Wolfgang Reinhard

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Wolfgang Reinhard (2012)

Wolfgang Reinhard (born April 10, 1937 in Pforzheim ) is a German modern historian who held professorships at the universities of Augsburg and Freiburg. He has published on the history of the papacy and patronage in the early modern period , European expansion and the history of state power . His thesis of denominationalization , which was developed in parallel to Heinz Schilling and is considered the paradigm of German-speaking early modern research, is influential .

Live and act

Wolfgang Reinhard studied history, English and geography at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg . When Erich Hassinger he received his doctorate in Freiburg 1963rd After a period in school service and as a school development officer at the Freiburg Oberschulamt , he completed his habilitation in 1973. In 1977 he received an appointment for Modern and Non-European History at the University of Augsburg , was visiting professor at Emory University in Atlanta in 1985/1986 and from 1990 until his retirement in 2002 Full professor of modern history in Freiburg im Breisgau . 1997/1998 he was a research fellow at the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. He turned down an offer for a lavish Woodruff Chair at Emory University in 1986 for private reasons. In 2003/2004 he was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute Florence; 2004 guest of the Rector at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in Wassenaar. From 2005 to 2010 he was a Fellow for History at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and has been an Associate Fellow ever since.

Reinhard is particularly dedicated to historical anthropology , the comparative constitutional history of Europe, European expansion and the history of the papacy . With the help of the entanglement analysis, which he introduced to the study of history, he examined above all the clientele at the curia. As early as 1979 Reinhard had as a prerequisite "for the reconstruction of the Roman network [...] demanded the creation of a prosopography for the curial prelate class". In a case study, Reinhard showed that without knowledge of the constantly changing network of relationships, a realistic assessment of European politics and the influence of the papacy and the curia is not possible. He is one of the creators of the theory of confessionalization . Reinhard was co-editor of the magazines Periplus and Saeculum , the Historiae , Historical Anthropology , People and Cultures as well as Popes and Papacy series . His most important publications include the four-volume standard work History of European Expansion (1983–1990), the History of State Power (1999) and the cultural anthropology history of Lebensformen Europa , published in 2004 . He became known to a wide audience in 2006 with the publication of his book Our Society of Lies .

Reinhard was awarded numerous scientific honors and memberships for his research. Reinhard is a member of the British Academy , a member of the Accademia di San Carlo di Milano and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . From 1988 to 2002 he was a member of the advisory board of the German Historical Institute in Rome . In 2001 he received the prestigious award of the Historisches Kolleg (“Historikerpreis”) from the Federal President for his complete works . On October 19, 2012, Reinhard was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Konstanz . In 2018 he received the Dimitris Tsatsos Prize .

His academic students include Peter Burschel (habilitation), Birgit Emich (doctorate and habilitation), Mark Häberlein (doctorate and habilitation), Achim Landwehr (doctorate), Christoph Marx (habilitation), Tobias Mörschel (doctorate), Volker Reinhardt (doctorate and Habilitation), Michaela Schmölz-Häberlein (doctorate), Markus Völkel (habilitation), Wolfgang Weber (doctorate and habilitation), Reinhard Wendt (doctorate and habilitation) and Jürgen Zimmerer (doctorate). Reinhard supervised nine habilitations and 53 doctorates as well as 137 master's theses and admission theses for the state examination.



  • The reform in the Diocese of Carpentras under the bishops Jacopo Sadoleto, Paolo Sadoleto, Jacopo Sacrati and Francesco Sadoleto 1517–1596 (= Reformation history studies and texts. Volume 94). Aschendorff, Münster 1966 (also dissertation at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau 1963).
  • Papal finance and nepotism under Paul V (1605–1621): Studies and sources on the structure and quantitative aspects of the papal system of rule ( Popes and Papacy. Volume 6). 2 volumes. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1974, part 1, ISBN 3-7772-7419-4 and part 2, ISBN 3-7772-7426-7 .
  • History of European expansion. 4 volumes. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1983–1990.
  • Little history of colonialism. Kröner, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-520-47501-4 . 2nd, completely revised and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-520-47502-2 .
  • History of State Power: A Comparative Constitutional History of Europe from Its Beginnings to the Present. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-45310-4 .
  • Life forms of Europe. A historical cultural anthropology. Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-406-51760-9 .
  • Faith and Power: Church and Politics in the Age of Confessionalization. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2004, ISBN 3-451-05458-2 .
  • Our society of lies: why we don't stick to the truth. Murmann, Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-938017-47-3 .
  • History of the Modern State: From the Beginnings to the Present. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53623-6 (= Beck'sche series. Volume 2423, CH Beck Wissen ).
  • Cleopatra's Nose: A Walk Through World History. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2011, ISBN 978-3-451-30294-7 .
  • The submission of the world. Global history of European expansion 1415–2015. Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68718-1 .
  • State power and state credit. Cultural tradition and political modernity. Winter, Heidelberg 2017, ISBN 978-3-8253-6712-1 .



  • Inaugural address by Mr. Wolfgang Reinhard at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences on November 21, 1998. In: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for 1998 , Heidelberg 1999, pp. 131–135.
  • Prize of the Historical College. Seventh award 23 November 2001 [in it: laudation by Arnold Esch on Wolfgang Reinhard and lecture history as delegitimation by Wolfgang Reinhard]. Historisches Kolleg , [Munich 2001] ( digitized version ).

Web links


  1. Wolfgang Reinhard: Friends and Creatures. “Interweaving” as a concept for researching historical leadership groups. Roman oligarchy around 1600. Munich 1979, p. 73. Cf. Ursula Vones-Liebenstein: What contribution does prosopography make to theological medieval studies? In: Mikolaj Olszewski (Ed.): What is “theology” in the Middle Ages? Religious Cultures of Europe (11th – 15th centuries) as reflected in their self-understanding. Münster 2007, pp. 695–724, here: p. 705.
  2. Wolfgang Reinhard: Friends and Creatures. “Interweaving” as a concept for researching historical leadership groups. Roman oligarchy around 1600. Munich 1979, pp. 45–77.
  3. See Wolfgang Reinhard: History as Delegitimation. Acceptance speech on acceptance of the Prize of the Historisches Kolleg on November 23, 2001 in Munich. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , November 26, 2001, No. 275, p. 45.
  4. Honorary doctorate for Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Reinhard. University of Konstanz honors pioneering historian and “bridge builder between disciplines” Press release No. 136 from October 1st, 2012.
  5. Wolfgang Reinhard: History as Anthropology , ed. by Peter Burschel. Cologne et al. 2017, pp. 430–433.