Hans Leaman

Hans Leaman's picture
Primary field of interest: 


The first histories I recall hearing came from two very large books: the Bible and a massive Dutch book called “The Martyrs’ Mirror,” which recounted the persecution of the Anabaptists in early modern Europe. My studies at Yale combine the two.

As a student in History and Renaissance Studies, I have focused on the exegesis of Biblical history in the Renaissance and Reformation.  And as a law student at Yale Law School, my historical projects have sought to document the relationship between Christian theological debates and Western practices in criminal punishment and criminal procedure.  My dissertation, “Exile and Ecclesiology in Reformation Europe,” looks first at the use of banishment as a punishment for religious non-conformity and then turns to the ways that the victims’ experience of exile shaped modern views on the place of the church in society.  Over the course of my career, I hope to explore the impact of Reformation theology and ecclesiology on the development of the Western legal tradition and to understand the unique legal problems and insights posed today by religious groups who wish to opt out of the civic life fostered by the state.

I arrived at Yale after graduating in 2000 from Princeton, where I focused on intellectual and cultural history and Hellenic studies. Carlos Eire is my advisor.