Chris Langley

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Chris is Reader in Early Modern history. 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 early modern religious culture and identity. He is particularly interested in how issues of theology, discipline and Church governance affected everyday lives in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His most recent works have explored ecclesiastical responses to civil warfare, political change and social care in seventeenth-century Scotland.

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 National Endowment for the Humanities (USA), the Wellcome Trust, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Strathmartine Trust.


Chris teaches early modern British history, especially relating to the Reformation, the British Civil Wars and the social history of the parish. He teaches on foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Administrative Responsibilities

Chris is a member of the University Senate and the Research Ethics Subcommittee. He is the current Director of the Humanities Research Centre. He also serves as External Examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate History programmes at Keele University.

Membership of Professional Organisations

Chris is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an elected fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is Publicity Officer for the Ecclesiastical History Society and is a council member of the Scottish History Society.

Other Activities



(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

(2021) with Catherine E. McMillan & Russell Newton (eds), The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer)

(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 & Brewer)

Chapters in Books

(2021) ‘Anticlericalism in early modern Scotland?’, in Chris R. Langley, Catherine E. McMillan & Russell Newton (eds), The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer)

(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)

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, 93

(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

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),

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