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Reading Catechisms, Teaching Religion


October 29, 2014
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Building 260, Room 252

Lecture by Lee Palmer Wandel (Department of History, University of Wisconsin, Madison). CMEMS colloquium co-sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Department of History.

In the sixteenth century, as Western Christendom fragmented, pastors took up the recent technology of print to teach, as Martin Luther wrote, “what every Christian should know.” Catechesis was much older than the Reformation, and late medieval clergy had turned to the printed codex to teach the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, or the Lord’s Prayer, but no council, no Pope, had decreed that knowledge necessary. In 1529, in calling for Christians to make their bodies the medium of the printed text, Luther named a new relationship among codex, knowledge, Christianity, and person.

Lee Palmer Wandel is Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of Always Among Us: Images of the Poor in Zwingli’s Zurich (1990), Voracious Idols and Violent Hands: Iconoclasm in Reformation Zurich, Strasbourg, and Basel (1995), The Eucharist in the Reformation: Incarnation and Liturgy (2006), and The Reformation: Towards a New History (2011), all with Cambridge University Press; and with Robin Winks, she is the co-author of A History of Civilization, Vol. III: Europe in a Wider World: 1350-1650 (Oxford, 2003). Her work has received support from the DAAD, the NEH, Yale University, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the University of Wisconsin. She has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin. She has won the Sarai Ribicoff Award for the Encouragement of Teaching at Yale College and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Wisconsin.