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“On the Peripheries of the Reformation: The View from Then and Now”

October 21, 2016 at 9:00 am - October 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Conference poster“On the Peripheries of the Reformation: The View from Then and Now” 

An interdisciplinary conference

at Victoria College in the University of Toronto

21-22 October 2016

sponsored by

The Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium


As we prepare to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s  posting of his 95 theses in October 1517, it may be useful to pause for a moment and consider two important questions: first, how were the historical and cultural events of the late fifteenth and very early sixteenth century defining the European world that would soon break apart along sectarian lines, and, second, how did writers, thinkers, and artists later in the century look back at that earlier world and culture. The years immediately preceding 1517 were  richly marked by events/works that were to have a lasting impact on their times. In 1516, for example, the fifteen-year-old Charles von Habsburg was crowned king of Spain, Thomas More published his Utopia, Erasmus his Novum Testamentum and Ariosto his Orlando furioso, and the Venetians established the Ghetto. The previous year, 1515,  the twenty-year-old Francis I was crowned king of France, Thomas Wolsey was named cardinal and then Chancellor of England, Martin Luther began to lecture on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Johannes Reuchlin established the first university chair of Greek in Germany, while across the ocean the Spaniard Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded the city of Havana. How did people later in the sixteenth century and early in the next see these events? How, for example, did Shakespeare see and depict pre-Reformation England in some of his historical plays? How did Montaigne, or Cervantes, or Caravaggio, or Monteverdi see the world before the Reformation?


This interdisciplinary conference seeks, therefore, to take the pulse of European history and culture in two different ways: from our perspective as early twenty-first-century scholars and from the perspective of late-sixteenth/early-seventeenth-century writers and artists. In so doing, the conferences seeks to cast its eyes on both the Old World and the New,  Europe as well as in its African and Asian extensions, history as well as the arts, society as well as events.


Conference Organizers:
Prof. Elizabeth Cohen:
Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler:

For further information, please contact either one of the conference organizers.

See program at:

To submit a conference registration form please refer to this Conference registration form.


October 21, 2016 @ 9:00 am
October 22, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium
View Organizer Website