Jonathan Reimer: Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-18)

Dr. Jonathan Reimer received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Cambridge in 2017.  His postdoctoral research project is entitled A Hand in the Fire: Recantation in Early Modern England.



This research project analyses practices of religious recantation in early modern England.  It argues that, in the wake of Henry VIII’s break with Rome, the procedure by which the medieval English Church chastised and reintegrated nonconforming members developed into a powerful means of discrediting confessional adversaries – alternatively Catholic or Protestant, depending on who was in power – and imposing doctrinal uniformity.  Such recantations targeted leading intellectuals, popular authors, high-ranking clergymen, and prominent courtiers, and took place in influential venues, such as Oxford and Cambridge, Paul’s Cross in London, and the Court.  By reconstructing the scale and development of these practices, this project will reveal overlooked parallels between the religious policies of divergent Tudor monarchs, reconsider scholarly accounts of the relationship between persuasion and coercion in early modern England, and show how abjurations were shaped by historical circumstances, currents of theology and political philosophy, and polemical considerations.