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I am a specialist in the history of Dutch and German Anabaptism. My current project is about the relationship between the Radical Reformation and the Radical Enlightenment in the Netherlands. In particular, I am investigating the activities of dissenting Protestant printers, philosophers, and political activists, with a focus on the 18th century. This project, entitled “Mennonite Revolutionaries,” is funded by the SSHRC for the period from 2010 to 2013.
My broader research interests concern the comparative study of religious minorities and new religious movements around the world from the 15th through the 18th centuries, and the relationship between early modern politics and religion. As a consequence of my collaborative research on Anabaptist Münster, I have begun to look at the cultural and religious dimensions of early modern siege warfare.
Co-authored with Willem de Bakker and James Stayer. Bernhard Rothmann and the Reformation in Münster, 1530-35. Kitchener: Pandora Press, 2009.
Co-edited with Anselm Schubert and Astrid von Schlachta. Grenzen Des Täufertums / Boundaries of Anabaptism. Neue Forschungen. Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte, volume 209. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2009.
“Anabaptists and the Early Modern State: A Long-Term View.” In A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700, edited by John D. Roth and James M. Stayer. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
“The Intensification of Religious Commitment: Jews, Anabaptists, Radical Reform, and Confessionalization.” In Jews, Judaism, and the Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Germany, edited by D.P. Bell and S.G. Burnett. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006.
Obedient Heretics: Mennonite Identities in Lutheran Hamburg and Altona during the Confessional Age. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002.
For more details, see my Humanities Research Institute profile at http://www.brocku.ca/humanities/humanities-research/humanities-research-institute/hri-associates/michael-driedger.
I teach on a broad range of subjects. In the past I have taught courses on subjects including European intellectual and cultural history before 1850, revolutions in communication, Reformation history, and comparative studies of apocalyptic thought and movements. Since 2009 I have begun to focus more of my teaching on historical thinking and research methods.
Since 2009 I have also devoted a great deal of energy to experimenting with alternative methods for teaching history. These include using student response-systems (“clickers”) and role-playing resources from the “Reacting to the Past” series to encourage student engagement. I have begun to do some research and reflection on the effectiveness of these methods. In the Fall 2012 edition of The Conrad Grebel Review I published an essay on “Some Additions to the History Teacher’s Toolbox.” I am currently supervising Will Nevills’s senior Liberal Arts thesis entitled “A Study of the Efficacy of Role Playing in a Liberal Arts Course.” Since Sept. 2011 I have been a member of Brock University’s Teaching Council.
In the 2013-14 academic year I will teach:
- HIST 3P33, Imagining the Past: An Introduction to Historiography
- HIST 4P62, Religious Radicalism
- LART 4P90, Forbidden Knowledge, Dangerous Art
- HUMA 7P02, Fields of Interdisciplinary Study