Gary Waite

Professor, Chair


Tilley Hall 137

1 506 452 6158

Dr. Gary Waite teaches in the fields of Sixteenth-Century Netherlands and Germany, Reformation Studies, Early Modern European Religion, Witchcraft and the Devil, and Attitudes and Popular Culture. He holds his doctorate from the University of Waterloo (1987).

Dr. Waite has had a long and varied research career. Beginning with the sixteenth century Anabaptist and spiritualist David Joris, he has pursued research projects also on the drama guilds of the Netherlands (the Chambers of Rhetoric), on witchcraft and demonology in the Reformation era, and on European views of Jews and Muslims in the seventeenth century.

His new research is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant (2015-2020), and is called Amsterdamnified! Religious Dissenters, Spiritualistic Ideas and Urban Associationalism in the Emergence of the Early Enlightenment in England and the Low Countries, 1540-1700. Together with his Co-Investigator Michael Driedger of Brock University, he has pulled together a team of international scholars to work on the radical religious roots of the Enlightenment. 

He supervises theses in the early modern era, and his undergraduate teaching also covers the Middle Ages. 


First year
Hist1001 – Past into Present, Module “End of the World Groups”
Hist1008 – Religion, Magic & Witchcraft

Hist2013 – Medieval Europe I
Hist2014 – Medieval Europe II
Hist2023 – Early Modern Europe I
Hist2024 – Early Modern Europe II

Upper level lecture
Hist3001 – West Meets East in the Middle Ages
Hist3006 - Reformation Europe
Hist3015 – Race and Racism in the pre-modern West
Hist4001 – Heretics and Witches in Early Modern Europe
Hist4002 – Renaissance Society

Hist5011 – Reform and Revolt in Europe, 1500-1555
Hist5012 – The Late Reformation and Witch-hunting
Hist5102 – Mental World of Europeans, 1300-1600
He has also lectured in Arts 1000 and is a regular supervisor for Arts 3000 – Internship

Hist6015 - Themes in Early Modern Europe


Jews and Muslims in Seventeenth-Century Discourse, From Religious Enemies to Allies and Friends, 1st Edition. Routledge, 2018.

with Jesse Spohnholz, eds, Exile and Religious Identities, 1500-1800, Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World, 18. London: Pickering & Chatto Press, June 2014.

with Els Kloek, Marion Kobelt-Groch, Mirjam van Veen, Piet Visser, and Anna Voolstra, eds, Sisters: Myth and Reality of Anabaptist/Mennonite Women, c 1525-1900, Brill's Series in Church History, 65. Leiden: E.J. Brill, September 2014.

Assistant co-editor with Michael Driedger, Religious Minorities and Cultural Diversity in the Dutch Republic: Studies presented to Piet Visser on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, August den Hollander, Alex Noord, Mirjam van Veen and Anna Voolstra, eds. Brill's Series in Church History 67. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2014.

Eradicating the Devil's Minions: Anabaptists and Witches in Reformation Europe (University of Toronto Press, 2007; paperback edition in June, 2009)

Heresy, Magic, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

Reformers on Stage: Popular Drama and Religious Propaganda in the Low Countries of Charles V, 1515-1556 (University of Toronto Press, 2000)

The Anabaptist Writings of David Joris (Herald Press, 1994).

David Joris and Dutch Anabaptism (Waterloo, 1990), is now available digitally.


Journal of Early Modern History, Renaissance Quarterly, Social History, Sixteenth Century Journal, Archive for Reformation History, Church History, Dutch Review of Church History, Fides et Historia, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Doopsgezinde Bijdragen, Renaissance and Reformation, The Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Canadian Journal of History, The Mennonite Encyclopedia V, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, and The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Western Tradition.

“Pieter Jansz Twisck on David Joris: A Conservative Mennonite and Unconventional Spiritualism,” forthcoming in the Mennonite Quarterly Review.

"Empathy for the Persecuted or Polemical Posturing? The 1609 Spanish Expulsion of the Moriscos as Seen in English and Netherlandic Pamphlets," Journal of Early Modern History 17 (2013), 95-123

"Reimagining Islam: The Moor in Dutch and English Pamphlets, 1550-1620," Renaissance Quarterly 66/4 (Winter 2013), 1250-95 (2013)

"Menno and Muhammad: Anabaptists and Mennonites Reconsider Islam, 1570-1650," Sixteenth Century Journal 41 (2010), 995-1016.

