Christopher W. Close, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Office: Barbelin 112N
Phone: 610-660-1797

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Dr. Close came to SJU in fall 2012. His research focuses on the history of early modern Europe with a special interest in the intersection of religion and politics in European society from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. His first monograph, The Negotiated Reformation: Imperial Cities and the Politics of Urban Reform (1525-1550), examines how networks of support and communication between cities enabled the Protestant Reformation to spread and survive in southern Germany. His current book project, Empire of Alliances: State Formation and Shared Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe, reevaluates traditional models of state formation by analyzing the political operation of corporate alliances in the Holy Roman Empire and the Low Countries from 1450-1670. Dr. Close's articles have appeared in several scholarly journals, including Central European History, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Archive for Reformation History, Church History, and German History


B.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Courses Taught

HIS 154 Forging the Modern World

HIS 319 Revolutions 1517-1648

HIS 327 Transformation in Early Modern Europe 1400-1800

HIS 329 Crime and Punishment in History 

HIS 348 Witchcraft, Law, and the Supernatural in Early Modern Europe

HIS 472 Seminar in European History


  • The Negotiated Reformation: Imperial Cities and the Politics of Urban Reform, 1525-1550. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • “Reawakening the ‘Old Evangelical Zeal’: The 1617 Reformation Jubilee and Collective Memory in Strasbourg and Ulm.” Forthcoming in The Sixteenth Century Journal.
  • “City-States, Princely States, and Warfare: Corporate Alliance and State Formation in the Holy Roman Empire (1540-1610).” Forthcoming in European History Quarterly.
  • “Urban Magistrates, Religious Reform, and the Politics of Alliance in the Low Countries and Southern Germany.” In Entfaltung und zeitgenössische Wirkung der Reformation im europäischen Kontext. Eds. Irene Dingel and Ute Lotz-Heumann (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2015), 154-172.
  • “Regional History and the Comparative Turn in the Study of Early Modern German Cities.” German History 32, 1 (2014): 112-129.
  • “Estate Solidarity and Empire: Charles V’s Failed Attempt to Revive the Swabian League.” Archive for Reformation History 104 (2013): 134-157.
  • “'One does not live by bread alone’: Rural Reform and Village Political Strategies after the Peasants’ War.” Church History 79, 3 (September 2010): 556-584.
  • “Zurich, Augsburg, and the Transfer of Preachers during the Schmalkaldic War.” Central European History 42 (December 2009): 595-619.
  • “The Mindelaltheim Affair: High Justice, ius reformandi, and the Rural Reformation in Eastern Swabia (1542-1546).” The Sixteenth Century Journal 38, 2 (Summer 2007): 371-92. 

Grants and Awards

  • Franklin Research Grant 2014, American Philosophical Society
  • Summer Research Grant 2014, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Curriculum Development Grant 2013, Saint Joseph’s University

Mentioned in SJU News