Chris Langley

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Chris is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern British history. He studied for his first two degrees at the University of Birmingham and completed his PhD at the University of Aberdeen. Before moving to Newman in 2014, Chris taught at the University of Aberdeen and the University of York. He was Visiting Scholar at the University of St Andrews in 2014 and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh in early 2018.


Research Interests

Chris is interested in the religious culture and identity in early modern Britain and Ireland. His work addresses the intersection of the social and the religious in the Anglophone world with a special focus on Scotland. He is currently working on two major projects: one to explore the religious politics of domestic welfare and poor relief in the seventeenth century and another to understand the social dynamics of the Covenanted parish in the same period. He is also working on two collections of essays on the clergy in early modern Scotland and the enduring impact of the National Covenant.

He is Co-Director of the project Mapping the Scottish Reformation: A database of the Scottish clergy, 1560-1689.

Since 2014, he has received funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the Strathmartine Trust, the Institute of Historical Research, the Royal Historical Society and the Society for Renaissance Studies (UK).


Chris teaches early modern British history, including modules on the British Civil Wars, the Tudor State and Protest and Piety and the Parish, 1600-1660. Chris leads Scholarship and Methods in History and is happy to supervise projects on early modern religious history. He also contributes to the MRes in Humanities.

Administrative Responsibilities

Chris is a member of the University Senate, the Research Ethics Subcommittee and the Website Officer for the Humanities Research Centre.

Membership of Professional Organisations

Chris is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He sits on the steering committee for the Ecclesiastical History Society and is a member of the Scottish History Society, the Scottish Church History Society and the Institute of Historical Research.

Other Activities

Conference Addresses and Papers

‘Charity, discretion and the Kirk Session: Blurring institutional and personal charity in seventeenth-century Scotland’, Scottish History Seminar, University of Edinburgh, December 2018

‘“The laudable example of your progenitors”: Reading the Reformation in the Scottish Revolution, 1637-1660’, Reading the Ministry Conference, University of Aberdeen, December 2018

‘“It is the same very game that our Fathers had”: Understanding John Knox and the first-generation Reformers in mid-seventeenth-century Scotland, St Andrews Centre for Reformation Studies / Scottish History seminar, St Andrews University, November 2017

‘Parish-level bureaucrats: Consistories, charity and discretion in early modern Scotland’, Reformation Studies Colloquium, University of Essex, September 2018

‘Begging for an Audience: Acts of Kindness in Early Modern Scotland’, IASH work in progress seminar, University of Edinburgh, March 2018

‘“Our worthy reformers”: Understanding Reformation history in mid-seventeenth-century Scotland’, European Reformation Research Group annual meeting, University of Liverpool, September 2017

‘Negotiating the parish in early modern Scotland’, The Future of Early Modern Scottish Studies Colloquium, University of St Andrews, January 2017

‘”The best schollars that Christ gets are blind, lame, criples, and such like”: Clerical attitudes towards bodily disability in seventeenth-century Scotland’, Reformation Studies Colloquium, University of Newcastle, September 2016

‘Liturgy in motion: The politics of gesture and bodily posture in Scottish church services, c. 1600-1650’, Sixteenth Century Studies Conferences, Bruges, August 2016

Other Forms of Research/Scholarship

Book reviews in English Historical Review, Reviews in History, Sixteenth Century Journal, Scottish Historical Review, Seventeenth-Century News, Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, History Scotland and Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

(Forthcoming) ‘Parish politics and godly agitation in late Interregnum Scotland’, Church History

(2020) ‘Decorum, emotion and moderation at the Glasgow Assembly, 1638’, Historical Research

(2018) ‘“In the Execution of his Office”: Lay Officials and the Exercise of Ecclesiastical Discipline in Scotland, c. 1600-1660’, The Seventeenth Century, 33

(2017) ‘Sheltering under the Covenant: The National Covenant, orthodoxy and the Irish Rebellion, 1638-1643’, Scottish Historical Review, 96

(2017) ‘‘Lying sick to die: Dying, informal care and authority in Scotland, c.1600-1660′, Sixteenth Century Journal, 48

(2017) ‘Caring for soldiers, veterans and families in Scotland, 1638-1651’, History, 101

(2013) ’“Diligence in his ministrie”: Changing views of clerical sufficiency in mid-seventeenth-century Scotland’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 104


(2020) Cultures of Care: Domestic Welfare, Discipline and the Church of Scotland, c.1600-1689 (Leiden: Brill)

(2015) Worship, Civil War and Community, 1638-1660 (London: Routledge)

Edited Books

(2020) (ed.), The National Covenant in Scotland, 1638-1689 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer)

(2016) (ed.), The Minutes of the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, 1648-1659 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)

Chapters in Books

(2020) ‘Reading John Knox in the Scottish Revolution’, in Chris R. Langley (ed.), The National Covenant in Scotland, 1638-89 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer)

(2018) ‘“So necessarie and charitable a worke”: Welfare, identity and Scottish prisoners of war in England, 1650-1660’, in D. J. Appleby & A. Hopper (eds), Battle-Scarred: Mortality, Medical Care and Military Welfare in the British Civil Wars (Manchester: Manchester University Press)

(2016) ‘“A sweet love-token betwixt Christ and his Church”: Kirk, communion and the search for further reformation, 1646-1658’, in J. McCallum (ed.), Scotland’s Long Reformation: New Perspectives on Scottish Religion, c. 1500–1660 (Leiden: Brill)

Public Engagement & Online

(2019) with M. D. Brock, ‘Mapping the Scottish Reformation: Tracing careers of the Scottish clergy, 1560-1689’, International Review of Scottish Studies, 44

(2019) with M. D. Brock, ‘Mapping the Scottish Reformation: Using technology to understand the clergy, 1560-1689’, History Scotland

(2016) ‘Border control: Migration, poverty and the Kirk in early modern Scotland’, History Scotland

(2014) Contributor to ‘What if Charles I had won the Civil War’, All About History Magazine

(2013) ’Birth, infanticide and midwifery in early modern Scotland’, Early Modern Medicine (blog),

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