King Sigismund and Martin Luther: the Reformation Before Confessionalization - Winner of Four Book Prizes

King Sigismund of Poland and Martin Luther

The Faculty is delighted to announce that Natalia Nowakowska, Professor of European History and a Fellow of Somerville College, has won a total of four book prizes for her recent study of the Reformation in Poland, King Sigismund and Martin Luther: the Reformation Before Confessionalization (Oxford University Press, 2018).

The book has been named:

  • Winner of the George Blazyca Prize (2019), awarded by BASEES, the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, for an outstanding contribution to the study of the region.
  • Winner of the Gerald Strauss Prize (2019), awarded by the Sixteenth Century Society, USA, for the best book published that year in the field of German Reformation history.
  • Joint-winner of the Kulczycki Prize (2019), awarded by ASEEES in the USA (Association for Slav, East European and Eurasian Studies) for best book in any discipline in Polish studies.
  • Joint-winner of the BASEES Women’s Forum Book Prize (2019).

The book also received an Honorable Mention for the Reginald Zelnik Book Prize (2019), awarded by ASEEES and sponsored by the University of Berkeley, California, for an outstanding monograph in the field of East European or Eurasian history.

Professor Nowakowska’s book uses Poland under King Sigismund I (1506-48), a kingdom which experienced a wave of Lutheran activity, to re-read the Reformation in Europe. Prize citations said that the book ‘reshapes fundamental historical paradigms about the geographic parameters of the Protestant Reformation’, by situating Poland as a pioneering centre of early Lutheranism. The book seeks to explain the Polish Crown’s toleration towards local Lutherans, by recreating the late medieval world views of its ruling elite, which valued Christian pluralism and variety above doctrinal conformity. The writing of book was supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.