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Globalising the Protestant Reformations

25th May 2018

GlobalisingProtestantismScheyndel copy

Lightfoot Room, Old Divinity School, St John’s College

This conference aims to work towards a novel framework  for  understanding  the  nature  and impact of Protestantism, starting from the assumption that it will be crucial for the next decades of scholarship to investigate religious change as multi-centric and interconnected across Western and non-Western worlds. The Reformations are currently predominantly presented as a European story, and, despite a growing awareness of European networks of exchange,  much  research remains confined to national boundaries. The point of incorporating neglected global dimensions is to chart the vitality of varied reformed traditions, which could confront different institutional settings,
significantly challenge political and cultural ideas of mainstream European faiths, and in turn reshape Europe itself.

Those   interested   in   attending   this   free   event   are   welcome   to   e-mail   Patrick McGhee (


8:45-9:00 Registration and Coffee 

Session I (Chair: Professor Ulinka Rublack)
9:00  -  9:15  Introductory  Remarks 
Professor  Ulinka  Rublack  and  Patrick  McGhee (University of Cambridge),
Towards A Cultural History of Global Protestantisms

9:15 - 10:00
Principal Lecture I - Professor Joel Harrington (Vanderbilt University),
Hans Staden and the Origins of the Lutheran Captivity Narrative

10:00 - 10:30 Olga Witmer (University of Cambridge),
Assimilation by Conversion: German Lutherans at the Calvinist VOC Cape (1652-1795)

10:30 - 10:45 COFFEE BREAK

Session II (Chair: Patrick McGhee)

10:45 - 11:15 Dr Nina Adamova (Saint Petersburg State University)
Ideas of Exceptionalism and Unity in the Religious Thought of English Calvinist Communities Abroad, 1610-1640

11:15 - 11:45 Dr Naomi Pullin (University of Cambridge),
The Quaker Household and the Making of a Transatlantic Religious Community

11:45 - 12:30 Principal Lecture II - Professor Antoinette Sutto (University of Mississippi),
New England Historians and the Invention of Puritanism

12:30 - 13:15 LUNCH (Provided)

Session III (Chair: Dr Naomi Pullin)

13:15 - 14:00 Principal Lecture III - Professor Ann Marie Plane (University of California, Santa Barbara),
Rethinking the “Invasion Within”: The Language of Emotion and Colonial Insecurity in English and Native American Conversion Narratives in Seventeenth-Century Massachusetts

14:00 - 14:30 Patrick McGhee (University of Cambridge),
Belief  and  Unbelief  in  the Protestant Atlantic World

14:30 - 15:00 Dr David Manning (University of Leicester),
Sunday: God’s ‘Global Positioning System’?

15:00 - 15:30 COFFEE BREAK

Session IV (Chair: Professor David Maxwell)

15:30 - 16:00 Dr Gabriel Glickman (University of Cambridge),
Overseas Missions and the Shaping of the Later Stuart Church 1660-1700

16:00 - 16:45 Principal Lecture IV - Professor Karen Kupperman (New York University),
Seventeenth-Century American Colonies as a Laboratory for Protestantism

16:45 - 17:15 Dr Kat Hill (Birkbeck University of London)
Imaging Place and Constructing the World of the Anabaptist Diaspora

17.15 - 17.45 Concluding Discussion

(Chairs: Professor Ulinka Rublack and Patrick McGhee)

18:00 - 19:00 DRINKS

19:00 Conference Dinner for Speakers (Parsons Room, St John’s)

This conference is generously funded by the Trevelyan Fund, Lightfoot Fund, History Faculty, Cambridge, and St John’s College.

Notes on Conference Organizers

Ulinka Rublack, FBA, is Professor of early modern European history at Cambridge University. Her publications include Reformation Europe (2005, 2017), Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (2010), The Astronomer & the Witch: Johannes Kepler´s Fight for His Mother (2015), and, as editor, the Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations (2016) and Holbein´s Dance of Death (2016).

Patrick McGhee is a doctoral candidate in early modern History at the University of Cambridge, researching conceptions of 'heathenism' in the Protestant Atlantic World. He also works on the history of atheism and has recently published an article in Studies in Church History entitled Unbelief, the Senses and the Body in Nicholas Bownde's 'The vnbeleefe of S. Thomas' (1608).