Book chapters

“Knowing the Spirit(s) in the Dutch Radical Reformation: From Physical Perception to Rational Doubt, 1536-1690,” forthcoming in Knowing Demons, Knowing Spirits in the Early Modern Period (ca. 1400-1750), eds Michelle D. Brock, Richard Raiswell, and David R. Winter, Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic Series. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

"The Drama of the Two Word Debate among Liberal Dutch Mennonites, c. 1620-1660: Preparing the Way for Baruch Spinoza?" In Radicalism and Dissent in the World of Protestant Reform, eds Bridget Heal and Anorthe Kremers (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017), 118-36.

"Fear and Loathing in the Radical Reformation: David Joris's Efforts to Achieve Emotional Calm in the Midst of Adversity, 1525-1556," forthcoming in Feeling Exclusion: Religious Conflict, Exile and Emotions in Early Modern Europe, Giovanni Tarantino and Charles Zika (eds) (London, Routledge, 2017).

"Martyrs and Nicodemites Both? Spiritualistic and Rationalistic Currents within the Dutch Anabaptist Tradition - David Joris, Sebastian Castellio, and Pieter Jansz Twisck 1535-1648," Forthcoming in Sebastian Castellio zwischen Humanismus und Reformation, Rationalismus und Spiritualismus/Sebastian Castellio between Humanism and Reformation, Rationalism and Spiritualism, Barbara Mahlmann-Bauer, ed., REFO 500 series (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).

"Early Modern Hair: Religion ad Ritualized Belief," to appear in A Cultural History of Hair, vol. 3: A Cultural History of Hair in the Renaissance (1450-1650), ed. Edith Snook (London: Bloombury Academic Press, 2017).

"Where did the Devil Go? Language and the Revolt in the Netherlands, 1566-1648," Interlinquicity, Internationality and Shakespeare, ed. Michael Saenger (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014), 59-72, 227-37.

"Naked Harlots or Devout Maidens? Images of Anabaptist Women in the Context of the Iconography of Witches in Europe, 1525-1650," in Mirjam van Veen, Piet Visser, and Gary K. Waite, eds., Sisters: Myth and Reality of Anabaptist/Mennonite Women, c 1525-1900, Brill's Series in Church History 65 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 17-51.

"Conversos and Spiritualists in Spain and the Netherlands: The Experience of Inner Exile, c. 1540-1620," in Exile and Religious Identities, 1500-1800, eds. Jesse Spohnholz and Gary K. Waite, Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World 18 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014), 157-70.

"A Reappraisal of the Contribution of Anabaptists to the Religious Culture and Intellectual Climate of the Dutch Republic," in Religious Minorities and Cultural Diversity in the Dutch Republic: Studies Presented to Piet Visser on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, edited by August den Hollander, Alex Noord, Mirjam van Veen, and Anna Voolstra, Brill's Series in Church History 67 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 6-28.

"Sixteenth Century Religious Reform and the Witch-Hunts," Chapter 27 of The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Euyrope and Colonial America, ed. Brian Levack (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 485-506.

“Apocalyptical Terrorists or a Figment of Governmental Paranoia? Re-evaluating the Religious Terrorism of Sixteenth-Century Anabaptists in the Netherlands and Holy Roman Empire, 1535-1570,” in Michael Driedger, Anselm Schubert, and Astrid von Schlachta, eds., Margins of Anabaptism, (Gütersloh: Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte, 2009), 105-25.

He has a book manuscript under review: “Jews and Muslims in Seventeenth-Century Dutch and English Popular Discourse: From Religious Enemies to Allies and Friends?” and has presented papers at several scholarly conferences on the subject and published some of these as articles.

He is the editor of the "Witch Hunt" entry in the Oxford Bibliographies Online and the founding president of the Atlantic Medieval and Early Modern Group.

More of his work can be found on Academia. In 2005, he was made a University Research Scholar for a two-year term.