Associate Professor of History

(812) 866-7205


Raley joined the faculty at Hanover College in 2013, where he teaches courses on medieval Europe, the Italian Renaissance, Tudor and Stuart England, the Reformation era and the Modern West. Prior to his arrival, Raley taught at Alma College in Michigan, Wake Forest University, Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Chicago. His research interests focus on legal, social, gender, and cultural history of medieval and early modern Europe, especially on the evolution of rights theory, in particular the right to freedom of religion, during the late medieval and early modern eras.


B.M., Belmont College, Nashville, TennesseeM.M., The University of LouisvilleM.A., Southern Illinois University at CarbondaleD.M.A., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville.Ph.D., The University of Chicago


REVIEW "Review of Religious Conflict and Accommodation in the Early Modern World." Edited by Marguerite Ragnow and William D. Phillips, Jr. Minneapolis: Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota, 2011. In the Journal of World History, vol. 24, no. 2 (June 2013): 426-430. ARTICLES "A Revised Chronology for the Inquisitors of the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, ca. 1394 -- ca. 1409." Ons Geestelijk Erf (Our Spiritual Heritage, Antwerp, Belgium), vol. 83, no. 1 (2012): 57-95. "Traversing Borders -- Defining Boundaries: Cosmopolitan Harmonies and Confessional Theology in Georg Rhau's Liturgical Publications." The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 43, no. 4 (2012): 1079-1105. "Interconfessionalism and Confessionalization in Germany and Austria, ca. 1530-1545: The Chorale Motets and Polemical Works of Arnold von Bruck and Stephan Mahu." In Jubilate, Amen! A Festschrift in Honor of Donald P. Hustad, ed. Paul A Richardson and Timothy W. Sharp, 315-356. Hillsdale, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 2010. "'On the Same Basis as the Men': The Campaign to Reinstate Women Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, 1885-1918." Journal of Southern Religion 7 (2004) at: BOOKS "Minds and Hearts in Praise of God: Hymns and Essays in Church Music in Honor of Hugh T. McElrath." Co-edited by J. Michael Raley and Deborah Carlton Loftis. Franklin, Tenn.: Hillsboro Press/Providence House, 2006. ARTICLES CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS INCLUDE: "The Emergence of Religious Freedom: Continental Anabaptists, English and Colonial American Baptists, and the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution," tracing a direct line from the continental Anabaptists of the 16th century to the English Baptists of the early 17th century and the fight for religious, as well as political, freedom in the American colonies during the late 18th century. "Pope Honorius III's Bull, Super Speculam and the Study of Roman Law at the University of Paris, 1219-1679," challenging the longstanding paradigm that asserts that Roman law, having been prohibited by the pope in 1219, was never taught at the University of Paris between that year and 1679, when it was finally reinstated by King Louis XIV. "Parisian Chancellor Jean Gerson, Friar Mathew Grabow and the Devotio Moderna at the Council of Constance," which examines the trial of Dominican Mathew Grabow at the Council of Constance in 1417-19 and the implications that it held for his religious opponents, the Dutch and German lay religious brothers and sisters known collectively as the "Modern Devout." BOOK IN PROGRESS:Geert Groote and the Devotio Moderna: Pursuing the philosophia Dei during the Crisis of the Great Schism, which will reexamine the late medieval Dutch lay religious folk known as the "Modern Devout" in light of recent scholarship and the author's own archival research.
J. Michael Raley