Professor John Coffey

Professor of Early Modern History

John CoffeyContact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3941
  • Email:
  • Office: Attenborough 713
  • Office Hours: TBA - Email to arrange appointment
  • Dissertation Office Hours: Fridays 1.30pm - 2.30pm


I am Professor of Early Modern History, with a particular interest in the rich and complex history of Protestantism in Britain and America. I read History at Cambridge and did my PhD (on the Scottish Covenanter, Samuel Rutherford) at Churchill College, where I became a Junior Research Fellow in 1994. After a year as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London in 1998-99, I moved to the School of Historical Studies. Since coming to Leicester, I have published on various aspects of early modern Protestant culture: toleration debates, the English Revolution, Puritanism, Evangelicalism, and antislavery. My most recent book is Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. (2013). It surveys the political use of the Exodus story and the idea of Jubilee from the Reformation and early modern revolutions to abolitionism and the African American freedom struggle. I am also part of a team working on a five-volume critical edition of a major seventeenth-century memoir, Richard Baxter’s Reliquiae Baxterianae (1696).


PhD Supervision

Religion, politics and ideas in early modern Britain and America. I am especially interested in the English Revolution, Puritanism and Dissent, toleration debates, Evangelicalism and Enlightenment, and the religious dimension of British and American antislavery. I welcome enquiries from anyone keen to do research in these fields. My past and present PhD students have worked on Scottish Covenanters, English Puritans, Restoration Dissent, theology in the Scottish Enlightenment, and the political use of the Bible.


I have taught a wide range of undergraduate courses: Early Modern Europe, The Stuart Age, The English Revolution, Anglo-American Puritanism, Persecution and Toleration from Reformation to Enlightenment, Indians & English in Seventeenth-Century New England, London in the Age of Pepys, Church and State in Early America, Abolitionist Icons: Wilberforce and Equiano, and Religion in America 1600-2000. I am willing to supervise dissertations on politics, religion and ideas in early modern Britain and America.

Most Recent Publications

  1. Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance  Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. (Oxford University Press, 2013)
  2. (co- editor with A. Chapman and B. Gregory) Seeing Things their Way: Intellectual History and the Return of Religion (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009)
  3. (co-editor with P. C. H. Lim) The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
  4. John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution (Boydell and Brewer, 2006)

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