Northern European Reformations - inter-institutional project comes to fruition


A new volume entitled Northern European Reformations: Transnational Perspectives, published this week by Palgrave Macmillan, is the result of a major inter-institutional project spearheaded by scholars from the University of Bergen, Norway (Prof. Henning Laugerud); the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University (Dr James E. Kelly); and the Pontifical University, St Patrick’s College Maynooth (Prof. Salvador Ryan).

Five years in the making, this project, and the resulting volume, grew out of a recognition that there are a number of interesting parallels (and also key differences) between the experience of the reformations in Denmark-Norway and Britain and Ireland, and that no significant comparative study existed in the English language which might address this lacuna.

The project gathered together a team of Reformations scholars from Norway, Denmark, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland who met together in two workshops (in Ushaw in January 2017 and Bergen in 2019) to discuss key overarching questions surrounding the Reformations in Northern Europe and to read and critically engage with each other’s work.

The aim of the project was not to produce a book of discrete essays, but rather a tightly cohesive edited collection in which the contributors learn from each other and gain insights into less familiar jurisdictions, and also, as a result, learn to look at their own geographical areas in new ways.

In his epilogue to the volume, Prof. Carlos Eire of Yale University, remarks:

Nearly thirty years ago, Eamon Duffy proposed in his Stripping of the Altars that the process of religious change in England was far more complex than had been assumed by several generations of historians, and his argument rested solidly on specific bits of evidence gathered from archives and texts that had been ignored or dismissed, or never linked together because of their incompatibility with prevailing assumptions. In many ways, the essays here accomplish something similar on a wider scope, with a revisionist edge that is different from Duffy’s, but no less significant or instructive.

Further details of the volume and its contributors can be found here:


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