History faculty

Michael Kugler, Ph.D.

Professor of History

Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., Western Washington University
B.A., Judson Baptist College

VPH 208


Dr. Kugler primarily teaches European history from the Reformation through the modern era. His research and writing include the Enlightenment era, particularly in Scotland; historical narrative in a variety of forms, including formal history but also film and graphic novels; and more recently, the history of incarnational theology. He has presented papers at a wide variety of conferences and has published reviews and essays in Fides et Historia, The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation, and Scotia.


    Publications and presentations

    • “Enlightenment History, Objectivity, and the Moral Imagination”, a chapter in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation, ed. John Fea (Notre Dame, 2010).
    • “Adam Ferguson and Enlightened Provincial Ideology in Scotland”, in Adam Ferguson: A Reassessment, v.2, ed. Eugene Heath and Vincenzo Merolle (Pickering and Chatto, 2009).
    • "The Cross, the Powers, and Enlightenment Techniques of the Self," Fides et Historia (2004).
    • “How Many Cheers?: Assessing the Enlightenment Grand Narrative of Modern Progress”, to be presented to the Conference on Faith and History, George Fox University, October 7-9, 2010.
    • “Civil Piety and Christian Culture in the Debate Over John Home’s Douglas”, presented to the Joint Conference for the Society for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, and the International Adam Smith Society, Princeton Theological Seminary, June 25, 2010.
    • “The Faun Beneath the Lamppost: What Christians Often Mean When They Talk About the Enlightenment”, Conference on Secularization and Revival, Baylor University, October 9, 2009.
    • “Faust’s Bastards: Academic Humility in the Shadow of the Cross“, Conference on Christianity and the University, Baylor University, March 18, 2004.

    Professional experience

    • Professor of History since 1994
    • Assistant Coach and Goalkeeper Coach, Men's Soccer, Northwestern College (until 2007)


    • The Conference on Faith and History
    • The Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society


    • Calvin College Summer Faculty Fellow, 1997, 2007
    • Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 2006
    • Eric Molen Prize, for the paper "Provincial Intellectuals: A Model for Enlightenment Studies," delivered at the annual conference of the East-Central American Society of Eighteenth Century Scholars, 1992
    • Century Scholar, University of Chicago, 1986-89