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History of Christianity Seminar overview

History of Christianity Seminar

Professor Alec Ryrie came from Durham to read a paper at the seminar on 'Faith, Doubt, and the Problem of Atheism in Reformation Britain'. Drawing on a rich body of material he argued very convincingly that the concept of atheism was used in a wider range of ways in early modern Britain than has previously been recognised. Still more intriguingly, he proposed that not only was the accusation of atheism (as 'unbelief') a potent weapon in Christian theological controversy, but that Reformation conceptions of 'assurance' almost structurally generated temptations to doubt, unbelief, and atheism in the hearts of those who were often the most sincere Protestants.

This seminar meets on alternate Wednesdays at 2.15 pm in the Lightfoot Room. It is open to senior members and graduate students of the University. Others interested in attending should contact one of the convenors. The Seminar Chair is Dr Richard Rex.

The History of Christianity Seminar meets on alternate Wednesdays during term to hear and discuss research papers on any aspect of the history of Christianity from the medieval to the contemporary period. We aim for a mixture of subjects and speakers (both established researchers and doctoral students, from inside and outside Cambridge) through the academic year. We welcome papers by speakers from outside Cambridge, and especially from scholars based overseas but visiting the United Kingdom for academic purposes. We can reimburse speakers’ travel expenses within the UK at a reasonable rate (i.e. standard class rail fares, taxis, etc). Recent outside speakers have included Mark Noll, Tom Mayer, Brad Gregory, and Robert Ventresca. If you would like to offer a paper to the seminar, please contact one of the convenors.


Michaelmas Term 2016 Programme:

The seminar meets on Wednesdays at 2.15 pm.

  • October 19‘From Prussia with Love: Sex, Liberalism, and Religious Zealotry in 1830s Königsberg,’ Professor Chris Clark (St Catharine’s College)
  • November 2 - ‘Time and Devotional Reading in Fifteenth-Century Brabant’ Matthew Champion (St Catharine’s College)

  • November 16‘Business and Heresy: Papal Finances and the Roman Inquisition’ Germano Maifreda (Università degli studi di Milano)

  • November 30 ‘The Multiple Functions of the Inquisition’ Francisco Bethencourt (King’s College, London)