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Barbara Pitkin

Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies

Barbara Pitkin

Barbara Pitkin specializes in the history of Christian thought, with a particular emphasis on the religious developments in late medieval and early modern Europe. She received her B.A. in German language and literature from Carleton College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Dr. Pitkin teaches courses on the history and future of Christianity, sixteenth-century reformations, the history of biblical interpretation, and women and religion. She also serves as the faculty / grad colloquium coordinator and supervises undergraduate outreach and research for the Department of Religious Studies.

Her current research focuses on early modern views and uses of the past. She is the author of Calvin, the Bible, and History: Exegesis and Historical Reflection in the Era of Reform (Oxford University Press, 2020) and What Pure Eyes Could See: Calvin’s Doctrine of Faith in its Exegetical Context (Oxford University Press, 1999). She is also co-editor of The Formation of Clerical and Confessional Identities in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2006); and editor of Semper Reformanda: Calvin, Worship, and Reformed Traditions (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018).

Recent articles include "John Calvin," in Christianity and Family Law, ed. John Witte, Jr., and Gary S. Hauk (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 211-28; "Calvin's Commentary on Psalm 1 and Providential Faith: Reformed Influences on the Psalms in English," in Crossing Traditions: Essays on Reformation and Intellectual History in Honour of Irena Backus, ed. Maria-Cristina Pitassi and Daniela Solfaroli Camillocci (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2018), 164-81; “Calvin on the Early Reformation,” in Calvin and the Early Reformation, ed. Brian C. Brewer and David M. Whitford (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 200-24; and “Calvin and Politics According to the Mosaic Harmony (1563 | 1564): Text, Paratext, and Context,” in Calvin Frater in Domino, ed. Arnold Huijgen and Karin Maag (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020), 37-56.

Dr. Pitkin is an editor of the Sixteenth Century Journal, a member of the Praesidium for the International Congress for Calvin Research, and has served as an officer of the Calvin Studies Society.

Courses 2021-2022

OSPBER 88: Religion in the Third Reich (fall), with Brent Sockness
RELIGST 144: John Calvin and Christian Faith (winter)
RELIGST 125: The Bible and Its Interpreters (winter)
RELIGST 298: Senior Colloquium (spring)

Courses 2020-2021

RELIGST 226 | 336: The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (winter)
RELIGST 1: Religion Around the Globe (spring), with John Kieschnick
RELIGST 298: Senior Colloquium (spring)
RELIGST 117: Christianity , Race, and Gender in 21st-Century America (summer)