Michael Driedger

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director

Dr. Michael Driedger

905 688 5550 x3972

Michael Driedger is an associate professor of history. His ongoing research is about the relationship between the “Radical Reformation” and the “Radical Enlightenment”, particularly the activities of Mennonite publishers, philosophers, and political activists in the Dutch Republic of the 17th and 18th centuries. His main book (Obedient Heretics, 2002) is about Mennonite “confessionalization.” He has also co-authored a book about the Reformation in Münster, and co-edited several collections of essays about early modern history. His broader research interests concern the comparative study of religious minorities and new religious movements around the world from the 15th through the 18th centuries, and the relationship between early modern politics and religion.

Together with Gary Waite at the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton he is a co-investigator of the SSHRC-funded research project “Amsterdamnified! Religious Dissenters, Spiritualist Ideas and Urban Associationalism in the Emergence of the Early Enlightenment in England and the Low Countries, 1540-1700.” And he is also member of an SSHRC-funded team led by Matt Milner at Memorial University to test the NanoHistory suite of digital tools.

His upcoming course offerings include:
• HIST 2F90, Money and Power in the Atlantic World, 1400-1850 (online);
• HIST 2P91, Europe’s Reformations, 1450-1650;
• HIST 3P93, Fraternalism and the Freemasons;
• HIST 5F01, Historiography and Research Methods.

He incorporates elements of historical thinking pedagogy and digital tools into most of his courses.

I am a specialist in the history of Dutch and German Anabaptism. My current project is about the relationship between the Radical Reformation and the Radical Enlightenment in the Netherlands. In particular, I am investigating the activities of dissenting Protestant printers, philosophers, and political activists, with a focus on the 18th century.

My broader research interests concern the comparative study of religious minorities and new religious movements around the world from the 15ththrough the 18th centuries, and the relationship between early modern politics and religion. As a consequence of my collaborative research on Anabaptist Münster, I have begun to look at the cultural and religious dimensions of early modern siege warfare.

Books and edited essay collections

Co-edited with Francesco Quatrini, Nina Schroeder, and Gary Waite. Special Issue of Church History and Religious Culture (2021) on the theme: “Spiritualism in Early Modern Europe”.

Co-edited with Johannes Wolfart. Special Issue of Nova Religio (2018) on the theme: “Re-framing the History of New Religious Movements”.

Co-authored with Willem de Bakker and James Stayer. Bernhard Rothmann and the Reformation in Münster, 1530-35. Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2009.

Co-edited with Anselm Schubert and Astrid von Schlachta. Grenzen des Täufertums / Boundaries of Anabaptism. Neue Forschungen. Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte, volume 209. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2009.

Obedient Heretics: Mennonite Identities in Lutheran Hamburg and Altona during the Confessional Age. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002

Journal articles

Co-authored with Gary Waite. “From ‘the Radical Reformation’ to ‘the Radical Enlightenment’? The Specter and Complexities of Spiritualism in Early Modern England, Germany, and the Low Countries, Church History and Religious Culture (2021).

“Thinking inside the Cages: Norman Cohn, Anabaptist Münster, and Polemically Inspired Assumptions about Apocalyptic Violence,” Nova Religio (2018).

Chapters in books

“Against ‘the Radical Reformation’: On the Continuity between Early Modern Heresy-Making and Modern Historiography.” In Radicalism and Dissent in the World of Protestant Reform, edited by Bridget Heal and Anorthe Kremers. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017.

“Mennonites, Gender and the Rise of Civil Society in the Dutch Enlightenment.” In Sisters: Myth and Reality of Anabaptist, Mennonite, and Doopsgezind Women, ca. 1525-1900, edited by Mirjam van Veen, Piet Visser, Gary K. Waite, Els Kloek, Marion Kobelt-Groch, and Anna Voolstra. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

“The Intensification of Religious Commitment: Jews, Anabaptists, Radical Reform, and Confessionalization.” In Jews, Judaism, and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany, edited by D.P. Bell and S.G. Burnett. Leiden: Brill, 2006.


http://dutchdissenters.net (research blog)
http://amsterdamnified.ca/ (research project page)
http://brocku.academia.edu/MichaelDriedger (includes copies of some of my work)