Constantin Fasolt

Karl J. Weintraub Professor Emeritus of History, Fundamentals, and the College
PhD 1981 Columbia University

(312) 649-9434 (tel.)
(773) 339-6574 (mobile)

Mailing Address

The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637


Constantin Fasolt has retired and no longer directs BA theses or accepts new graduate students.

Field Specialties

Early modern Europe; political, social, and legal thought in medieval and early modern Europe; history and theory of historical writing; Reformation; conciliar movement



Constantin Fasolt's interest is focused on the historical background behind the structures of authority that governed the European and American worlds from the eighteenth until the twentieth century. His research deals with the origin, significance, and limitations of modern historical, legal, and political thought. His teaching covers European history from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, especially in Germany and France, with occasional glances further back in time. He has published books on late medieval theories of constitutional government (Council and Hierarchy) and the significance of the early modern turn to history (The Limits of History) as well as a collection of studies aimed at a convincing alternative to the dogmas of historicism (Past Sense). He is also general editor of New Perspectives on the Past, a series of interdisciplinary monographs on fundamental aspects of history published by Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.


Past Sense: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern European History. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

The Limits of History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Council and Hierarchy: The Political Thought of William Durant the Younger. Cambridge University Press, 1991.

"History, Law, and Justice: Empirical Method and Conceptual Confusion in the History of Law." In "Law As ..." III: Glossolalia: Toward a Minor (Historical) Jurisprudence, ed. Christopher L. Tomlins. UC Irvine Law Review 5 (2015): 413–62.

"Breaking up Time—Escaping from Time: Self-Assertion and Knowledge of the Past." In Breaking Up Time: Negotiating the Borders between Present, Past and Future, edited by Chris Lorenz and Berber Bevernage, 176–96. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.

"Saving Renaissance and Reformation: History, Grammar, and Disagreements with the Dead." Religions 3 (2012): 662–680.

"Hegel's Ghost: Europe, the Reformation, and the Middle Ages." Viator 39 (2008): 345–86.

"History and Religion in the Modern Age." History and Theory, Theme Issue 45 (2006): 10–26.

"Sovereignty and Heresy." In Infinite Boundaries: Order, Disorder, and Reorder in Early Modern German Culture., edited by M. Reinhart. Early Modern German Studies 1; Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies 40. Kirkville, MO: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1998.

"Visions of Order in the Canonists and Civilians." In Handbook of European History, 1400–1600: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation, vol. 2, edited by T. A. Brady, H. Oberman, and J. Tracy, 31–59. Leiden: Brill, 1995.

"Political Unity and Religious Diversity: Hermann Conring's Confessional Writings and the Preface to Aristotle's Politics of 1637." In Confessionalization in Europe, 1555–1700: Essays in Honor and Memory of Bodo Nischan, edited by John M. Headley, Hans J. Hillerbrand, and Anthony J. Papalas, 319–345. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.

"Author and Authenticity in Conring's New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor: A Seventeenth-Century Case Study." Renaissance Quarterly 54 (2001): 188–220.

"A Question of Right: Hermann Conring's 'New Discourse on the Roman-German Emperor'." Sixteenth Century Journal (1997): 739–58.

"William Durant the Younger and Conciliar Theory." Journal of the History of Ideas (1997): 385–402.

"Conring on History." In Supplementum Festivum: Studies in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller, edited by J. Hankins, J. Monfasani, and F. Purnell, 563–587. Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1987.