The Templeton Honors College is pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan Reimer to our St. David's campus after a year of remote teaching. He was hired in 2020 as the John H. Van Gorden Chair in Eastern’s history department and is teaching classes for both the history department and the Honors College. Dr. Reimer completed a bachelor’s degree in history with honors at the University of British Columbia, then earned master’s degrees in Theology and Church History from Regent College. Over the course of these studies, he grew more interested in history as a discipline. “In more facetious moods,” Dr. Reimer remarks, “I think of this interest [in history] as a sort of vice to which I have become more and more addicted.” This addiction and the encouragement of his wife Thea led Dr. Reimer to complete a Ph.D. in History at the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Reimer has studied a number of different historical topics, including the life and writing of St Augustine and the fate of religious pacifism during the Weimar Republic and Third Reich. His most recent work focuses on the religious landscape of sixteenth-century England. He says, “the early modern period (between say 1450 and 1650) represents something of a sweet spot in terms of historical sources: one has just enough sources to honestly and imaginatively reconstruct the past without being overwhelmed.” It also offers him a chance to contribute to the very lively scholarly debate on how and why the Reformation took place in Britain. He is presently finishing a book on the life of clergyman Thomas Becon, the best selling devotional author of the Tudor era, researching the practice of public recantation during the Reformation in Britain, and is collaborating on a book entitled The Spiritual Discipline of History.
When Dr. Reimer is not doing scholarly work, he enjoys watching movies, cooking, and taking long, leisurely walks. He also plays guitar “with the earnest mediocrity of a Christian kid who learned to play at summer camp.” Having spent the first few years of his life in Massachusetts, Dr. Remier is a Boston Red Sox fan and is looking forward to returning to the Eastern Seaboard from Canada. He and his wife Thea--along with their cat Mollie--arrived at Eastern this summer. “I am thrilled to be able to share my many interests, both academic and non-academic, with the students, staff, faculty, and broader community of the Templeton Honors College,” Dr. Reimer says. “I cannot wait to be able to spend time with many of you on the Eastern campus.”