Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D., Professor of History

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Martin F. Ederer, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History

Department Home page

First Reader

Martin F. Ederer, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History

Second Reader

York A. Norman, Ph.D. Associate Professor of History


During the late medieval and Reformation era in Europe, a series of Christian devotional works were created that stressed a deeper personal relationship with Christ, rather than ritual and public devotion alone. These works span the time period from the early fifteenth century through the early seventeenth century and prepared the way for and shaped the Protestant and Roman Catholic reformations alike. The devotional works addressed here were created in the quest for reform, of both the individual and the Church. This occurred as the importance of developing a better relationship with Jesus was taking on a new urgency for both pre-Reformation and post-Reformation Catholics as well as for Protestants. For all denominations an important social common denominator was the emergence of a larger group of educated, literate laity confronting very difficult times. In the end, Latin Christianity would not survive the new approaches to Christianity intact, although varying branches of Christianity would find the reform and direction they craved—albeit at the price of religious and cultural unity that continues to influence (and trouble) European civilization to this day.