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February colloquium to focus on 16th century Germany

Published: 08 February 2013

Ineke Justitz, associate professor of history, will present the history, philosophy, and religious studies department’s February colloquium. Justitz will discuss her paper, "The Child that Died: The Intersection of Education, Medicine, Religion and Authority in Sixteenth-Century Naumburg, Germany." It is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. in Putnam Hall room 101.

In 1537, Nikolaus Krottenschmidt, city scribe of Naumburg, Germany, noted in his chronicle that a child was born with an anorectal malformation. Without medical intervention, the child was bound to die. Krottenschmidt stated that he, the city's medical doctor, and the Evangelical preacher discussed the course of action to take. He concluded his brief entry with the observation that the doctor refused to intervene because he did not want to "surpass" God in his works.

Based on Krottenschmidt's brief entry, Justitz’s paper explores the intersection of education, medicine, religious reform and contested authority in 16th century Germany. While additional work is needed to arrive at valid conclusions, the paper suggests personal beliefs, rather than accepted religious teachings or medical insight, informed the decision-making process. At the same time, the paper shows the three men were members of overlapping and interconnected intellectual networks of scholars and university-educated professionals who counted themselves among the leaders in their respective communities. 

Justitz earned her doctorate from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. She joined NDSU in 1995 and teaches classes in the history of western civilization, the Middle Ages, women in European history, and the Renaissance and Reformation. Her research focuses on the social-cultural history of 16th century Germany.

Special needs requests or questions can be directed to Dennis Cooley at or 231-7038.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013