Sixteenth Century Society and Conference Call for Papers

Sixteenth Century Society & Conference Call for Papers

The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC) invites proposals for individual presentations and complete panels for its 2021 annual conference. Under the presidency of Susannah Monta (University of Notre Dame), the conference will take place from 27-30 October 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minnesota. The deadline for submissions is Monday 11 April 2022.

The 2022 annual meeting will be held in person. A submission at this stage assumes a commitment to attending an in-person conference. The safety of all participants is our primary concern and we will be guided in our decisions by recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and federal, state, and local guidelines.

The SCSC was founded to promote scholarship on the early modern era (c. 1450 – c. 1660). The SCSC encourages the participation of international scholars and warmly welcomes early career researchers and postgraduates and graduate students who have advanced to candidacy to the academic community. Abstracts (up to 250 words in the length) for individual presentations and panels should be submitted online at

Kessler Conversations 2022

This is going to be a fantastic series.  Register, for free, now.

Spring 2022 Conversations: Women of the Reformation

  • Elisabeth Cruciger: Wife, Hymnwriter, Theologian
    Wed, Feb 2, 2022 · 12:00 PM · EST- Dr. Mary Jane Haemig
  • Surprise and Diversity: A Woman’s Place in Reform Yesterday and Today
    Wed, Mar 2, 2022 · 12:00 PM · EST- Dr. Elsie Anne McKee
  • Women Leaders of the Reformation: Profiles, Contexts, and Texts
    Wed, Apr 6, 2022 · 12:00 PM · EDT- Rev. Dr. Kirsi Stjerna

Visit the link above for all the information about the speakers.

Elisabeth Cruciger: Wife, Hymnwriter, Theologian

Elisabeth Cruciger, former nun and wife of a Wittenberg professor, was the first female hymnwriter of the Wittenberg reformation and thereby one of its first female theologians. Examining her hymn and its subsequent history lead us not only to contemplate its theology and the importance of hymnody generally in the reformation, but also to consider how and why Elisabeth was, in some circles, denied credit for her work.

Dr. Mary Jane Haemig is Professor emerita of Church History, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. She taught at Luther Seminary for 19 years; previously she taught for five years at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington. As a scholar, she has focused on the German Lutheran reformation, particularly its pastoral aspects, including preaching, catechesis, and the teaching of prayer. She is the editor of The Annotated Luther. Volume 4: Pastoral Writings (Fortress, 2016).

Named after the world-renowned Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection held at Pitts Theology Library, Kessler Conversations (30-45 mins) offer opportunities for the general public to learn about the events in Europe the 16th century and to consider what they may tell us about the issues facing our communities. Conversations in a given academic semester focus on a single contemporary theme and trace it back to the Reformers. These conversations are free and open to the public, but registration is required. The theme of the Spring 2022 conversations is “Women of the Reformation: Reclaiming Forgotten Contributions to Church Renewal.”

When: Wed, Feb 2, 2022 · 12:00 PM · Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Register here.

“Wrestling with the Word: Biblical Interpretation through Church History”

The Meeter Center announces

Have you ever wondered about the history of biblical interpretation? Have you ever asked yourself how different social contexts influenced different perspectives on the Scriptures, and vice versa? If so, we have just the lecture for you! Dr. G. Sujin Pak will be giving a January Series lecture on this topic at Calvin University on Monday, January 24, 2022 12:30:00 PM (EST).

Can’t make it to Grand Rapids? No worries. We will livestream the lecture here:

More about the speaker

Sujin Pak is a historian of Christianity and an expert in the early modern period, the Protestant Reformation, and the history of biblical interpretation. She is currently the Dean of the School of Theology at Boston University. She is the author of The Judaizing Calvin: Sixteenth-Century debates over the Messianic Psalms (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Reformation of Prophecy: Early Modern Interpretations of the Prophet and Old Testament Prophecy (Oxford University Press, 2018) * For more information, visit

Meeter Center ‘Reformation Conversations’ with Max Scholz

If you missed it yesterday, you can watch it here.  Forthcoming ‘Conversations’ are on Tuesday March 22 at 1 PM with Hal Parker on his new book on Global Calvinism, and on May 19 at 1 PM with Ward Holder on his new book, Calvin and the Christian Tradition: Scripture, Memory, and the Western Mind.

Conference Announcement: ‘Language and Religion’ at Newman University, Birmingham

17 June (Friday) in Birmingham. The event will feature academics, students, and practitioners talking about the role of language in religious experience and expression. The event will be a hybrid event, so you can attend online or in person. A full speaker list will be circulated in March.

