Symposium: The Protestant Reformation and its Radical Critique

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Symposium: The Protestant Reformation and its Radical Critique
15. September 2016, 14:00 to 17. September 2016, 13:15 at The German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London 

Historians and theologians are invited to join the symposium by the Volkswagen Foundation, the University of St. Andrews, and the German Historical Institute in London on September 15-17, 2016. A public lecture will be held on September 16.

The symposium "The Protestant Reformation and its Radical Critiques" will focus on the radical currents within the evangelical movement. These currents have long been the focus of scholarly attention, but their study has been productively reconceptualized in recent decades under the impetus of gender history, global history and interest in issues of identification and belonging. Moreover, radicalism provides a forum where Anglophone, Dutch and German historiographies can be brought together in fruitful dialogue. The period we focus on extends from the radical early Reformation of the 1520s in Germany and Switzerland via Puritanism and later Anabaptism to the Pietist movement of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A public lecture on September 16 will address the construction of radicalism from the early modern period through to the 20th and 21st centuries.

The symposium will be structured thematically around issues that cut across geographical and chronological boundaries, such as group formation, radicalism in politics, gender and family relations, missionary activity, radicalism across borders, and history writing. The global outreach of the Reformation (mainly to North America) will also receive special attention, as it is connected to a large extent to radical ideas within Protestantism.

Venue: German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London

Registration: There is no fee for attendance but registration is essential. Please register with Anita Bellamy via email (abellamy(at) indicating your name and institution. The deadline for registration is August 31st, 2016.

Symposium website:

Symposium Program:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2:00 p.m. Opening Addresses

Andreas Gestrich, German Historical Institute London
Wilhelm Krull, Volkswagen Foundation, Hanover

Bridget Heal, University of St. Andrews

2:30 p.m. Radical Identities

Chair: Lyndal Roper, University of Oxford

Lecture: Economic Radicalism in the English Reformation (working title)
Ethan H. Shagan, University of Berkeley

Lecture: The nature of names: negotiating radical belonging in the Reformation
Katherine Hill, University of East Anglia

4.00 p.m. Coffee Break

4:30 p.m. Radical Identities Cont.

Chair: Graeme Murdock, Trinity College Dublin

Lecture: Radicalism and Invectivity. ‘Hate Speech’ in the German Reformation
Gerd Schwerhoff, TU Dresden

Lecture: The Birth of French Quakerism: Between Religious dissent and Political Allegiance (1685-1789)
Lionel Laborie, Goldsmiths, University of London

6:30 p.m. Radicalism in Politics

Chair: Luise Schorn-Schütte, University of Frankfurt

The political thought of the Radical Reformers in early German and Swiss Reformation
Thomas Kaufmann, University of Göttingen

Scottish Protestantism and Political Radicalism 1560-1690: Myth or Reality?
Roger Mason, University of St. Andrews

8:00 p.m. Dinner at nearby restaurant
Friday, September 16, 2016

9:30 a.m. Chair: Michael Schaich, German Historical Institute London

Keynote: Radicalism Turned Upside Down in Revolutionary England
Alec Ryrie, University of Durham

10:30 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. Radicalism in Print and Play

Chair: Andrew Pettegree, University of St. Andrews

Lecture: Textual Communities and Political Dissent in an Ostensibly Pacifist Tradition; or, Revolutionary Mennonite Publishers in the 1780s as Late Representatives of a Long Radical Reformation?
Michael Driedger, Brock University

Lecture: The Drama of the Two Word Debate among Liberal Dutch Mennonites, c. 1620-1660: Preparing the Way for Baruch Spinoza?
Gary Waite, University of New Brunswick

12:30 p.m. Lunch

2:00 p.m. Gender and Family Relations

Chair: Xenia von Tippelskirch, Humboldt-University Berlin

Lecture: Gender and Family Relations in Radical Pietist Circles
Mirjam de Baar, University of Groningen

Lecture: Erben des Himmelreichs. Familie, Verwandtschaft und Erlösung in der Radikalen Reformation
Anselm Schubert, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

3:30 p.m. Coffee Break

4:00 p.m. Missionary Activity and Radicalism

Chair: Crawford Gribben, Queen’s University Belfast

Lecture: Millenarian Hope and the Pietist Empire
Ulrike Gleixner, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel and TU Berlin

Lecture: Radical Reformation and the Black Atlantic
Jon F. Sensbach, University of Florida

5:30 p.m. Tea

6:30 p.m. Walk to the British Museum

7:00 p.m. Public Lecture (venue: British Museum)

Chair: Andreas Gestrich, German Historical Institute London

Lecture: Martin Luther's Unruly Offspring: The Protestant Reformation and Radical Critique
Hartmut Lehmann, em., Universities of Kiel and Göttingen

8:00 p.m.    Possibility to attend the Chuseok festival at the British Museum

Saturday, September 17, 2016

9:30 a.m. Radicalism Across Borders

Chair: Johannes M. Müller, Leiden University

Lecture: Radical Reputations in ‘Magisterial’ England
Susan Royal, University of Durham

Lecture: The Puritan Revolution as England’s Radical Reformation
John Coffey, University of Leicester

11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

11:30 a.m. Radical History Writing

Chair: Glenn Burgess, University of Hull

Lecture: Radical patristics in the Interregnum and the Royal Society: John Beale on pantheism and philosophy in early Christianity
Dmitri Levitin, Trinity College Cambridge

Lecture: The Servetus-case in the Early-Modern Anabaptist-Reformed Polemic
Mirjam van Veen, University of Amsterdam

1.00 p.m. Final Remarks

Wilhelm Krull, Volkswagen Foundation, Hanover

1:15 p.m. Lunch and end of conference

Public Lecture (British Museum)

Martin Luther's Unruly Offspring: The Protestant Reformation and Radical Critique

Friday, September 16, 2016, 7:00 p.m., venue: British Museum
Chair: Andreas Gestrich, German Historical Institute London
Speaker: Hartmut Lehmann, em., Universities of Kiel and Göttingen