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Robert Bast

Associate Professor


Robert Bast studies religious culture in medieval and early modern Europe, with special interests in late-medieval and Reformation Germany. He earned his Ph.D. in 1993 under Prof. Dr. Heiko A. Oberman in the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies at the University of Arizona, and spent two years as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He has been a recipient of some of the University of Tennessee’s highest honors, including the Jefferson Prize, the Faculty Academic Outreach Award, and the National Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Teaching. A founding member of the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance, he also served as Marco's inaugural director, helping to raise more than $3 million to secure the Institute's endowment. Dr. Bast also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious international monograph series, Studies in the History of Christian Traditions, Brill Academic Publishers.


Ph.D. University of Arizona, 1993

M.Div. Western Theological Seminary, 1984

B.A, Hope College, 1981

Awards and Recognitions

  • University of Tennessee Humanities Center Fellowship, 2017-18
  • Faculty Academic Outreach Award, 2006
  • Contributing author of the $3 million Challenge Grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities, funding the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Tennessee, 2003
  • The University of Tennessee Jefferson Prize, 2002
  • National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award, 2001
  • Fulbright Fellow, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, Germany, 1990-92

Selected Publications


  • “Augustin Bader of Augsburg (d. 1530): Weaver, Prophet, Messianic King”, in Ute Lotz-Heumann, ed., A Sourcebook of Early Modern European History. Life, Death, and Everything in Between, 1st edition (Routledge, 2019): 261-64.
  • “The Messianic Kingship of Augustin Bader: Prophecy, Politics and Anti-Habsburg Polemics in the German Reformation”, in Marya Green-Mercado, ed., “Speaking the End Times. Prophecy and Messianism in Early Modern Eurasia.” Journal of Social and Economic History of the Orient 61.1-2 (Spring 2018): 147-171.
  • “Utz Richsner as Ideologue of the Schilling Uprising in Augsburg, 1524”, in Andrew Gow and Robert Bast, eds., “Piety and Conflict in the Early Reformation”, Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 40.4 (Fall 2017): 91-116.
  • “The Ten Commandments and Pastoral Care in Late-Medieval and Early Modern Europe:

An Inquiry into Expectations and Outcomes”, in Youri Desplenter, Walter Melion and Jürgen Pieters, eds., The Ten Commandments in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (Brill, 2017): 90-112

  • “Constructing Protestant Identity: The Pastor as Prophet in Reformation Zurich”, in: Frömmigkeit – Theologie - Frömmigkeitstheologie. Contributions to European Church History. Ed. G. Litz, H. Munzert and R. Liebenberg (Brill 2005): 351-62.


Monograph and Edited Volumes:

  • “Piety and Conflict in the Early Reformation”, Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 40.4, ed. Andrew Gow and Robert Bast (Fall 2017). (Special issue marking the Reformation Quincentennial).
  • The Reformation of Faith in the Context of Late Medieval Theology and Piety. Essays by Berndt Hamm, ed. Robert J. Bast. Brill, 2004.
  • Continuity and Change: The Harvest of Late-Medieval and Reformation History. Essays Presented to Heiko A. Oberman on his 70th Birthday. Robert J. Bast and Andrew Colin Gow, eds. Brill, 2000.
  • Honor your Fathers: Catechisms and the Emergence of a Patriarchal Ideology in Germany, 1400-1600. Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought, 71. Brill, 1997.

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