In post-Reformation Europe (c.1550-1700), religious conversion took place on a scale that had not been seen since the official Christianisation of the Roman Empire in the fourth century and the seventh-century Muslim conquest of the south Mediterranean seaboard and most of the Iberian peninsula. Under the combined effects of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations within and pressure from the Ottoman Empire without, early modern Europe became a site in which an unprecedented number of people were confronted by new beliefs, and collective and individual religious identities were broken down and reconfigured.
This project brings together a team of researchers to explore the stories early modern men and women told about their own conversions and the changes of faith undergone by those around them.
Simon Ditchfield is a reader in the History Department. His research interests all relate to perceptions and uses of the past in previous societies, but particularly within the context of urban and religious culture in the Italian peninsula from c. 1300-1800.
Peter Mazur is a research fellow on the ‘Conversion Narratives’ project. He received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2008. He has published, and given research papers, on conversion and the inquisition in Italy, with a particular focus on the melting-pot which was early modern Naples. As part of the Conversion Narratives project, Peter will publish a book-length study of conversion in Italy.
Abigail Shinn is a research fellow on the ‘Conversion Narratives’ project. She received her PhD from the University of Sussex in 2009, and has published, and given research papers, on Edmund Spenser, the popular press, and the almanac tradition in early modern England. As part of the Conversion Narratives project, Abi will publish a book-length study of conversion in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
Helen Smith is a Lecturer in English at the University of York. Her research interests include material culture, the sociology of the text, Renaissance literature, and women’s writing.
For more information about the project, please contact email@example.com.