Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Charles Parker, Ph.D.

Department of History

Courses Taught

Origins of the Modern World to 1500 (World History); Origins of the Modern World 1500 to present (World History); The Historians Craft: Proseminar; Reformation Europe; Daily Life in Early Modern Europe; The Rise of Merchant Empires; Cultural Encounters in the Early Modern World; Merchants and Missionaries in the Early Modern World; Witchcraft and Magic in Early Modern Europe; Survey of the Middle Ages, 1100 to 1500; Empires and Interactions in the Early Modern World; Crossroads: An Introduction to Honors; Professional Writing for Historians; Readings in Early Modern Europe; The Reformation (Research Seminar); Conversion and Religious Identity in the Early Modern World (Research Seminar); Readings in Catholicism in Protestant Europe; Religious Conversion and Compulsion (Research Seminar); Readings in Social Discipline in Early Modern Europe; Readings in Martyrs and Martyrdom in Reformation Europe; Social Discipline in Early Modern Europe (Research Seminar)


Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1993
M.A., Auburn University, 1986
B.A., Auburn University, 1981

Research Interests

For a large part of my career, my academic work has focused primarily on the complex ways that individuals and communities in early modern Europe experienced and appropriated religious belief. Though I retain an active research and teaching interest in early modern Europe, my focus in the last fifteen years has sought to uncover the global entanglements that reshaped all regions of the world, including Europe. As part of that project, I am currently completing a book that examines the Protestant Reformation from the framework of world history. Global Calvinism: Conversion and Commerce in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 focuses on Dutch Calvinism’s commitment to overseas missions and entanglements with commercial empire.

Publications and Media Placements


Global Calvinism: Conversion and Commerce in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2022).
Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age, 1400-1800
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) (Italian edition: Relazioni globali nell’età moderna 1400-1800, Bologna: Società editrice il Mulino, 2012).

Faith on the Margins: Catholics and Catholicism in the Dutch Golden Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008).

The Reformation of Community, Social Welfare and Calvinist Charity in Holland, 1572-1620 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback ed., 2006).

Co-edited (with Gretchen Starr-Lebeau), Judging Faith, Punishing Sin: Inquisitions and Consistories in the Early Modern World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).Spanish translation by Doris Moreno, Fe y castigo. Inquisiciones y consistorios calvinistas en el mundo modern (Catedra, 2020).

Co-edited (with Timothy Fehler, Greta Kroeker, and Jonathan Ray, Religious Diaspora in Early Modern Europe: Strategies of Exile (London: Pickering and Chatto Publishers, 2013).

Co-edited (with Jerry Bentley): From the Middle Ages to Modernity: Individual and Community in the Early Modern World (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2007).

Co-edited (with Donald T. Critchlow), With Us Always: A History of Private Charity and Public Welfare (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1998).

Journal articles:

“Languages of Salvation: Translating Christianity in the Global Reformation,” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 108(2017): 202-211.

“Heretics at Home, Heathens Abroad: The Revival of Dutch Catholicism as Global Mission,” Trajecta: Religion, Culture, and Society in the Low Countries 26(2017): 89-106.

“In Dialogue with the World: Hugo Grotius’ Vision of Global Citizenship and Christian Unity,” Journal of Policy History 27 2 (2015): 364-381.

“The Reformation in Global Perspective,” History Compass (2014): 1-11.

“Diseased Bodies, Defiled Souls: Corporality and Religious Difference in the Reformation,” Renaissance Quarterly 67 4 (2014): 1265-97.

“Converting souls across cultural borders: Dutch Calvinism and early modern missionary enterprises,” Journal of Global History 8 (2013): 50-71.

“Enregister les péchés pour favoriser la reconciliation. Les archives des consistoires des Église des réformées de Hollande,” (trans. Philippe Chareyre) Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français 153-4 (2007): 613-634.

“Paying for the Privilege: The Management of Public Order and Religious Pluralism in Two Early Modern Societies,” Journal of World History 17(2006): 267-296.

“Pilgrims’ Progress: Narratives of Penitence and Reconciliation in the Dutch Reformed Church,” Journal of Early Modern History: Contacts, Comparisons, Contexts 5 (2001): 222-240.

"Two Generations of Discipline: Moral Reform in Delft before and after the Synod of Dort," Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 92 (2001):  268-284.