Go here for the details in full.  Any conference organized at Newman is super.  If you are anywhere in the vicinity, attend!

Die Zürcher Reformation in Europa: Beiträge der Tagung des Instituts für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte 6.–8. Februar 2019 in Zürich

Here’s  a wonderful conference volume for a wonderful conference!

Im Januar 2019 jährte sich zum 500. Mal der Beginn der Zürcher Reformation und damit der Beginn des weltweiten reformierten Protestantismus als Konfessionskultur und als kulturprägende Kraft. Am Jubiläumskongress im Februar trafen sich die führenden Reformationsgeschichtlerinnen und Reformationsgeschichtler aus aller Welt in Zürich. Die Beiträge präsentieren und bündeln den aktuellen Forschungsstand zur Zürcher Reformation und eröffnen neue Perspektiven in historischer, wirkungsgeschichtlicher und theologischer Hinsicht. Das Hauptaugenmerk der Forschenden liegt dabei auf der Rolle der Zürcher Reformation in der europäischen Reformationsbewegung.

When we all gathered in Zurich for this international Conference I don’t think any of us knew how momentous it would be.  We certainly didn’t know that our dear friend and colleague W.P. Stephens would depart this life just a few months later.  Nor did we know that all of us would leave intellectually enriched beyond measure.

The papers were first made available to the public a few months after the meeting in a series of YouTube videos many of which you can see here.  Not every session was recorded, and not every session held has appeared in the print Conference volume.  For that to have happened, there would have needed to be 2 or 3 large volumes.  But a great many lectures are available by video or print for those who wish to see them.

The present volume is available at a remarkably low price (for the quality of the work) in print or freely, thanks to the good graces of the Institute, in PDF.

I am proud to have attended the conference, presented a paper there, and had more than my fair share of stimulating conversations with many many friends.  And I’m also proud to recommend this book.  Here’s why:

First, it is expertly edited by Ariane Albisser and Peter Opitz.  I cannot imagine the amount of work they devoted to corralling and encouraging all of the contributors and then carefully working through the Himalaya of material in order to present it as a coherent, well structured whole.

Second, because the selection of essays is so fairly representative of all of those presented.  That task in itself is herculean.

And third, because the essays themselves are so very stimulating and forward thinking.  These aren’t dry as dust glances into the past.  Rather, they are learned, wise, and insight-laced academic studies which provide readers with that one thing so hard to find in these troubled times: understanding.  The essayists understand their subject and they lead their readers to understanding as well.

There are papers here that were presented in English and there are papers here that were presented in German.  Those who can only use English will find more than enough to keep their minds occupied for many years to come; and the same is true of those who can only use German (though those folk are far fewer in number than the English only tribe).

The aim of the conference, and the aim of the volume at hand, is gracefully stated by the editors in their introduction:

Ziel des Zürcher Kongresses vom 6. bis 8. Februar 2019 war es, die gegenwärtige internationale Forschung zu bündeln und zu präsentieren. Dabei sollte die Zürcher Reformation aber nicht isoliert betrachtet, sondern auch ihre Rolle im Rahmen der europäischen Reformationsbewegungen in den Blick genommen werden.

Naturally attending such a gathering means having to choose from the several parallel sessions which also means not being able to attend all of them.  Picking and choosing is also most likely how readers of this work will proceed.  Personally, the following lectures were, to me, extremely valuable.  Others were noteworthy.  And all those I attended were worthwhile.  You, dear reader, will have your own sorts of listings as well.

  • From «Zwinglian» to «Swiss» Reformation. What’s in a name?, by Emidio Campi
  • Auf dem Weg zum Reformator, von Urs B. Leu
  • Zwingli and the Zurich Catechetical Tradition, by Daniël Timmerman
  • Comparing Zwingli’s and Calvin’s Calling as Prophets, by Jon Balserak
  • «Apostel Helvetiens», von Luca Baschera
  • Bullinger’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians and the Doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, by Joe Mock
  • Feier der Eucharistie, von Peter Opitz
  • Friending Zwingli: The Formation of the Swiss/South German Correspondence Network, by Amy Nelson Burnett
  • Die Wechselbeziehungen Zürich-Niederlande 1591–1619, von Herman J. Selderhuis
  • «A Heroic Tragedy»: Huldrych Zwingli in the Hands of Anglo-American Writers of the Nineteenth Century, by Bruce Gordon

Reading through these essays brings back such wonderful memories of the finest conference I have yet attended; filled to the brim with excellence.  And they were presented by a veritable who’s who of Reformation scholars.  I think it’s fair to say that anyone (living) who was anyone in the field was at that meeting.

