Burnett wins Fulbright to probe 16th century controversy

Amy Burnett
Amy Burnett

Amy Burnett, professor of history, will head to Germany in 2012 to teach and pursue research after earning a grant through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

Burnett will spend four months abroad where she will co-teach a seminar at the University of Mainz and continue her research on the debate over the Lord’s Supper in the 16th century. The controversy over the sacrament of communion led to the permanent division of Protestantism, which in turn had a long-term impact on many aspects of early modern culture, from politics and international relations to education and the place of the arts in worship.

Burnett is writing a book that examines the debate over the Lord’s Supper from a historical rather than theological perspective. There are few accounts of the Eucharistic controversy that look beyond the writings of Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli, she said.

In Germany she will be able to read the works by others who contributed to the public debate.

“I hope to show how ideas about the Lord’s Supper were spread in the 16th century, which will give us a better understanding of the impact of the Reformation on the common man and woman,” Burnett said.

The Fulbright program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program was established more than 60 years ago with a goal of creating greater mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.