BYU’s History Department is making its own history this year. The department will be awarding its first endowed professorship to Dr. Craig Harline, a historian specializing in Reformation Europe. The formal announcement of the professorship will take place next Thursday, October 5th, at 11 a.m. in B190 JFSB. It will precede a lecture by Paula Findlen, the Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University, who will be presenting the De Lamar Jensen Lecture, entitled “The Scientist and the Saint: Laura Bassi’s Enlightened Catholicism and Galileo’s Legacy.”
The De Lamar Jensen Professorship of Early Modern History was established after more than a decade of fundraising effort. The professorship is named after Dr. De Lamar Jensen, a former faculty member in the Department of History, who was an expert on early modern Europe. Dr. Jensen began teaching at BYU in 1957, served as chair of the History Department and dean of the Honors Program, and in 1979 received a Guggenheim fellowship. He retired in 1992, but found another passion: painting murals in his backyard, which allows the nonagenarian to continue “traveling” to places he visited as a professor.
According to department chair Dr. Eric Dursteler, the new professorship is named after Dr. Jensen “to honor one of the founding fathers of BYU’s history program. [He]…was both an excellent scholar and an inspiring teacher.”
Dr. Harline, the first recipient of the professorship, studies religious life in western Europe during the Reformation. He received his undergraduate degree from BYU in 1980. He earned his master’s degree in 1984 and his doctoral degree in 1986, both from Rutgers University. He has taught at BYU since 1992, where he offers courses on Reformation Europe and the history of Christianity, among others. A prolific author, his latest book, A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation, was just published to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses.