Thomas Duve works principally on the legal history of the imperial spaces of the Iberian monarchies in the early modern period and on global historical perspectives on European legal history. He is interested particularly in the history of canon law and moral theology, especially that of the School of Salamanca, and the methods of legal history.
Thomas Duve was born in Hamburg in 1967. After compulsory military service and an apprenticeship in a bank, he studied at the universities of Heidelberg, Buenos Aires and Munich. He passed the two German State Examinations in Law at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the Universität Hamburg, respectively, receiving his practical training in Hamburg. He then worked at the Faculty of Law in Munich, first as a faculty assistant, then as an assistant professor, and 2004–2005 as the leader of a subproject in the Collaborative Research Centre Pluralization and Authority in the Early Modern Age funded by the DFG (CRC 573). He was awarded his doctorate in 1997 and in 2005 gained his professorial qualification (Habilitation) for civil law, German legal history, historical comparative law, canon law and philosophy of law. Between 2005 and 2009, he was Professor of Legal History with a so-called dedicación especial en investigación at the Faculty of Law and Professor of the History of Canon Law at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), as well as a member of the board of directors of the Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho, Buenos Aires. He became a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society in 2009, and since 2010 has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History as well as Professor for Comparative Legal History at the Faculty of Law of the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.
Thomas Duve is the (co-)editor of numerous academic journals and publications series, and a member of many scholarly associations, scientific academies and research cooperations (for details, see his full CV).