Michael Printy is a visiting scholar in history at Wesleyan University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. He specializes in European intellectual and religious history, German history, and the history of political thought. He has taught courses on early modern Germany, the Enlightenment, Reformation Europe, and early modern political thought. His book Enlightenment and the Creation of German Catholicism (Cambridge University Press, 2009) explores the ways in which eighteenth-century Germans reconceived the relationship between religion, society and the state. It argues that German confessional identities were recast in the eighteenth century, and that the Enlightenment was the agent of this transformation. He has published several essays in early modern German history and has co-edited A Companion to the Catholic Enlightenment in Europe which appeared with Brill in 2010.
He is currently working on a book entitled “Enlightenment’s Reformation: Recasting German Protestantism, 1770-1830.” The book will show why German thinkers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries felt such a need to reconcile their notions of progress and freedom with the alien and disjointed religious past of the sixteenth-century Reformation. It will detail the recasting of German Protestantism in the context of the Protestant Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the collapse of the Old Regime, and the rise of Idealism. This project has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).