Reformation Studies Colloquium

The biannual Reformation Studies Colloquium brings together an international cohort of specialists in the history of early modern religious culture, and is one of the largest and most long-standing conferences to specialise in these fields.

Liverpool’s Dr Anna French is convenor of the 2023 meeting, and the Reformation Studies Colloquium's arrival at the University of Liverpool marks the first time this prestigious event has been hosted in the North-West of England.

This event will be taking place between September 6-8 2023.

Plenary Speakers

The plenary speakers for this year’s conference are:

Dr Tara Hamling (University of Birmingham): ‘Negotiating the Hellmouth in English visual culture, 1400-1700'

Dr Graeme Murdock (Trinity College Dublin):  'Slow Reformation: towards a history of rural religious life''

Professor Judith Pollmann (Leiden University): 'The reformation of method. Reformation history as a laboratory for the social history of knowledge'

Reformation Studies Colloquium 2023 registration is now LIVE.

Full conference registration and day registrations are available. Please visit Reformation Studies Colloquium 2023 registration to book your place.


Day 1: September 6

Registration and lunch: 11.00-12.30 

Session 1: 12.30-14.00

Session A: Global Dimensions of the Reformation

Alec Ryrie (Durham): The world’s Reformation: rethinking early modern Protestant global missions


Alexander van Dijk (Cambridge): “They say that gold is our God”: fetishism in Dutch early seventeenth-century travel literature


Mohamed Afkir (Laghouat): North African Piracy in the Aftermath of the Reformation

Session B: Catholicism in Reformation England 

Anna Fielding (Independent): Catholic Commensality and Negotiating Tables in Early Modern Lancashire


Sarah Bastow (Huddersfield): The Materiality of Catholic Lay Piety


James Kendrick (Nottingham Trent): The Survival of Catholic JPs in Elizabethan Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

Teas and coffees: 14.00-14.30

Session 2: 14.30-15.30 

Session A: Death and Dying in Reformation Europe

Elizabeth Wilkinson (Liverpool): “Ye need not fear ether sathan or sinne”: Prayer as a means of overcoming the Devil and deathbed fear in Thomas Becon’s The Sycke Mans Salue


Elizabeth Tingle (De Montfort): The Materiality of Religious Conflict: The Politics of Cathedral Funerary Monuments in the French Wars of Religion.

Session B: Persecution and the Persecuted

Ben Kaplan (University College London): The Mechanics of Persecution in a Tolerant State: The Case of Johannes Torrentius (1588-1644), Painter, Libertine, Cult-Leader


Rady Roldán-Figueroa (Boston): The Theology of Conquest of Juan López de Palacios Rubios (1450–1524) and Fray Matías de Paz, O.P. (c. 1468–1519), and the Forced Conversion of Jews

Comfort break: 15.30-15.45

Session 3: 15.45-16.45

Session A: “Anglicanism” and its Champions 

Augur Pearce (Independent): Church and Realm in the English Reformation Statutes


Andrea Hugill (Independent): John Jewell’s Discord with the Theologies of Luther and Knox

Session B: The Margins of the Reformation: An ERRG Roundtable

Speakers: Heather Cowan (Liverpool), Sarah K Hitchen (Manchester Metropolitan), Rosamund Oates (Manchester Metropolitan)

Teas and coffees: 16.45-17.15

Plenary Lecture 1: 17.15-18.30

Tara Hamling (Birmingham): Negotiating the Hellmouth in English visual culture, 1400-1700


End of Day 1


Day 2: September 7

Session 4: 9.00-10.00

Session A: Liturgies in Reformation England

Laura Sangha (Exeter): The Book of Common Prayer and Popular Protestantism in England c.1560-1640


Jake Griesel (Cape Town): No Necessity of Reformation: John Pearson's Clash with Cornelius Burges on the 39 Articles (1660)

Session B: Experience and the Household

Holly Bamford (Liverpool): Conflicting Masculinities: Examining The Depictions Of Patriarchal Authority In The Throckmorton Possession Case


Michael Green (Lodz): Egodocuments, Religion and Privacy in the Early Modern Period


Teas and coffees: 10.00-10.30

Session 5: 10.30-12.00

Session A: Sensing The Reformation

Rosamund Oates (Manchester Metropolitan): ‘He Who Has An Ear, Let Him Hear’: Deafness, Sound and Speech in the Reformation


Jacob Hendry (Cambridge): Thunderous Echoes, Sensation, and Sacred Landscapes in Ireland, 1700-1760


Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge): Intimate Religion: Devotional Jewellery and the Reformation of Touch in Early Modern England

