk (May 28, 2008).
University of Florida Web site,http://www.ufl.edu/ (May 28, 2008), author profile.