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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 “The Reformation of Preaching: Transformations of Worship Soundscapes in Early Modern Germany and Switzerland,” which appeared in the Yale Journal of Music and Religion (2015); “Erasmus, Calvin, and the Faces of Stoicism in Renaissance and Reformation Thought,” published in The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition, ed. John Sellars (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 145-59; "John Calvin," in Christianity and Family Law, ed. John Witte, Jr., and Gary S. Hauk (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 211-28; and "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. 

Dr. Pitkin is an editor of the Sixteenth Century Journal and has served as an officer of the Calvin Studies Society.

Courses 2019-2020

RELIGST 144: John Calvin and Christian Faith (fall)
RELIGST 231 | 331: European Reformations (fall), with Laura Stokes
RELIGST 1: Religion Around the Globe (winter), with Elaine Fisher
RELIGST 298: Senior Colloquium (spring)

Courses 2018-2019

RELIGST 1: Religion Around the Globe (spring), with Elaine Fisher
RELIGST 298: Senior Colloquium (spring)