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Richard Kieckhefer is an American medievalist, religious historian, scholar of church architecture, and author. He is Professor of History and John Evans Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University.[1]


After an undergraduate education at Saint Louis University, Kieckhefer earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas in 1972, spending a year in Munich at the Monumenta Germaniae Historica Institute with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).[2]


Kieckhefer has written on sainthood, medieval ritual magic,[3] witchcraft, medieval and contemporary church architecture, hoopoes, and mystical literature;[4] he has also edited and translated important texts from medieval Latin.[5] He has taught at Northwestern University since 1975.[6] His Magic in the Middle Ages, first published in 1989, has been translated into Spanish, German, Polish, Czech, Italian, and Greek, and is forthcoming in Turkish, Portuguese, and Korean. He was President of the American Society of Church History in 1997 and of the Societas Magica from 1995 to 2004.


In addition to the DAAD, his research has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation,[7] the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2006, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[8][9]



  1. ^ "Richard Kieckhefer: Department of History". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Richard Kieckhefer: Personal Page". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Mythologies of Witchcraft in the Fifteenth Century" (PDF). Summer 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  4. ^ Anne Ford (26 January 2012). "This week's Chicagoan: Richard Kieckhefer, historian of magic". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Review of Forbidden Rites". Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Authors:Richard Kieckhefer". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Richard Kieckhefer: Guggenheim Fellow". Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Professor Richard Kieckhefer". Retrieved 3 April 2005.
  9. ^ "List of Active Members by Class" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Fall 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2015.

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