As a sample, this small tidbit from Bruce Gordon:

Let us leave the last words to the father of American church history, the Swiss Philip Schaff, who attended the festival when the Zwingli monument was unveiled in 1885 – which he comments was made by a Catholic in Vienna. The ambiguity among Protestants about Zwingli as hero or troubled figure for the legacy of the Reformation finds expression in Schaff’s judgement: «In him the reformer, the statesman and the patriot are one. He appealed to the examples of Joshua and Gideon but forgot the difference between the Old and New dispensation.»

Obtain a copy of this book.  Sit in on lectures that will change your perceptions of so many issues related to the history of the Swiss Reformation.

NB– It would be unusual to dedicate a book review to someone, but I wish to dedicate this review to my friend and colleague W.P. Stephens.  It was in Zurich in 2019 at this very meeting that Peter, Joe Mock, and myself finalized plans to complete Peter’s ‘The Theology of Heinrich Bullinger‘ which he had largely written but which remained unfinished and unedited, in the event of his untimely passing.  Joe and I were honored to do it.  And we were equally honored to join Peter for dinner with a few others one night.   Peter, you are well remembered and highly honored and esteemed, even now.  And will be always by those privileged to know you.

Three Decades of Excavations at Bethsaida

Bethsaida on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee is mentioned in the Gospels and in Rabbinic sources. The ciy was occupied peridoically between 1000 BCE and 400 CE by Arameans, Phoenecians, and the Hasmoneans. The remains of Bethsaiada contain the largest biblical-era gate ever excavated in Israel!
Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska (USA) has excavated at Bethsaid since 1987, and will discuss the results of his three decades of research at Bethsaida.  email to register:

The details are here.  The lecture takes place Jan 20, 2022 at Noon Eastern time.

#SOTS2022- Remembering SOTS 2009

It was 13 years ago that I paid my first visit to SOTS.  It was in Cambridge, at Fitzwilliam College.  We visited the Genizah Unit at the University and I met some superstars, like Professor Lambert (who sadly passed some years ago) and Cheryl Exum.  Peter Williams was there as well and it was he himself who told me that I had been voted in, sponsored by Philip Davies and seconded by Keith Whitelam.

The glory days.  SOTS remains my favorite professional society and the Conference is always the best to attend.  The Society is comprised of real superstars in Hebrew Bible studies, but you will never meet a more collegial, more genuinely friendly and helpful group of people.

God willing, next January we will be able to be back in person.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Conference from this Summer is Online if you Missed It

Here.  Enjoy.

We are pleased to share the full recordings from “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Second Public Conference,” which took place virtually on June 6 – 9, 2021. The recordings, found below, are broken down by session.  Please note that some speakers declined to be recorded, so these presentations were omitted.

Reminder: The Hawarden Conference

Susan writes

Dear colleagues,

A very happy New Year to you all!

I am forwarding below the previous email about arrangements for the 2022 Hawarden Seminar. The key date to remind you of at this stage is the deadline for paper proposals should you wish to present – 17th January.

The covid situation remains fluid, of course, and we can only hope that things are better by the spring. At this point, we are still aiming to meet in-person, but if nearer the time this looks too difficult, we will host an event on zoom instead. I can, however, confirm that a fully hybrid seminar is not going to be an option, although we are still exploring the possibility of enabling some sessions to be open for online ‘live’ viewing.

I hope to be in touch with you all in February with the draft programme, at which point it may be possible to provide a more definitive update on the arrangements.

With all good wishes,


The previous post is here.

Meeter Center Conference: Reformation conversation with Max Scholz

Please join us for the next of our Reformation Conversations webinars, on Thursday, January 13, at 1 PM eastern, when Dr. Maximilian Miguel Scholz, assistant professor of history at Florida State University, will introduce us to the main themes of his forthcoming book, Refugees, Religious Bonds, and Reformation in Frankfurt, 1554-1608, due out on January 17, 2022, and published by the University of Virginia Press. Max will be joined by Dr. Jesse Spohnholz, Washington State University, who has been conducting research on Calvinist refugees in Europe together with Dr. Mirjam Van Veen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Please sign up using the link below. We will send you the Zoom link for the session a few days beforehand.

We look forward to you joining us for another fascinating session!

Dr. Karin Maag
Director, H. Henry Meeter Center
Hekman Library, 1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546