Gerda Henkel Foundation's Board of Trustees was unanimous in awarding the Prize to Prof. Lyndal Roper, following the suggestion by the jury’s nomination, which consists of members of the Foundation's Academic Advisory Committee and independent persons. The jury gave the following reasons for its recommendation: “Australian-British historian Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford, is one of the world’s most renowned historians of Early Modern times. She has authored trailblazing studies on social, gender, and psychological history as well as the history of the body; they stand out for their theoretical acumen, masterful command of an impressive wealth of source materials, and their superb prose. In her research on the Age of the Reformation, Lyndal Roper has developed a completely new way of conceptualizing the relations between religions and the social order. Her studies on witchcraft and the persecution of witches mark the emphatic transition in the history of research from women’s history to gender history. Her most recent studies on Martin Luther’s biography, which are driven by a history of physicality, will no doubt strongly influence debates on the Reformation leader in Luther Year 2017. Lyndal Roper, whose work impacts well beyond thinking on the Early Modern epoch, is one of the towering figures in international historiography.”
Lyndal Anne Roper, born in 1956, studied History with Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. In 1985 she was awarded a Ph.D. at King’s College, University of London. After stages at the University of London, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen she was a Reader in History at the Royal Holloway College, University of London. In 2002 she moved to Balliol College, University of Oxford. Since 2011 she has been the first female “Regius” Professor at Oriel College, University of Oxford. June 2016 saw publication of her biography “Martin Luther. Renegade and Prophet” (German edition: “Der Mensch Martin Luther. Die Biographie,” to appear in September 2016).
The Gerda Henkel Prize is awarded to excellent and internationally acclaimed researchers who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement in the disciplines and funding areas supported by the Foundation and can be expected to continue to do so. The selection process for the Gerda Henkel Prize 2016 involved 123 nominators in 34 different countries, with 112 different nominations received. Past Prize winners include art historian Prof. Martin Warnke, sociologist and cultural historian Prof. Richard Sennett, Islam studies expert Prof. Gudrun Krämer, historian Prof. Jürgen Osterhammel and Egyptologist Prof. Stephan Seidlmayer (www.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de/prize).