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Catechisms and the Construction of the Reformation

November 5, 2008 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Portrait image of Lee Palmer Wandel wearing a black jacket and dark scarf.

Focus on the Humanities Distinguished Faculty Lecture:

Lee Palmer Wandel

Senior Fellow (2004-2009)

History, UW-Madison


In the sixteenth century, the world as Europeans knew it spun apart. Christian divided from Christian, sundering families, towns, and kingdoms. In the wake of that loss, individual pastors wrote catechisms, seeking to teach their readers through the new medium of print an understanding of “religion” that would be portable in the harrowing displacements of expulsion and exile, intimate in a world of increasing surveillance, and inseparable from one’s person. That understanding of religion has shaped western conceptions of “religion” to this day.


Lee Palmer Wandel is Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is the author of Always Among Us: Images of the Poor in Zwingli’s Zurich (Cambridge University Press, 1990); Voracious Idols and Violent Hands: Iconoclasm in Reformation Zurich, Strasbourg, and Basel (Cambridge University Press, 1995); and The Eucharist in the Reformation: Incarnation and Liturgy (Cambridge University Press, 2006). She is the co-editor of Facing Death (Yale University Press, 1996), which won the Will Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communication; and the volume from the Burdick-Vary conference at the Institute, Early Modern Eyes, which is forthcoming. Wandel received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Her work has been supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, Yale University, and, at the University of Wisconsin, fellowships at the IRH, a Vilas Associate Fellowship, and the Kellett Mid-Career Award.


November 5, 2008
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Pyle Center
702 Langdon Street
Madison, 53703 United States