Jonathan A. Reid

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Arizona

Office: Brewster A-306


Phone: 252-328-2558



Jonathan A. Reid is a historian of late medieval and early modern Europe whose research focuses on the intellectual, religious, social, political, and diplomatic history of sixteenth-century France. After taking an A.B. with honors in European History at the University of Chicago, he completed graduate training and a Ph.D. with distinction under the direction of Heiko A. Oberman (†) at the University of Arizona (2001). There, he studied Medieval History with Alan E. Bernstein and Renaissance History with Donald Weinstein (†). While conducting dissertation research in Paris, he attended Bernard Roussel’s seminars on the French Reformation at the École pratique des Hautes Études. He enjoyed two terms (1999, 2001–2002) as a post-doctoral research fellow on the University of St. Andrews’ “Sixteenth Century French Book Project” under the direction of Andrew Pettegree. Since 2002, he has taught History at East Carolina University. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008.

Dr. Reid enjoys teaching undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of fields from an introductory course on World Civilizations, through topical courses in Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation histories, to an advanced seminar on theory and methods for MA students. He also teaches in the Great Books and Honors programs, is a member of the Classical Studies Program, and serves as Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program.

Reid’s monograph, King’s Sister – Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492–1549) and her Evangelical Network, reconstructs for the first time the collective career of a prominent group of évangéliques whose members, under the guidance of Francis I’s sister, Marguerite, attempted, but failed, to bring about renewal of the French Church along ‘Protestant’ theological lines. Nevertheless, they thereby played an important role in shaping the political and religious developments in France as well as to a lesser degree in early Reformation Europe.

Currently he is working on several projects related to the development of religious dissent in France. His next monograph, Reformation in the French Cities, 1520–1563, will attempt to provide the first comprehensive account of the impact of indigenous evangelical and foreign Protestant reformation movements in France’s towns and burgs in the forty-year build up to the outbreak of religious civil war in 1562. Arguably one of the largest communal Reformation movements in Europe (10% of France’s sixteen to twenty million people joined Reformed Church despite severe persecution), these “Huguenots” were initially heavily concentrated in France’s cities. Based on analysis of archival sources of important early centers of religious dissent (Amiens, Rouen, Le Mans, Bourges, and Poitiers) and comparison with urban histories of dozens more, this study seeks to: answer how religious reform spread and attracted adherents; account for why such dissenters aspiring for reform long remained within the church; assess the influence of the major reformer, John Calvin, who, contrary to received interpretations seems for a long time to have retarded the growth of separatist Reformed churches in France on the Genevan model rather than to have spurred them on; and explain how and why this persecuted minority movement rapidly transformed in the short period from 1555 to 1562 into a well-organized, militant force in the build up to the first of the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598).

He has been the recipient of several awards including a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Grant (1995–1996), a Bourse Chateaubriand from the French Government (1997–1998), the Carl S. Meyer Prize from the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference for the best paper read by a young scholar (2006), and major research grants from East Carolina University and Renaissance Society of America. From 2011 to 2018, he served as Assistant Editor of the journal Explorations in Renaissance Culture and currently serves on the editorial board of the journal French Historical Studies.

Selected Publications:

King’s Sister – Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492–1549) and her Evangelical Network, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2009)

Co-edited with Luc Deitz and Tim Kircher, Neo-Latin and the Humanities: Essays in Honour of Charles Fantazzi (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014)

“Les éditions fabristes de la Bible et Érasme” for Le Nouveau Testament d’Érasme (1516): Regards sur l’Europe des humanistes, edited by Jean-Marie Le Gall and Thierry Amalou (Brepols, forthcoming 2019)

“French Religious Politics” in John Calvin in Context, edited by R. Ward Holder, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming (2019)

“Imagination and Influence: The Creative Powers of Marguerite de Navarre at Work at Court and in the World,” for Women and Power at the French Renaissance Court, edited by Susan Broomhall (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, forthcoming 2018)

“Bourges: Public Rituals of Collective and Personal Identity in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century,” in A Sourcebook of Early Modern History: Life, Death, and Everything in Between, In Honor of Susan C. Karant-Nunn edited by Ute Lotz-Heumann (Routledge, forthcoming 2018)

“Lay Leadership in the Reformed Communities during the Huguenot Revolution, 1559–1563,” in Emancipating Calvin: Culture and Confessional Identity in Francophone Reformed Communities, edited by Karen E. Spierling, and Eric A. de Boer, and R. Ward Holder (Leiden: Brill, March 2018), 101–124.

“Marguerite de Navarre and Evangelical Reform,” in A Companion to Marguerite de Navarre, edited by Mary McKinley and Gary Ferguson, Brill’s Companions to The Christian Tradition 42 (Leiden: Brill), 29–58.

“Marguerite de Navarre, la sœur fidèle,” in Les conseillers de François Ier, edited by Cédric Michon (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011), 415–437.

“French Evangelical Networks to 1555: Proto-churches?” in La Réforme en France et en Italie: Contacts, comparaisons et contrastes, edited by Philip Benedict, Silvana Seidel Menchi, and Alain Tallon, Collection de l’École française de Rome 384 (Rome: École française de Rome, 2007), 105–124.

“France,” in The Reformation World, edited by Andrew Pettegree (London: Routledge Press, 2000), 211–224.

Works in Progress

Reformation and Revolt in the French Cities, 1520–1563. Monograph. A study of the origins of one of Europe’s first ideological revolution: the rise of the French Reformed churches and their precipitation thirty-six years of intractable religious civil war.

“Les échanges entres les évangéliques de France et le réseau réformé de la Suisse romande à l’époque de Luther : filiations et tensions,” in La construction internationale de la Réforme et l’espace romand: Courants religieux, mutations sociales et circulation des idées à l’époque de Martin Luther, edited by Daniela Solfaroli Camillocci, Nicolas Fornerod, and Karine Crousaz (Garnier).

“The Meaux Group and John Calvin,” in John Calvin in Early Context edited by Brian Brewer and David Whitford (Leiden: Brill Academic Press).

Courses Offered

GRBK 2400: Great Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
HIST 1030: World Civilizations to 1600
HIST 3413: A History of Christianity since 1300
HIST 3420: Early Modern Europe to 1648
HIST 5350: The Renaissance in European History
HIST 6900: Historiography
HIST 6920: European History Seminar
HIST 5360: The Reformation
HNRS 2316: Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar in Social Sciences
MRST 2500: Introduction to Renaissance and Reformation Studies
MRST 5000: Medieval and Renaissance France