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The Ephrata Cloister and Rituals of Asceticism in Atlantic World Protestantism

September 30, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Image of a dark panel painting depicting an old man at a desk reading by lamp light
Image: Gerrit Dou: “A Hermit,” Oil painting on panel, circa 1661. Courtesy of The Wallace Collection.

Monday Seminar:

Timothy Wright

Kingdon Fellow (2019-2020)

Ph.D., History, UC Berkeley


In the early modern Atlantic World, new variations on Protestant Christianity abounded as diverse peoples and ideas from different contexts mingled in the New World. This talk will describe one such transformation–that of the appearance of numerous neo-monastic communities among awakened evangelicals in the North American colonies of the eighteenth-century. How such radical Protestants came to revive and practice elements of medieval monasticism despite their Lutheran and Calvinist heritages will be discussed in particular detail.


Timothy Wright completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Berkeley in August 2018 with the dissertation “Hidden Lives: Asceticism and Inward Devotion in Radical Protestantism, 1650-1745”. The dissertation explores the category of ‘inward’ religion and, counterintuitively, the embodied ritual practices generated by it, among evangelical Protestants in northern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Since graduating, Tim has held positions as a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and as a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C.


September 30, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States