Reformation Studies Cameron Fellows 2014-15 Announced

File:Jeorg Breu Elder A Question to a Mintmaker c1500.pngThe Reformation Studies Institute in the School of History is pleased to announce that it will host two visiting Cameron Fellows during 2014-15.

In the Michaelmas semester Professor Jeff Jaynes of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio will undertake work on a study entitled ‘From Luther to Lutheranism: Architects of Church Order in sixteenth-century North Germany’, which analyses the authors of a series of church orders from the 1520s to circa 1580 to explore territorial reformations in Northern Germany.

In Candlemas, Professor Howard Louthan of the University of Florida, author of The Quest for Compromise (Cambridge, 1997) and Converting Bohemia (Cambridge, 2009), will work on a project entitled ‘Poles apart? From humanism to heresy in Reformation Europe’.  This study of sixteenth-century Polish religious history will consider the variously intersecting and diverging careers of Johannes a Lasco, Stanislaus Hosius, and Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (Frycz) to analyze the complexities of Reformation in Central Europe.

The Cameron Faculty Fellowship is named in memory of James K. Cameron, distinguished professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of St Andrews.  A long term supporter and friend of the Institute and historical and theological studies at St Andrews, he delighted in the exchange of ideas between members of the University and the wider scholarly community.

Reformation Studies Reading Weekend 2013

Burn House Photo 1-6b393e7cc3Staff and postgraduate students enjoyed the Reformation Studies Institute’s annual Reading Weekend at The Burn near Edzell from 29 November to 1 December.  Attendees included PhD students, Masters students on the programmes in Reformation Studies, Early Modern History, and the History of the Book, and a group of staff and students from the University of Aberdeen.

As well as exchanging ideas and hearing seminar papers, participants also visited Brechin Cathedral, where they were given a tour about the history and fabric of the building by the Reverend Roderick Grahame, a graduate of the University of St Andrews, and Donald McGilp.  They heard how Episcopalian and Presbyterian ministers locked one another out of the church after the Revolution of 1688, they surveyed the Round Tower, and worked off some of The Burn’s excellent food by climbing the steps of the Square Tower.

Burn Reformation StudiesThe Weekend also witnessed the annual challenge of the quiz posed by the MLitt students, who seized the opportunity to expose embarrassing gaps in the knowledge of the PhDs and staff.  While managing to unscramble anagrams of famous Reformation figures, to put the street names of St Andrews in order from West to East, and showing a disturbingly high level of knowledge of Charles V’s 77 titles, such basic facts as when Calvin was made a citizen of Geneva or when Jan Hus was burned tripped up the staff.  However they did manage to win, decisively.  Very decisively.  They welcome applications from potential PhD students who can give them a better run for their money next year.

Reformation Day Lecture 2013 by Prof. Roger Mason – listen here

On Thursday 31st October Professor Roger Mason gave the 2013 Reformation Day Lecture at St Andrews , speaking on the topic ‘Divided by a common faith? Protestantism and Union in 17th Century Britain’. The complete lecture is now available to listen to online below, including the welcome by Professor Andrew Pettegree from the Reformation Studies Institute at St Andrews.

The union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603 was greeted by many as a singular example of God’s providence, the final creation of a united and emphatically Protestant British kingdom with a unique role to play in the on-going struggle with the antichristian church of Rome. Both then and subsequently, moreover, Protestantism and Britishness reinforced each other, a common religious faith uniting Scots and English as a single island people surrounded by a common Catholic foe. Yet Britishness and  Protestantism were hardly straightforward or uncontested concepts. In fact, 17th century Britain was riven with religious conflicts in which Protestants were pitted against Protestants just as Britons were pitted against Britons. This lecture explores some of the ramifications of these religious conflicts, using the concept of multiple monarchy as a framework for discussing issues of religious uniformity and pluralism as well as the continuing potency of Protestantism as the bedrock of British unionism.

The lecture can also be accessed directly via Soundcloud.

Prof. Roger Mason to deliver the Reformation Day Lecture 2013

The St Andrews Reformation Studies Institute’s annual Reformation Day lecture will be given by Professor Roger Mason on Thursday 31 October at 5:15 in the Arts Lecture Theatre.

Prof. Mason will deliver a lecture on the topic ‘Divided by a common faith? Protestantism and Union in 17th century Britain’. 

The union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603 was greeted by many as a singular example of God’s providence, the final creation of a united and emphatically Protestant British kingdom with a unique role to play in the on-going struggle with the antichristian church of Rome. Both then and subsequently, moreover, Protestantism and Britishness reinforced each other, a common religious faith uniting Scots and English as a single island people surrounded by a common Catholic foe. Yet Britishness and  Protestantism were hardly straightforward or uncontested concepts.  In fact, 17th century Britain was riven with religious conflicts in which Protestants were pitted against Protestants just as Britons were pitted against Britons. This lecture explores some of the ramifications of these religious conflicts, using the concept of multiple monarchy as a framework for discussing issues of religious uniformity and pluralism as well as the continuing potency of Protestantism as the bedrock of British unionism.

