Gerda Henkel Prize 2016

Photo: Stephan Brendgen

Prof Lyndal Roper (Oxford)
Early Modern History

“Australian-British historian Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford, is one of the world’s most renowned historians of Early Modern times. She has authored trailblazing studies on social, gender, and psychological history as well as the history of the body; they stand out for their theoretical acumen, masterful command of an impressive wealth of source materials, and their superb prose. In her research on the Age of the Reformation, Lyndal Roper has developed a completely new way of conceptualizing the relations between religions and the social order. Her studies on witchcraft and the persecution of witches mark the emphatic transition in the history of research from women’s history to gender history. Her most recent studies on Martin Luther’s biography, which are driven by a history of physicality, will no doubt strongly influence debates on the Reformation leader in Luther Year 2017. Lyndal Roper, whose work impacts well beyond thinking on the Early Modern epoch, is one of the towering figures in international historiography.”
(The jury's reasoning)

Lyndal Anne Roper, born in 1956, studied History with Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. In 1985 she was awarded a Ph.D. at King’s College, University of London. After stages at the University of London, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen she was a Reader in History at the Royal Holloway College, University of London. In 2002 she moved to Balliol College, University of Oxford. Since 2011 she has been the first female “Regius” Professor at Oriel College, University of Oxford. June 2016 saw publication of her biography “Martin Luther. Renegade and Prophet” (German edition: “Der Mensch Martin Luther. Die Biographie,” to appear in September 2016).


Lyndal Roper
Luther und ich: Wie eine Frau dazu kam, die Biographie eines Patriarchen zu schreiben
Verleihung des Gerda Henkel Preises 2016 und 40-jähriges Stiftungsjubiläum
Gerda Henkel Vorlesung
Herausgegeben von der Gerda Henkel Stiftung
2017, 40 Seiten, 5 Beiträge, 8 Abbildungen
broschiert/Fadenheftung, EUR 9,20, Rhema-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86887-038-1

Acceptance Speech of Prof Lyndal Roper

Luther und ich: Wie eine Frau dazu kam,
die Biographie eines Patriarchen zu schreiben

Prof Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger

Speech in honour of Lyndal Roper

L.I.S.A.Interview with Prof Lyndal Roper (in German)

Martin Luther: The man and his era

In her much-acclaimed biography of Martin Luther, Prof. Lyndal Roper, a distinguished historian of Early Modern Times from the University of Oxford, claims Luther was permanently at odds with his male body. The body’s physical constitution and the changes it underwent over the course of time reflect the various phases Luther went through in his life, namely as a monk, then as a knight and finally as a patriarch. What sources does Lyndal Roper draw on to make these conclusions? What questions regarding his body particularly shaped Luther and his thinking according to Roper? Was the man from Wittenberg a child of his times or was he more of an eccentric? These are just some of the questions we asked Prof Lyndal Roper.