This article provides an overview of the social-historical methodology, highlights relevant scholarship on this approach, and offers specific examples of studies on the Reformation period in Europe that use the social-historical method. I begin by explaining how the social-historical methodology, otherwise known as new social history, originated from the historical method. While highlighting key scholarship on this approach, I outline how the social-historical method differs from the historical method. I also present two essential methodological features of social history, including using sources in new, more analytical ways. I conclude by presenting specific examples of how historians of the early modern period, such as Kirsi Stjerna and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, apply the social-historical method in their own studies. This last section focuses on works that explore women’s history, family life, work, and witchcraft, primarily during the Reformation period in Europe. My goal is to provide a resource for emerging young scholars, such as undergraduate students and newly admitted graduate students, who are interested in strengthening their own work by better understanding the social-historical research method and how it is used in the study of history and religion.
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