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Ronald K. Rittgers

Professor of the History of Christianity
Divinity School
0040C Langford Building, Duke Divinity School, NC 27708


Prof. Rittgers joined the faculty of Duke Divinity School in the fall of 2021. He is interested in the theology and spirituality of the Age of Reform (ca. 1050-ca. 1650), and also studies the important intellectual, social, and cultural developments of this period in western Christianity. In addition to articles and essays, Professor Rittgers has authored a number of books: The Reformation of the Keys: Confession, Conscience, and Authority in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Harvard University Press, 2004); The Reformation of Suffering: Pastoral Theology and Lay Piety in Late Medieval and Early Modern Germany (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Hebrews and James (Intervarsity Press, 2017); a co-edited volume, Protestants and Mysticism in Reformation Europe (Brill, 2019); and A Widower’s Lament: The “Pious Meditations” of Johann Christoph Oelhafen (Fortress, 2021). Prof. Rittgers is currently working on a book entitled The Enchanted Word of Early Protestantism. He has held grants from the NEH and the Lilly Foundation, and has been a senior research fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel, Germany) and the Leibniz Institute for European History (Mainz, Germany). Professor Rittgers has also served as the president of the American Society of Church History.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of the History of Christianity · 2021 - Present Divinity School
Duke Divinity School Chair in Lutheran Studies · 2021 - Present Divinity School
Professor of History · 2022 - Present History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Harvard University · 1998 Ph.D.