The Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library hosted a major conference on The Politics of Conversion: Martin Luther to Muhammad Ali last week.
I enjoyed participating in the conference and presenting a paper on “Conversion, Confessional Politics, and Violence in the Final Stages of the French Wars of Religion, 1598-1629,” in a session along with Lee Palmer Wandel, Alejandro Cañeque, Randall Martin, and Walter Melion. The papers fit together nicely, allowing a productive discussion of related rationales, methods, and practices of conversion across early modern Europe and European empires.
Peter Marshall gave a keynote lecture on “Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation” to open the conference with a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.
Regina Schwartz presented a keynote on “Ethical Conversion: ‘I have ta’en too little care of this.'”
The conference coincided with the opening of a new exhibition on Religious Change and Print, 1450-1700 at the Newberry.
Lia Markey, Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies, and the whole team at the Newberry Library did an excellent job of organizing the conference.