Dr David Manning

David ManningContact Details


I read for a B.A. in History and Philosophy at Lancaster University and then completed an M.A. in History at Durham University before taking some time out to travel around the USA and Canada. On my return, I embarked upon an AHRC funded Ph.D. at Clare College, Cambridge, which was completed in 2009. Since then I have held research fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, and the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester, and taught at the Universities of Chester, Plymouth, Stirling, Leicester, and St Andrews. I was appointed Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.

Research Interests

I am historian and interdisciplinary scholar of Christian thought and culture in early modern Britain and the wider English-speaking world, c.1500–c.1800. I am fascinated by the methodological interplay between historiography, literary criticism, and divinity and typically study subjects that speak to the construction, contestation, and transformation of belief-based identities: especially those that feature within the varieties of Protestantism. I am captivated by the intersection of worldly contingency and spiritual tradition and engage with patterns of Christian Neoplatonism as they run through, between, and beyond discrete confessions. These interests lead to a critique of the way in which studies in the Humanities are now increasingly subsumed by agendas crafted by the Social Sciences. Indeed, much of my work complements and challenges the ‘new materialism’ that underpins evaluative paradigms now championed by the material, global, affective, cognitive, and mobility ‘turns’ in the contemporary scholarship.

More straightforwardly my expertise may summarised under the following headings:

  • British Protestantisms, c.1500–c.1800
  • Heterodoxy-Orthodoxy: Print, Polemic, and Propaganda, c.1500–c.1800
  • The History and Historiography of Reformation
  • Interdisciplinary Scholarship in the Humanities


Indicators of Esteem

Book Series Editor:

‘Histories of Religious Pluralism’, in association with the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies, at Peter Lang (2019–):

Deputy Editor:

Reformation & Renaissance Review (2014–):

Research Affiliate of the Early Modern Conversions Project, McGill University (2018–19)

Contributor to Anti-Catholicism across British History, an AHRC Network convened at Newcastle University (2018–19)


Edited Books:

1. Reformation & Renaissance Review. Special Issue: The Church of England as ‘Primitive Christianity Restored’? 13.2 (2011), 147–306 [other contrib. Sarah Mortimer, Sarah Apetrei, Peter Doll, & Sara Brooks].

Specially Commissioned Book Chapters:

2. ‘History, Historiography, and “the Scottish Reformation”’, in Ian Hazlett (ed.), Companion to The Scottish Reformation (Leiden: Brill), in press.

3. ‘Anglican Religious Societies, Organisations, and Missions’, in Jeremy Gregory (ed.) The Oxford History of Anglicanism: Volume II. Establishment and Empire: The Development of Anglicanism 1662–1829 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 429–51.

Book Chapters & Journal Articles:

5. ‘What was Devotional Writing? Re-visiting the Community at Little Gidding, 1626–33’, in Elizabeth Clarke and Robert Daniel (eds), People and Piety: Devotional Identities and Religious Writing in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press), in press.

6. ‘Reformation and the Wickedness of Port Royal, Jamaica, 1655–c.1692’, in Crawford Gribben and Scott Spurlock (eds.), Puritans and Catholics in the Trans-Atlantic World, 1600–1800 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 131–62.

7. ‘Blasphemy in the Christian Idiom, c.1500–c.2000’, Historical Journal, 52.3 (2012), 883–897.

8. ‘“That is Best, Which Was First”: Christian Primitivism and the Reformation Church of England’, Reformation & Renaissance Review. Special Issue: The Church of England as ‘Primitive Christianity Restored’? 13.2 (2011), 153–93.

9. ‘Theological Enlightenments and Ridiculous Theologies: Contradistinction in English Polemical Theology’, in Brett C. McInelly (ed.), Religion in the Age of Enlightenment: Volume 2 (New York: AMS Press, 2010), 209–41.

10. ‘Accusations of Blasphemy in English Anti-Quaker Polemic, c.1660–1701’, Quaker Studies, 14.1 (2009), 27–56.

11. ‘Anti-Providentialism as Blasphemy in Late Stuart England: A Case Study of “the Stage Debate”’, Journal of Religious History, 34.4 (2008), 422–38.

12. ‘“The Devil’s Centres of Operation”: English Theatre and the Charge of Blasphemy, 1698–1708’, in Elizabeth Burns Coleman and Maria Suzette Fernandes-Dias (eds.), Negotiating the Sacred II: Blasphemy and Sacrilege in the Arts (Canberra: Australia National University E-Press, 2008), 23–36.

Solicited Book Reviews:

14.–26. Some twelve book reviews in leading academic journals: e.g. Review of The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx, by Dominic Erdozain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015); in The English Historical Review, 132 (2017), 1659–61.

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