Christopher W. Close, Ph.D.

Associate 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) (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 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: Shared Sovereignty and State Formation in Early Modern Europe, 1488-1672, reevaluates traditional models of state formation by analyzing the political operation of corporate alliances in the Holy Roman Empire and the Low Countries during the early modern period. Dr. Close's articles have appeared in several scholarly journals, including Central European History, The Sixteenth Century Journal, Archive for Reformation History, European History Quarterly, and German History


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

Courses Taught

HIS 154 Forging the Modern World

HIS 319 Reform and Revolution in Europe 1500-1650

HIS 327 Transformations in Early Modern Europe 1400-1800

HIS 329 Crime and Punishment in European History 1200-1840 

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.
  • “Politics under the Guild Regime.” Forthcoming in Late Medieval and Early Modern Augsburg 1400-1800. Eds. Mark Häberlein and B. Ann Tlusty (Leiden: Brill).
  • “The Imperial Diet in the 1520s.” In Martin Luther in Context. Ed. David Whitford (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 127-134.
  • “Reawakening the ‘Old Evangelical Zeal’: The 1617 Reformation Jubilee and Collective Memory in Strasbourg and Ulm.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 48, 2 (Summer 2017): 299-321.
  • “City-States, Princely States, and Warfare: Corporate Alliance and State Formation in the Holy Roman Empire (1540-1610).” European History Quarterly 47, 2 (2017): 205-228.
  • “The Diet of Worms and the Holy Roman Empire.” In Martin Luther: A Christian between Reforms and Modernity (1517-2017). Ed. Alberto Melloni, vol. 1 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017), 313-326.
  • “Der Reichstag zu Worms und das Heilige Römische Reich.” In Martin Luther. Ein Christ zwischen Reformen und Moderne (1517-2017). Ed. Alberto Melloni, vol. 1 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017), 327-342.
  • "La dieta di Worms e il Sacro Romano Impero." In Lutero. Un cristiano e la sua eredita 1517-2017. Ed. Alberto Melloni, vol. 1 (Bologna: Mulino, 2017), 253-266.
  • “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

  • Michael J. Morris Grant for Scholarly Research 2017-2018, Saint Joseph's University
  • Faculty Merit Award for Teaching, 2017, Saint Joseph's University
  • 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