"To the Attentive, Non-partisan Reader: The Appeal to History and National Identity in the Religious Disputes of the Seventeenth-Century Netherlands," The Sixteenth Century Journal 28 (1997): 57-78.

"The Moral Agency and Moral Autonomy of Church Folk in post-Reformation Delft, 1580-1620," The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48 1(1997): 44-70 (republished in Critical Concepts: The Reformation, ed. Andrew Pettegree (New York: Routledge, 2004).

"Moral Supervision and Poor Relief in the Reformed Church of Delft, 1579-1609," Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 87 (1996):  334-61.

"Public Church and Household of Faith:  Competing Visions of the Church in PostReformation Delft, 1572-1617" Journal of Religious History 17(1993):  418-438.

"French Calvinists as the Children of Israel, An Old Testament Self-Consciousness in Jean Crespin's Histoire des martyrs, Before the Wars of Religion," Sixteenth Century Journal 24 2(1993): 227-248.

"Bourges to Geneva:  Methodological Links Between Legal Humanists and Calvinist Reformers."  Comitatus, 20(1989):  59-70. 


“Identities and Encounters,” in Interpreting Early Modern Europe,Scott Dixon and Beat Kumin eds. (New York: Routledge, 2019), 49-71.

“Geneva and its Protectors,” in Calvin in Context, Ward Holder ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 79-86.

“Reformed Protestantism,” in Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age, Geert Janssen and Helmer Helmers eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 189-207.

“The Seduction of Idols: Dutch Calvinist Readings of Worship and Society in Seventeenth Century Asia” in Semper Reformanda: Calvin: Worship, and Reformed Traditions,Barbara Pitkin ed. (Amsterdam: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018), 163-184.

“Entrepreneurs, Families, and Companies,” in Cambridge Companion to World History, vol. 6, Jerry H. Bentley, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Merry Wiesner-Hanks eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 190-212.

“Missionaries as Exiles: Calvinist Strategies of Restoration in Communities under the Dutch East India Company,” in Religious Diaspora in Early Modern Europe: Strategies of Exile, Timothy Fehler, Greta Kroeker, Charles Parker, and Jonathan Ray eds.  (London: Pickering and Chatto Publishers, 2013), 61-73.

“The pillars of a new community. Conflicts and cooperation over poor relief in postReformation Holland,” in Serving the Urban Community:  The Rise of Public Facilities in the Low Countries, Martijn van der Burg, Manon van der Heijden, Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk and Griet Vermeesch eds. (Amsterdam: Aksant Press, 2009), 155-167.

“Cooperative Confessionalization: Lay-Clerical Collaboration in Dutch Catholic Communities during the Golden Age,” in Catholic Communities in Protestant States, 1580-1720, Benjamin Kaplan, Bob Moore, H.F.K. van Nierop, and Judith Pollmann eds. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009), 18-32. 

Inpartibus Infidelium: Calvinism and Catholic Identity in the Dutch Republic,” in John Calvin and Roman Catholicism, Randall Zachman ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2008), 119-144.

“Obedience with an attitude: laity and clergy in the Dutch Catholic Church of the seventeenth century,” in The Low Countries as the Crossroads of Religious Belief, Arie van Gelderbloom, Jan L. de Jong, and Mark van Vaeck eds. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 177-96.

 “Calvinism and Poor Relief in Reformation Holland,” in The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief, Thomas Max Safley ed. (Leiden: EJ Brill, 2003), 107-120.

"The Rituals of Reconciliation: Admonition, Confession and Community in the Dutch Reformed Church," in Penitence in the Age of Reformations, Katherine Lualdi and Anne Thayer, eds. (St. Andrews: Reformation Studies Institute (2000), 101-115.

"Poor Relief and Community in the Early Dutch Republic," in With Us Always: A History of Private Charity and Public Welfare, Donald T. Critchlow and Charles H. Parker, eds. (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1998), 13-36.

Honors and Awards

Felix M. Gilbert Member, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, 2019-2020.

Short Term Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2020.

Co-director, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and  University Teachers, “Empires and Interactions across the Early Modern World, 1400-1800,” Saint Louis University, June 3-June 28, 2013.

Eugene A. Hotfelder Professor in the Humanities, Saint Louis University, 2010-2016

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2010-2011

Spencer Foundation Research Grant, 2002

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 1997

Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands, 1990-1991