David Whitford, Ph.D.

David Whitford, Ph.D.
Professor of Reformation Studies
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Professor of Reformation Studies

  • Ph.D., Boston University
  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary

A native New Englander, David joined the faculty at Baylor in 2013 after teaching in Ohio and South Carolina. He is married to Laurel and they have one daughter. He is an avid sports fan and has developed a passion for sports photography.

Academic Interests and Research:

His research and writing focuses on the social, cultural, and political impact of the European Reformations of the sixteenth century. In 2009, he authored a book on the ways in which the Bible was used to support the Transatlantic slave trade, The Curse of Ham in the Early Modern Era: The Bible and Justifications for Slavery. He continues to be interested in the ways in which the Bible was used and interpreted in the Early Modern Era. In 2015, he authored an introduction to the Reformation aimed at a more general audience, A Reformation Life.

Professional Activities and Awards:

Editor, Sixteenth Century Journal, 2011-present.

Associate Editor, Sixteenth Century Journal, 2003 – 2011.

Chair, Society for Reformation Research 500th Anniversary Committee.

Council Member, Calvin Studies Society.

Editorial Board, REFO500 Book Series, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Lilly Scholars Grant, 2007.

Literature Prize, Sixteenth Century Society, 2005.

Bush Research Fellowship, 2002.

Sixteenth Century Society, Meyer Prize Committee, 2007 – present.


Editor, Martin Luther. Cambridge in Context Series. Forthcoming 2017.

A Reformation Life: Philipp of Hesse and the Reformation. 2015.

Editor, T&T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology. 2012.

Martin Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed. 2011.

The Curse of Ham in the Early Modern Era: The Bible and Justifications for Slavery. 2009.

Editor, Reformation and Early Modern Europe: A Guide to Research. 2007.

Caritas et Reformatio: Essays on the Church and Society in Honor of Carter Lindberg on his Sixty-fifth Birthday. 2002.

Tyranny and Resistance: The Magdeburg Confession and the Lutheran Tradition. 2001.

Selected Articles:

“Religious Violence and Martyrdom,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2017.

“Does the Reformation Still Matter,” Expository Times 126 (Sept 2015): 573-577.

“Yielding to the Prejudices of his Times: Erasmus and Comma Johanneum.” Church History and Religious Culture, 95/1 (2015): 19 – 40.

“The Landgrave’s Great Matter: Luther on Bigamy and the Landgrave of Hesse,” in Mixed Matches: Transgressive Unions in Early Modern Germany. Edited by Mary Lindemann and David Luebke. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014: 1 – 33.

“‘Forgetting him selfe after a most filthie and shamefull sorte’: Martin Luther and John Calvin on Genesis 9,” in Calvin and Luther: The Continuing Relationship. Edited by R. Ward Holder. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013: 36 – 48.

"A Calvinist Heritage to the ‘Curse of Ham': Assessing the Accuracy of a Claim about Racial Subordination." Church History and Religious Culture, 90/1 (2010): 25 – 45.

"Robbing Paul to Pay Peter: Paul and Political Thought in the Reformation," in Paul in the Reformation Era. Edited by R. Ward Holder. Leiden: Brill, 2009: 573 – 606.

"The Papal Antichrist: Martin Luther and the Underappreciated Influence of Lorenzo Valla," Renaissance Quarterly, 61/1 (2008): 26 – 52.

"Mistaking the Question for the Answer: Anachronism, Kenosis, and John Milton," Milton Quarterly, 41/3 (2007): 149 – 164.

"From Speyer to Magdeburg: The Development and Maturation of a Hybrid Theory of Resistance." Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 96 (2005): 57 – 80.

"Cura Religionis or Two Kingdoms: The Late Luther on Religion and the State." Church History, 73/1 (2004): 41 – 62.

Courses taught at Baylor:

REL 1350 The Christian Heritage

REL 3330 Church History

REL 4337 The European Reformation

REL The History of Protestantism

REL 5332 Medieval Christianity

REL 5333 The Reformation: Martin Luther and Lutheranism

REL 5333 The Reformation: John Calvin and Calvinism

REL 5349 The Radical Reformation


View Dr. Whitford's CV and Books