Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Ronald Delph, PhD

Committee Member

Philip Schmitz, PhD

Committee Member

Mark Whitters, PhD


Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) was a Dominican mendicant of the fifteenth century who fashioned himself as a prophet. Although there were many prophets in Italy, this study argued that Savonarola primarily emulated the biblical prophets of the Old Testament. Analysis of Savonarola’s discourse was based on electronic or print translations of his sermons and other writings. War, violence, corruption of the Church, and changing forms of government led to a fear among Florentine that drove them to seek prophets. The study followed Savonarola’s early preaching, call to prophesy, self-representation as a prophet, and the height of his acceptance as a prophet followed by his decline in power and execution. Savonarola maintained his lifelong commitment to Christian reform as emanating most essentially from the individual, not the structure or doctrine of the church. Savonarola carried out his mission as a prophet by striving to create Florence as a “new Jerusalem.”

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