Professor of Reformation History
Polkinghorne Fellow in Theology and Religious Studies at Queens' College, Cambridge
Richard Rex is accepting applications for PhD students.
Richard Rex is a Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, where he is Director of Studies in Theological and Religious Studies as well as a Tutor for graduate students.
Although not a frequent performer in the travelling circus of modern academia, and generally averse to translatlantic flights, he nevertheless makes occasional guest appearances at the Academia Moriae, Amaurote.
Subject area and speciality
- History of Christianity specialists:
- The interaction between religion, politics, and ideas in early modern England and Europe.
- The political, social, and intellectual aspects of English religious history from the late 14th to the early 17th century (including John Wycliffe, Lollardy, early Protestantism, and the English Reformation and its aftermath)
- The Reformation era in Europe, most especially relating to the interaction of 'humanism' with theology and religion
- French or Italian religious history from the late 15th to the early 17th century
Richard Rex's research interests focus on the interaction between religion, politics, and ideas in early modern England and Europe. His main current project is an exploration of the emergence and impact of the theology and public persona of Martin Luther in the Imperial and European context of the early sixteenth century.
In May 2014 he took part in the workshop on the Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1307-1707, to be held at St Andrews under the auspices of the Politics of Counsel research project.
In July 2014 he gave a paper on 'Humanism at St John's College' at the conference on 'Sir John Cheke and the Cambridge Connection in Tudor England', held at the Old Divinity School at St John's.
Dr Rex is interested in supervising magisterial or doctoral projects on the political, social, and intellectual aspects of English religious history from the late 14th to the early 17th century (including John Wycliffe, Lollardy, early Protestantism, and the English Reformation and its aftermath); and many aspects of the Reformation era in Europe, most especially relating to the interaction of 'humanism' with theology and religion. He would be prepared to supervise studies of French or Italian religious history from the late 15th to the early 17th century.
Richard Rex’s popular survey of the Tudors was recently reissued as Tudors: the Illustrated History (Amberley, 2014).
His other books include the elegant thematic survey Henry VIII and the English Reformation (2nd edn. Palgrave, 2006) and the controversial The Lollards (Palgrave, 2002).
The Lollards (Palgrave, 2002) aimed a controversial arrow at the hot air balloon of Lollard studies. It was greeted with mixed reviews, the more hostile from those flying the balloon. As David Aers trenchantly put it: “For an extended attempt to explicate the unimportance of Wycliffites (except in the addled minds of literary historians and Protestant ideologues in need of origins), see Richard Rex, The Lollards (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002).” See David Aers, Sanctifying Signs, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), p. 233, note 21.) The author has thus far seen no reason to revise the main outlines of this interpretation.
Over the years Richard Rex has translated a number of scholarly books from French, including Yves-Marie Bercé’s The Birth of Absolutism: A History of France 1598-1661 (Palgrave, 1995) and Lucien Musset’s The Bayeux Tapestry (Boydell, 2005). Most recently he translated Catholicism and Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2012), by the late and sorely missed Emile Perreau-Saussine.
For as near a full list of his publications as can easily be put together, see his profile on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/
Among his more recent academic articles are the following:
- 'Christopher St German on Scripture, councils, and monarchs', Reformation & Renaissance Review 16 (2014), 266-79
- ‘The Religion of Henry VIII’, Historical Journal 57 (2014), 1-32
- ‘Paul’s Cross and the Crisis of the 1530s’, in Paul’s Cross and the Culture of Persuasion in England, 1520-1640, ed. Torrance Kirby (Leiden, 2014)
- Introduction: the Morning Star or Sunset of the Reformation?’, in Reinventing the Reformation i the Nineteenth century: a Cultural History, ed. Peter Nockles and Vivienne Westbrook, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 90 (2014), 7-23
‘The Sixteenth Century’, in St John’s College, Cambridge. A History, ed. Peter Linehan (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2011), pp. 5-92
‘Thomas More and the Heretics: Statesman or Fanatic?’, in The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More, ed. George Logan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 93-115
‘Humanist Bible Controversies’, in The New Cambridge History of the Bible III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
‘A Newly Discovered Poem by Erasmus’, with David Butterfield. Forthcoming in Humanistica Lovaniensia: Journal of Neo-Latin Studies