Session B: Republic and Reformation

Gary Rivett (York St John): The Reformation of the Parish Church in the English Revolution: The Committee for Plundered Ministers, Parochial Surveillance, and the Early Modern Information State


Joseph Dunlap (Queen’s University Belfast): Samuel Rutherford's theorization of civil resistance

Lunch: 12.00-13.00

Session 6: 13.00-14.30

Session A: Reading Books in the Reformation


Adam Morton (Newcastle): Anti-popery & Protestant piety in Stephen Bateman’s Christall Glass of Christian Reformation (1569)


Maria Crăciun (Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj): The Book as Object in Early Modern Transylvania


Sarah Farkas (UNC Chapel Hill): Trinket and Tome: Reformation Images on a Woman’s Girdle Book in the British Museum

Session B: Health, Identity and Community in Reformation England 

Heather Cowan (Liverpool): “Better to die with one stroke than to languish in a continuall famine”: Reimagining Infanticide as an Act of Kindness within Seventeenth-Century Popular Works


Jonathan Willis (Birmingham): “Strange enthusiastical exhortations”: Mental illness and Religious Identity in Reformation England


Sarah K Hitchen (Manchester Metropolitan): When does piety, or a crisis of conscience, become lunacy? Religion and the mentally ill in early modern England

Comfort break: 14.30-14.45

Session 7: 14.45-15.45

Session A: Earliest Reformations: Infants and Protestantism


Olivia Formby (Cambridge): Infants’ Sweetness in Early Modern England


Anna French (Liverpool): Being in Protestant Britain: The Ontological Case of the Youngest Child

Session B: Marian Contestations and its Consequences

Frederick Smith (Oxford): Nobody Expects the English Inquisition: The European influence of the Marian Persecutions


John Craig (Simon Fraser): Reformation and Revenge in Tudor London

Teas and coffees: 15.45-16.15

Plenary Lecture 2: 16.15-17.30

Judith Pollmann (Leiden): The reformation of method. Reformation history as a laboratory for the social history of knowledge.

ERRG wine reception, with short early career publishing roundtable: 17.30-19.00

End of Day 2


Day 3: September 8

Session 8: 9.00am-10.00am

Session A: Puritanism and its Networks


Bryn Blake (King’s College London): The Religious and Honourable Patrons of Master Perkins


Jonathan Badley (Cambridge): The Rhetoric of Spiritual Kinship Among the Godly in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England


Session B: Stuart Reform

David Coney (Edinburgh): “Wherein was a glorious altar sett up, […] quiristers appoynted to sing, and the Inglish service ordained to be said daylie”: The Jacobean/Caroline Revival of the Chapel Royal of Scotland (1603-1641)


Eoin Devlin (Cambridge): Peter Heylyn’s Reformations and the Restoration crisis of popery

Cathedral tour: 10.30am-12noon

Lunch: 12 noon-13.00pm 

Plenary 3: 13.00pm-14.15pm

 SHER Murdock (Trinity College Dublin): Slow Reformation: Towards a History of Rural Religious Life

 End of Conference

Call for Papers

The call for papers is currently open to scholars at any career stage, in any related discipline or disciplines, and who specialise in reformation and early modern studies, broadly defined.  Papers can explore any and all confessions and denominations; micro or macro histories; national or global contexts; they can examine the reformations and early modern period in the longer context, and, as always, interdisciplinary papers are welcome.  

Papers will be twenty minutes long. We are also happy to receive suggestions for panels and roundtables. In your proposal submission, please include a 300-word paper abstract and a 100-word biography.  If you're proposing a panel or roundtable, please also submit a 300-word description of that event.  All proposals will need to be received, to, by Friday 9 June 2023.

The RSC is kindly sponsored by the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

About Liverpool

You can find out more about the University of Liverpool, the Department of History, the Liverpool Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at these links.

To find out more about the city of Liverpool, please click here.


If you want to start investigating potential accommodation options, please click here

We are also pleased to provide you with a free accommodation booking service through Liverpool Convention Bureau. This is a flexible service which allows you to book accommodation to suit your needs and budget. Special rates have been negotiated at a number of hotels close to the conference venue.

For more information please visit Liverpool Convention Bureau's accommodation page for the Reformation Studies Colloquium 2023.

As rooms and rates are guaranteed until 24th July 2023 it is advisable to book accommodation early. After this date it may not be possible to book rooms at special rates for selected hotels. If you wish to make a group booking, or you are experiencing any difficulties in completing your booking online, please contact the Liverpool Convention Bureau team at

The exclusive rates are only available when booked via Liverpool Convention Bureau.

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