Michael Hammett

Michael Hammett is a doctoral candidate in the Religion department at Columbia in the History of Christianity track. Michael’s research focuses on the intersections of early modern social, legal, and theological history, particularly in the sixteenth century Reformation in Europe. He is also interested in crime, deviance, and legal transformations of the sixteenth century. More broadly, he is concerned with how early modern Christian communities engaged in self-definition and memory formation through legal and ritual practices.

Michael’s master’s thesis discussed the function of dishonorable burial and deviant death in the German Reformation. His doctoral research focuses on early modern popular religion, specifically focusing on lycanthropy, bodily transformation, and the boundary between human and animal in early modern Christianity. He is also interested in the emergence and development of Protestantism in early modern Germany, particularly with the intersection of Lutheran theology and Catholic institutional structures in Lutheran views on marriage, as well as the phenomenon of Lutheran monasticism.

Michael is also more practically interested in utilizing knowledge of church history within contemporary Christian ministries and communities. He is a member of Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan where he is a member of the congregational council, and he has spoken before the Manhattan Conference for Lutheran Clergy. He is also a board member of Lutheran Ministries in Higher Education in New York.  

Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in History from Duke University in 2013, a Master of Letters in Reformation Studies from the University of St Andrews in 2014, a Master of Arts in Religion from Columbia University in 2016, and a Master of Philosophy in Religion in October 2017. He also earned the Advanced Certificate in Medieval and Renaissance Studies in October 2017.


Professional Memberships:

American Society for Church History

Sixteenth Century Studies Society