Eric Carlsson

Lecturer in History


Office: 5217 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 5034 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:00-1:00 and by appointment

Eric Carlsson


I study the intellectual and religious history of early modern Europe and the north Atlantic world, with a focus on the intersection of religion and Enlightenment thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Special areas of interest include theology and biblical scholarship, the Christian humanist tradition, religious renewal movements (notably international Pietism and early evangelical Protestantism), Jewish-Christian relations, and theories of secularization. My current research centers on Germany’s Protestant Enlightenment and the seminal figure Johann Salomo Semler; I am writing on links between demonology and anti-Judaism and on the place of body/spirit and letter/spirit dichotomies in the formation of “liberal” theology in the eighteenth century. I teach a variety of courses on thought and religion in early modern Europe and the Atlantic world as well as a two-semester survey of themes in Western intellectual and religious history from antiquity to the present.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
B.A., University of Michigan

Selected Publications

  • “The Eighteenth Century,” “The Enlightenment,” “Johann Lorenz von Mosheim,” “Johann Salomo Semler,” and “Rationalism.” In Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions, ed. Timothy J. Wengert, et al. (Baker Academic, 2017).
  • “Eighteenth-Century Neology.” In The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, 1600-1800, ed. Ulrich L. Lehner, Richard Muller, and A. G. Roeber (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  • “Pietism and Enlightenment Theology’s Historical Turn: The Case of Johann Salomo Semler.” In The Pietist Impulse in Christianity, ed. Christian T. Collins Winn, et al. (Pickwick Publications, 2011).

Selected Awards

  • Distinguished Honors Faculty Award
  • University Housing Honored Instructor
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/Center for German and European Studies Fellowship
  • Rolf und Ursula Schneider-Stiftung Fellowship, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel

History Courses

  • History 201 – The Historian’s Craft: Belief and Unbelief in Modern Europe
  • History 208 – Western Intellectual and Religious History to 1500
  • History 209 – Western Intellectual and Religious History since 1500
  • History 223 – The Making of Modern Christianity, 1650-1870
  • History 229 – Christianity in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800
  • History 229 – Religious Renewal in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800
  • History 512 – The Enlightenment and Its Critics
  • History 600 – Religion and the Enlightenment