Troy Osborne

Associate Professor of History and Dean of Conrad Grebel


Troy OsborneProfessor Osborne is a historian whose research and teaching interests center generally on Mennonite history and the Reformation and particularly on the development of the Dutch Anabaptist tradition. He is revising his dissertation, “Saints into Citizens: Mennonite discipline, social control, and religious toleration in the Dutch Golden Age” for publication, and he is translating the sixteenth century Dutch martyrology Het Offer des Heeren (The Sacrifice of the Lord) as part of the Classics of the Reformation series.


  • A.A. Hesston College, 1991
  • B.A. Goshen College, 1994
  • M.A. Associated Mennonite Seminary, 1998
  • PhD University of Minnesota, 2007

Research and teaching interests

  • Early modern European religious and cultural history
  • Dutch Republic
  • Mennonite history

Courses taught

  • HIST 111 Western civilization II
  • HIST 348 The radical reformation
  • HIST 235 History of Christianity
  • HIST 379 Reformation history 

Recent publications

  • Review of Ernstige godsvrucht en gezond verstand.  Een selectie uit de dagboeken van Foeke Wigles Gorter (1756-1836), leraar van de Doopsgezinden in Sappemeer edited by Bert Dop and Piet Visser. Church History and Religious Culture 92.2-3 (2012): 450-452. 

  • Review of Mennonite German Soldiers: Nation, Religion and Family in the Prussian East, 1772-1880 by Mark Jantzen. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press. 2010.  Mennonite Life 66 (Summer 2012). 

  • “Worthy of the Tolerance They’d been Given: Dutch Mennonites, Reputation, and Political Persuasion in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte/Archive for Reformation History 99 (2008), 256-279.
  • Review of Faith on the Margins: Catholics and Catholicism in the Dutch Golden Age, Charles H. Parker.  The Historian 72.2 (Summer 2010): 483-484.
  • Review of Eén grote famlie: Doopsgezinde elites in de Friese Zuidwesterhoek 1600-1850, by Cor Trompetter.  Church History and Religious Culture 90.1 (2010): 124-125.
  • Review of “Just as in the Time of the Apostles”The Uses of History in the Radical Reformation by Geoffrey Dipple. The Mennonite Quarterly Review 83.4 (October 2009): 641-643.
  • Review of The Danzig Mennonite Church: Its Origin and History from 1569-1919 by H.G. Mannhardt.  Translated by Victor G. Doerksen. Edited and annotated by Mark Jantzen and John D. Thiesen. Epilogue by Tomasz Ropiejko. Church History and Religious Culture 88.2 (October 2008): 296-298.
  • Review of 400 Jahre Mennoniten in Altona und Hamburg: 25. Mai Bis 19. August 2001, Altonaer Museum in Hamburg, Norddeutsches Landesmuseum by Matthias H. Rauert and Hajo Brandenburg, eds.The Mennonite Quarterly Review 81.4 (October 2007): 655-657.
  • “New Directions in Anabaptist Studies [Response to Gerald J. Biesecker-Mast], “The Mennonite Quarterly Review 81.1 (January 2007): 43-48.
  • Review of Calivinism and Religious Toleration in the Dutch Golden Age by R. Po-chia Hsia and H.F.K. van Nierop (eds.).  Journal of Early Modern History 8.3-4 (2004): 429-431.
  • “Guides to Amish and Mennonites: Four Approaches.” Mennonite Historical Bulletin 56.2 (April 1995): 13-14.

Additional activities

  • “Mennonites and Varieties of Violence in the Dutch Republic”  Paper presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico:   October 26, 2013.

  • “Dissenting across borders:  the Development of a transnational ‘Mennonite’ identity among Swiss Brethren and Dutch Doopsgezinden in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.”  Paper presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Fort Worth, Texas:   October 29, 2011.
  • “Church Discipline and State Infrastructure.”  Paper presented  at the conference “Marginal or Mainstream? Anabaptists, Mennonites and Modernity in European Society” held at Bethel College June 25-26, 2010.
  • “The “pillar” of Mennonite Discipline and Social Control in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam” paper presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 26, 2007.
  • Invited response to Gerald J. Biesecker-Mast, “The Future of Radical Reformation Research,” at Future Directions in Anabaptist-Mennonite Scholarship: Mennonite Historical Library Centennial Conference, Goshen, Indiana, May 5, 2006.
  • “Saints into Citizens: Dutch Mennonites, Church Discipline, and Religious Toleration” paper presented at Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Toronto, Ontario, October 29, 2004.

Awards and achievements

  • Netherlands America Foundation–Fulbright Fellowship for doctoral research in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2002-2003

Contact information

University of Waterloo