Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Peter Robert Lamont Brown 
Doctor of Humane Letters  2004
Status: conferred

Peter Robert Lamont Brown, historian, not only enabled us to understand the voices of late Antique and early medieval philosophical polytheism, Christianity, Manichaeism, and early Islam, he also has enabled the voices of those distant eras and very different cultures to speak to us in ways that we can understand. Brown has performed this delicate and immensely demanding task with unique distinction: at Oxford, where he was chosen at a young age to be a Fellow of All Souls College; at Royal Holloway College of the University of London; at the University of California-Berkeley; and for the past 16 years at Princeton, where he is the Rollins Professor of History. In addition to numerous articles, Peter Brown has written more than a dozen books, several of them milestones of historical thought and the integration of aspects of a culture usually studied in artificial separation. Among the best known are Augustine of Hippo: A Bibliography, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity, and The Rise of Western Christendom. Brown's work clearly demonstrates what sustained and honest sensitivity can accomplish in shattering our bonds of time and space. If anyone embodies the humanities in the living generations of creative scholars today, it is this master of many tongues and modalities of human experience. For his monumental, stimulating, and wide-ranging corpus of scholarship, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Peter Robert Lamont Brown the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.