Picture of Martin Dotterweich

Martin Holt Dotterweich


Associate Professor of History


College of Arts and Sciences

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: Bristol Hall 201

Office Phone:



... This is the use of memory:

For liberation -- not less of love but expanding

Of love beyond desire, and so liberation

From the future as well as the past.

-- T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"


I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, not so far from King, and my student days took me to Chicago, Boston, and Scotland. I studied literature and philosophy at Wheaton College, then received the MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and finally the PhD from the University of Edinburgh. After six years in Scotland, I returned to teach for five years in Memphis, and came to King in 2004. I live here with my wife Heather and our children Kathleen and Peter.

My teaching ranges widely, but I am most at home when I'm talking about the history of Christianity (especially Medieval and Reformation), or the history of books, or the history of Scotland. Irrespective of subject matter, though, I aspire to offer my students (and myself) the chance to engage the inescapable questions of life along with persons from the past. Here we discover the brilliance of our forbears, and their flaws, and our own part in an ongoing, shared quest. Here faith and history meet, and the results can change us -- usually by complicating our questions.

Beyond my scholarly work, I am interested in writers of the early twentieth century who found in the past a vital and direct answer to the agonizing questions of their own day: G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, and especially Charles Williams.


PhD University of Edinburgh (supervisors David F. Wright and Jane E.A. Dawson)

MDiv Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

BA Wheaton College (IL)

2013 National Endowment for the Humanities, "Researching Early Modern Manuscripts and Printed Books" (four weeks, New York City)

2012 Folger Shakespeare Library, "Teaching Book History" (three days, Washington, DC)

Recent Publications and Presentations


"A book for Lollards and Protestants: Murdoch Nisbet’s New Testament," in Crawford Gribben and David G. Mullan (eds), Literature and the Scottish Reformation (Ashgate, May 2009), pp. 233-246

"Sacraments and the Church in the Scottish evangelical mind, 1528-1555," Records of the Scottish Church History Society 36 (2006), pp. 41-71

"Conciliar Authority in Reformation Scotland: The Example of the Kennedy/Davidson Debate, 1558-63," in The Church Retrospective, ed R.N. Swanson, Studies in Church History vol. 33 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1997), pp. 289-306


Entries for Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004):

Balnaves, Henry

Borthwick, John

Buckenham, Robert

Lekpreuik, Robert

Nisbet, Murdoch

Wishart, George

Entries for Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed Timothy Larsen (Downer’s Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003):

Knox, John

Melville, Andrew

Other publications

George Wishart Quincentennial Conference Proceedings, ed Martin Holt Dotterweich (London: Scott Wishart, 2014), introduction and chapter "George Wishart in England"

"A Mentor to Knox," Life and Work: The Magazine of the Church of Scotland (August, 2013), pp. 38-39

Foreword to a reprint of D.P. Thompson, George Wishart: The Man who Roused Scotland (St Andrews, 2013)


2014 "Prophecy, Preaching, and Print: The Voices of John Knox," North American Symposium on John Knox (Montreat, North Carolina)

2013 "George Wishart in England," George Wishart Quincentennial Conference (St Andrews, Scotland)

2012 "The Man in the Leather Mask: Prophecy and Calvinism in Early Modern Scotland," The University of Evansville Spring History Lecture (Evansville, Indiana)

2010 "Presbyterian Prophets or Second-sighted Scots? Telling the future in early modern Scotland," Edinburgh University Ecclesiastical History Graduate Seminar (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Conference papers

2011 "Setting Light in the Margins: English Bible Annotators Before the King James Version," The King James Bible and the World It Made 1611-2011 (Baylor University)

2010 "Presbyterian Prophets and Second-sighted Scots: Theology and the future in early modern Scotland," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Montréal, Québec)

2006 "‘Alsweall in privy conferance as in doctrin’: How early modern Scottish evangelicals became Protestants," Scottish Church History Society (Edinburgh, Scotland)

2004 "Evangelicals and the Church in pre-Reformation Scotland," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Toronto, Ontario)

2003 "Miles Coverdale and the Publication of English Reform," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

2000 "The Analogy of Faith and English Bible Paratexts," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Cleveland, Ohio)

2000 "The Pastor as Annotator: Miles Coverdale and the English New Testament," Pacific Tyndale Conference (San Diego, California)

1999 "Scotorum primus et idem inclytus apostolus: Patrick Hamilton’s Place in the Scottish Reformation," Society for Reformation Studies (Cambridge, England)

1998 "Piety, Persecution, and Proselytization: Scottish Protestantism Before the Reformation," Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Toronto, Ontario)

1997 "‘Some spunk of God’s light’: Lollards and Protestants in Scotland," Scottish Universities Ecclesiastical History Reading Party (Perth, Scotland)

1996 "George Wishart’s Translation of the First Helvetic Confession," Reformation Studies Colloquium (St Andrews, Scotland)

1996 "A ‘gret variance of opinioun’? Scottish Protestants and the Lord’s Supper, 1528-58," European Reformation Research Group (Stonyhurst, England)

1995 "The Debate between Quentin Kennedy and John Davidson 1558-63: Understanding the authority of Church councils in the Scottish Reformation," Ecclesiastical History Society (Norwich, England)

Current research

My ongoing research, sporadic though it may be, goes in two directions. The first has to do with the practice of prophecy among the Scots, especially Presbyterians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This unique practice, at variance with most Reformed theology and practice, seems to have deep roots in Scots culture, and may have a trajectory that takes it to Appalachia. My second ongoing research interest is printed marginal notes in early modern English Bibles. From William Tyndale on, English translators and printers felt the need to help Bible readers understand the difficult parts. I have worked in particular on Miles Coverdale's annotations in the late 1530s, but hope to expand this effort.

Courses recently taught

HIST 2110 LECT Twentieth Century Global History
HIST 2161 LECT The United States to 1877
HIST 3000 LECT The Professional Historian: Historical Study and Writing
HIST 3010 LECT Cultures in Contact: The Middle Ages
HIST 3030 LECT Cultures in Contact: The Atlantic World 1440-1888
HIST 3110 LECT The Age of Revolutions: Europe 1789-1914
HIST 3650 LECT Cultures in Contact: Islam, Christianity, & Colonialism in
HIST 4001 LECT History Seminar
HUMN 2171 LECT The Quest for a Meaningful Life
HUMN 2172 LECT The Quest for a Meaningful Life
KING 1000 LECT First Year Seminar