Associate Professor of History
Early modern European history
Phillip Haberkern joined the BU history department in 2011. He is a historian of late medieval and early modern Europe, and his research focuses on radical religious change in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. Phillip teaches courses on the Renaissance and Reformation, religious history, historiography, and methodology. He has worked with graduate students in a number of fields, including early American history and religious studies, and has run the department’s honors thesis seminar for two years.
Phillip recently published his first book, Patron Saint and Prophet: Jan Hus in the Bohemian and German Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2016). This book deals with the commemoration of the Bohemian heretic (or martyr) Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415. In the aftermath of his death, a national movement for religious reform arose in the Czech lands, and the invocation of Hus remained central to its self-definition over the course of the fifteenth century. In the following century, Martin Luther also invoked Hus as a precedent and even prophet for his reform, and a comparative study of both movements reveals how different modes of commemoration (textual, artistic, and oral) were employed by reformers to address specific historical exigencies. By tracing the evolution of these modes over time, Patron Saint and Prophet seeks to explore the transition of memory into history, and to explain how reformers invoked the past to justify their present action. Beyond this book, Phillip has also written articles that have appeared in German History, History Compass, and Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice, co-authored a paper for the Journal of Social Studies Research, and contributed historiographical essays to several volumes on religious reformation in central Europe. He is currently beginning work on his second book project, which will be a comparative analysis of radical urban reformations in Prague, Florence, Zürich, Münster, and Paris.