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The History of Christianity Unit invites papers that offer new interpretations of and findings in Christian history. While we are open to other panel proposals and roundtable sessions, we are especially interested in the following:

Co-Sponsored Sessions
Upon the quincentennial of Martin Luther’s 1521 expulsion we invite papers for review with the following units:

Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Unit
We seek papers on a panel tentatively titled “Interrogating Luther’s Biographers.” The quincentennial celebration of the German Reformation in 2017 also marked an increase in scholarly biographies and historiographies reconceptualizing Martin Luther. Recent projects have framed Luther in new theological, psychological, historical, and political contexts. For this potential co-sponsored panel we invite papers and panels proposals that interrogate Luther’s recent biographers and historiographers. What new consensuses have emerged? What approaches are privileged in the recent rejuvenation of Luther scholarship? What themes and trends become central for Luther’s biographers?

Religion in Europe Unit
We invite papers that examine excommunication as a political and social (as well as a religious and theological) act within the European context. In 1521, Pope Leo X formalized Martin Luther's excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church, one of the most politically consequential acts of religious exclusion in European history. In order to interrogate the ongoing relevance of this historical moment, we seek chronologically and geographically diverse proposals that address excommunication as a political and social (as well as a religious and theological) act. Proposed papers might address: the formation and enforcement of community norms and boundaries; negotiations of religious, political, or ethnic identities, whether individual or collective; relationships between religious centers and peripheries; the creation of new religious communities and movements; mechanisms of social and religious discipline; and the wider social implications of religious innovation and dissent. We would also welcome papers that discuss the continuing historical effects of the Protestant Reformation--and the results of this separation of Martin Luther from the Catholic Church--on the shape of Europe.

We invite panels and individual papers that take up the following topics (papers highlighting material culture aspects of the topics especially welcome):

-Memory, Memorials, & Materials
-Pandemics in Christian Historiography
-“Premodern” Christianity in the East
-Texas, the border, and North American Indigenous traditions in the greater Southwest
-Uses of the Premodern in modern contexts
-Weaponization of Language

Mission Statement:

The mission of this Unit is to deepen and broaden the study of the Christian past by presenting innovative and engaging research on the history, culture, and development of Christianity from its origins to the present, while at the same time promoting interdisciplinary dialogue among the fields of history, religious studies, ritual studies, art history, anthropology, and historical theology. We have a strong commitment to providing a showcase for the work of both younger and established scholars in the field.

Method of Submission:




Lloyd Barba, lbarba@amherst.edu

Trish Beckman, beckman@stolaf.edu


Steering Committee:

Amy Fallas, amyfallas@ucsb.edu

Roy Fisher, rafisher@berkeley.edu

Constance Furey, cfurey@indiana.edu

Minji Lee, minjiha2@gmail.com


Session Allotment: Tier 4 – Two 2-hour sessions and three 90-minute sessions

Next Review: 2024