Professor Bridget Heal
Professor Heal's research focusses on the long-term impact of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations on German society and culture. The most distinctive element of her approach is the incorporation of visual evidence into the broader frameworks of religious history. Bridget’s first monograph, ‘The Cult of the Virgin Mary in Early Modern Germany: Protestant and Catholic Piety, 1500-1648’ (Cambridge, 2007), drew on both textual and visual sources to analyse the significance of Marian piety during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Her second monograph, ‘A Magnificent Faith: Art and Identity in Lutheran Germany’ (Oxford, 2017), explains how and why Lutheranism—a confession that insisted upon the pre-eminence of God’s Word—became a visually magnificent faith, a faith whose adherents produced, during the eighteenth century, monuments as splendid as the Frauenkirche in Dresden.
Professor Heal graduated in History from Cambridge in 1995. She has an MLitt in Art History from the Courtauld Institute in London, and a PhD from the Courtauld and Royal Holloway. In 2000 she returned to Cambridge as a research fellow and in 2002 moved to St Andrews, where she has worked ever since. She has won research grants from the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Humboldt Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service. Most recently, she spent 2017-18 as a visiting fellow at the Freie Universität in Berlin in order to work on her next major project, which focuses on religious life during and after the Thirty Years' War. She is currently Director of the Reformation Studies Institute in St Andrews.
- Director of the Reformation Studies Institute, School of History, University of St Andrews