Roger Mason is the current President of the Scottish History Society.  He has published widely on late medieval and early modern Scottish history and regularly contributes to current debates about Scottish independence and British identity.

The Reformation Day Lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Applications invited for James K. Cameron Faculty Fellowship 2014-15 – Reformation Studies Institute

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The Reformation Studies Institute in the School of History at St Andrews invites applications for the Cameron Faculty Fellowship, 2014-15.  This is open to any colleague in a faculty post with research interests in the field of Early Modern religious history. It covers the cost of accommodation for a semester in St Andrews (in a University-owned apartment) together with the costs of transportation to and from St Andrews from the holder’s normal place of work up to a total maximum of £3000.

The Fellowship carries no teaching duties, though the Fellow is expected to take part in the normal seminar life of the Institute for the duration of his or her stay in St Andrews.

Candidates should apply by submitting to the Director a curriculum vitae, together with the names of two academic referees and a plan of work for the proposed tenure of the Fellowship. Closing date: 4 December 2013.

The Fellowship may be taken during either semester of the academic year 2014-15 (September to December or February to May).  Any enquiries about it should be sent to the Acting Director, Dr Jacqueline Rose.

From Conference to Book: Shaping the Bible in the Reformation

ImageThe publication of Shaping the Bible in the Reformation in 2012 shares with a wider audience the papers offered at the St Andrews Bible Conference of 2010.  The purpose of the conference was to make possible a broad discussion of the worlds of the sixteenth-century Bible: its uses, transmissions and languages, the scholars and printers who worked upon it, and those debates and controversies which arose between them.  The conference adopted a slightly less usual format: papers were completed and circulated in advance, and only briefly summarised during the panels, making available the greatest possible amount of time for comment and discussion.

The conference was sponsored by the AHRC Protestant Latin Bible in the Sixteenth Century Project, and the opening remarks were made by the project’s principal investigator, Professor Bruce Gordon, who discussed the project’s study of the series of entirely new Latin translations of the Bible undertaken by Reformed scholars and Churches in the century after the Reformation.

Several longstanding friends of the St Andrews Reformation Studies Institute returned to share new aspects of their research: Stephen Burnett discussed the use of the Biblia Rabbinica by Christian Hebraists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and Irena Backus spoke about concepts of the sacred and the profane in Sebastian Castellio’s Latin Bible.  Kenneth Austin addressed manner in which Immanuel Tremellius translated and understood the Psalms, while Mark Elliot considered the attitudes of Johannes Piscator and Abraham Calov to the Latin Bible.  Amy Nelson Burnett’s paper considered hermeneutics and exegesis in the early phase of the Reformation’s Eucharistic controversy.

We were also delighted to welcome a number of scholars to St Andrews for the first time.  Sabrina Corbellini discussed the vernacular Bible and lay readers in the late-Mediaeval period and Josef Eskhult delivered a paper on rhetoric in the classical world and its influence on Latin Bible translation in the early modern period.  Two papers considered illustrations in Bibles: August den Hollander on their use in early printed Latin Bibles in the Low Countries, and Justine Walden on the maps in the English Geneva Bible.  Wim François offered a detailed consideration of Augustine and the Golden Age of biblical scholarship in Louvain.  Finally, Bruce Gordon discussed Theodore Bibliander’s Oration on Isaiah and Commentary on Nahum.

These papers served as the basis for a series of fascinating detailed discussions, and allowed the conference to reflect on several recurring themes.  Throughout the period under discussion, the desire for certainty in Scripture was apparent among both scholars and the unlettered.  The learned pursued truth through the exhaustive comparison of manuscripts, the mastery of biblical languages, the examination of possible meaning through philology, exegesis and hermeneutics; they sought to offer clarity through the addition of annotations, marginalia, cross-references and illustrations.  Among the unlearned a similar desire was manifest in the the selection of the essential from the Vernacular Bible, sermons, internalisation and practice in life: all the possible approaches taken to finding the ‘right’ Bible were pursued, all existed in complex negotiation with each other.

Translation from one language to another caused agonies (should it be literal, or according to sense?), trusting the right to its interpretation to others was unsettling (should it be mediated by priest or by paratext?), the application of tools or knowledge from outside the Christian tradition risked censure (is classical Latin appropriate to Scripture, are the commentaries of the Rabbis safe?).  These profound dilemmas were faced because the Bible was understood to be more than literature or a rulebook for living, although it was these things too.  The Bible was understood as the authority, it was a real force in the world, as it was a real presence when at hand.  The needs and expectations of early modern Christians with the regard to the Bible heightened even as they diverged along lines of confession, language and scholarly method; as they did so the Book was given new form and shape many times.

Shaping the Bible in the Reformation appears in Brill’s Library of the Written Word series, as do the volumes produced by the St Andrews Book History conference series.