David Neufeld

Assistant Professor, History, Conrad Grebel University College


David Neufeld

David Neufeld is a historian of religion, culture, and social life in the early modern world. 

His current  research examines coexistence between religious majority and minority groups, using the interactions of seventeenth-century Swiss Reformed and Anabaptists as a case study. As the 2019-2020 Fretz visiting research scholar in Mennonite Studies, he investigated how changing archival cultures and practices have shaped current understandings of early Anabaptists. He teaches in the areas of the history of early Europe and the world, the history of Christianity, colonial Latin American history, and historiographical methods. 


  • BA, University of Waterloo, 2009
  • MA, University of Arizona, 2013
  • PhD, University of Arizona, 2018

Research and teaching interests

  • Religion and culture in Early Modern Europe
  • Anabaptists and Anabaptism
  • The history of archives

Courses taught

  • HIST 110 – History of the Western World I (Fall 2019)
  • HIST 111 – History of the Western World II (Winter 2020)
  • HIST 235/RS 240 – History of Christianity (Winter 2020)
  • HIST 348/RS 344 – The Radical Reformation (Fall 2019)

Selected publications


  • Common Witness: A Story of Ministry Partnership between French and North American Mennonites, 1953-2003. Elkhart, IN, Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2016. (French translation by Marie-Noël von der Recke published as Témoignage Commun: Histoire d’un Partenariat Missionnaire entre Mennonites Français et Nord-Americains. Les Ponts-de-Martel, Switzerland: Editions de la Talwogne, 2016.


  • “Early Swiss Anabaptism,” in T&T Clark Companion to Anabaptism, ed. Brian Brewer (London and New York: T&T Clark, 2021), 33-50.
  • “Narrating Anabaptist Conversion in Early Modern Switzerland,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 94, no. 4 (2021): 459-94.
  • “‘So weit […] wie der Aktenbefund es gebietet”: Achivierungs-Logiken in täuferischen Quellensammlungen,” Mennonitica Helvetica 43 (2020): 59-83.
  • (With Cory D. Davis) “Thinking with the Early Modern Past: The Relevance of our Scholarship,” The Sixteenth Century Journal 50, no. 1 (2019): 212-18.
  • “’Ihr hand dergleichen Leuht auch under Euch’: Gemeindedisziplin unter Zürcher Täufern im siebzehnten Jahrhundert,” Mennonitica Helvetica 39 (2016): 34-46.

Review Essay

  • “Arnold Snyder’s ‘In Search of the Swiss Brethren’: A Response,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 90, no. 4 (2016): 385-390.

Book Reviews

  • Review of The Swiss Brethren: A Story in Fragments, Source Evidence for the Trans-Territorial Expansion of a Clandestine Anabaptist Church in Early Modern Europe, 1538-1619, by Martin Rothkegel,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 96, no. 1 (2022): 135-37.
  • “Review of Later Writings of the Swiss Anabaptists, 1529-1592, edited by C. Arnold Snyder, translated by H. S. Bender, C.J. Dyck, Abraham Friesen, Leonard Gross, Sydney Penner, Walter Klaassen, C. Arnold Snyder, and J.C. Wenger,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 92, no. 4 (2018): 595-597.
  • “Review of European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity over Five Centuries: Contributors, Detractors, and Adapters, edited by Mark Jantzen, Mary S. Sprunger, and John D. Thiesen,” Conrad Grebel Review 35, no. 2 (2017): 211-13.

Selected activities

Papers Presented

  • “The Marginal Swiss in Martin Rothkegel’s Swiss Brethren,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, San Diego, California, October 28-31, 2021.
  • “‘Under the Guise of Christian Charity’: Anabaptist Responses to Poverty in Reformed Zurich, 1570-1650,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, October 17-20, 2019.
  • Contribution to Plenary Roundtable, “New Approaches to the Radical Reformation,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 1-4, 2018.
  • “Knowledge Production and Repressive Action: Anabaptist-Reformed Relations in Zurich’s Archives,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 14, 2018.
  • “Seeking to be Saved: Anabaptist ‘Conversion’ in Reformed Zurich, 1585-1650,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 26-29, 2017.
  • “Wandering the Lord’s Earth: Anabaptist Movement in Reformed Zurich, 1585- 1650,”
  • Global Reformations: Transforming Early Modern Religions, Societies, & Cultures, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, September 27-30, 2017.
  • “Archives and the Construction of Anabaptism in Early Modern Zurich,” Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel Forschungsverbund International Summer School: The New History of the Archives: Early Modern Europe and Beyond, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany, July 4, 2017.
  • “‘If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth’: Anabaptist religious practice and the Reformed response in seventeenth-century Zurich,” Sixth Annual RefoRC Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 26-28, 2016.
  • “Fractious Coexistence: Anabaptists between Persecution and Toleration in Reformed Zurich, 1585-1650,” Research Colloquium of the Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, Germany, May 23, 2016.
  • “Reconsidering Colombian Canoas: Indigenous Technology and Colonial Transportation along the Magdalena River, 1525-1600,” American Society for Ethnohistory, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 8-12, 2014.

Awards and achievements

  • J. Winfield Fretz Visiting Research Scholarship in Mennonite Studies, Institute of Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Canada, 2019-2020.
  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2014-2017.
  • Doctoral Research Grant, Leibniz-Insitut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, Germany, 2016.
  • Miriam Usher Chrisman Travel Fellowship, Society for Reformation Research, 2015.

Contact information