A Response to Philip Benedict’s ‘Of Church Orders and Postmodernism’
In this discussion of BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review Philip Benedict reviewed Jesse Spohnholz’s book, The Convent of Wesel: The Event That Never Was and the Invention of Tradition (Cambridge 2017). While Benedict praises Spohnholz’s research and contributions as they pertain to the religious history of sixteenthcentury Europe, he criticizes Spohnholz for borrowing from scholarship associated with the ‘archival turn’ and postmodernist critiques of constructivist empiricism. In this response, Spohnholz defends his approach and its relevance for questions about writing the history of the Reformation in the twenty-first century. Spohnholz stresses the shared historical and methodological perspectives between himself and Benedict (and others), comments on the historical significance of his study, and clarifies the book’s intended audiences.
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