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Dr. Kilian Harrer

Member of the academic staff
Room: 03-304
Phone: +49 (0)6131-39 23459


Personal Details:

Studies (B.A. 2012, M.A. 2015) in History with a minor in "Sprachen, Literaturen und Kulturen" at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Ph.D. (2021) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with the dissertation topic "Places of Power, Spaces of Peril: Pilgrimage and Borders in Western Central Europe, c.. 1770-1810"; 2021-23 research associate at SFB 1369 ("Vigilance Cultures") at LMU Munich; since 2023 research associate at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG).

Research Interests:

Religion and Politics from the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic Era
transnational history and borderlands
early modern Central and East-Central European history
Work, Piety and Holidays in the Early Modern Period

Selected Publications:

“Mass Pilgrimage and the Usable Empire in a Napoleonic Borderland,” The Historical Journal 66, no. 4 (2023): 773–94.
“Kontingenz und Konvergenz: Heinrich von Valois als Kandidat für den polnisch-litauischen Thron,” in Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kultur Westeuropas: Band 2, ed. Mark Hengerer & Daniel Mollenhauer (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2022): 5–32.
“The Keys of Heaven in the Hands of Women: History, Hierarchy, and Gender in Early Modern Catholicism,” Catholic Historical Review 106, no. 1 (2020): 50–76.
“La suppression de cinq paroisses à Tours (1777–1782): Un exemple de rationalité administrative au siècle des Lumières,” Dix-Huitième Siècle 46 (2014): 673–93.

Research projects:

Bees, God, and Other Workers in Early Modern Europe

How did humans’ and bees’ work intersect in early modern Europe? How did this interrelation inform evolving Christian understandings of good work and its rewards? These two questions drive a research project that will connect seemingly disparate histories of religion, the environment, and work.

Enlightenment and Holiday Reform in East-Central Europe

In the eighteenth century, Catholic populations in Europe as well as in other parts of the world were confronted with a wave of radical holiday reforms. At the request of secular rulers, popes exempted the people from the obligation to refrain from all field and manual labour for a series of saints' days and Marian days. Religious reform ideals and political economy interacted in these attempts to initiate an "industrious revolution" from above.

Transgressive Devotion: Pilgrims and Borders in the French Revolutionary Era

Throughout the turbulent decades around 1800, Catholic pilgrims mingled piety and politics in the borderlands between German- and French-speaking Europe. While clerical leadership remained important, the current book project shows how lay Catholics often mobilized themselves as they faced the political and religious challenges of Enlightenment reform, revolution, and Napoleon’s authoritarian rule.