skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Gareth Atkins

Dr Gareth Atkins

Fellow and Part II Director of Studies in History, Magdalene College

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CRASSH

Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of History

Magdalene College

Office Phone: 01223 746540


I took a BA in History from the University of Durham before coming to Cambridge to study for an M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History. My Ph.D. was awarded in 2009 and since then I have been a Research Fellow at Magdalene College.

Subject groups/Research projects

Modern British History:

Departments and Institutes

Magdalene College:

Research Interests

Britain and the British world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; religious politics and networks; representations of the Navy and naval heroes; the reading and writing of religious history and biography; changing ideas about and uses of the Bible.

I am currently preparing a book on evangelical patronage networks in the Church, armed forces, City of London and colonial service, c.1780-1830, provisionally entitled The politics of patronage: Anglican Evangelicals and British public life, 1770-1850. This work offers a radically new perspective on religious change, as well as throwing new light on the inner workings of the imperial British state and British elite culture.

Recent articles examine conflicting memories of the Reformation in early nineteenth-century Britain and notions of naval heroism. My forthcoming edited collection, 'Making and remaking saints', builds on this interest in religion and celebrity to look for the first time at how saints and saintly figures were used to articulate debates over holiness, heroism and confessional conflict in nineteenth-century Britain.

As part of the ERC-funded project on 'The Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture', based at CRASSH, I am developing a new project that can best be described as a study of the reception of King David in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art, culture and thought.


British Political & Constitutional History 1700-1914 (Part I: Paper 5)

British Economic & Social History (Part I: Paper 10)

'Total War' and European Societies, 1792-1815 (Part II: Paper 22)

Other Professional Activities

Secretary, Ecclesiastical History Society:

Key Publications

Edited books

Making and Remaking Saints in Nineteenth-Century Britain (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2015)

Journal Articles

'"Isaiah's call to England": doubts about prophecy in nineteenth-century Britain', in Charlotte Methuen, Andrew Spicer & Frances Andrews (eds), The Church and doubt, Studies in Church History 52 (forthcoming, 2016).

'William Jowett’s Christian Researches: British Protestants and Religious Plurality in the Mediterranean, Syria and the Holy Land, 1815-30', in Charlotte Methuen, Andrew Spicer & John Wolffe (eds), Christians and Religious Plurality, Studies in Church History 51 (forthcoming, 2015)

'Christian heroes, providence and patriotism in wartime Britain, 1793-1815', Historical Journal, 58 (2015), 393-414.

‘Religion, politics and patronage in the late-Hanoverian navy, c. 1780-c. 1820', Historical Research, 88 (2015), 272-90.

'"Idle reading"? Policing the boundaries of the nineteenth-century household', in John Doran, Charlotte Methuen & Alexandra Walsham (eds), Religion and the Household, Studies in Church History 50 (Boydell, 2014), 331-42.

‘Truth at stake: the nineteenth-century reputation of Thomas Cranmer’, in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 90, 1 (2014), 257-86.

‘Anglican Evangelical Theology, c.1830-1850: the case of Edward Bickersteth’, Journal of Religious History, 38 (2014), 1-19.

‘“True churchmen”? Anglican Evangelicals and history, c. 1770-1850’, Theology (Sep-Oct 2012), 339-49.

‘Reformation, Revival and Rebirth in Anglican Evangelical Thought, c.1780-c.1830’, in Kate Cooper & Jeremy Gregory (eds), Revival and Resurgence in Christian History, Studies in Church History 44 (Woodbridge, 2008), 74-84.

Chapters in edited collections

‘Anglican Evangelicalism’, in Jeremy Gregory (ed.), Establishment and empire: the development of Anglicanism, 1662-1829: Oxford History of Anglicanism, vol ii (forthcoming, 2016)

'The Self-Interpreting Bible', in Michael Ledger-Lomas and Scott Mandelbrote (eds), Using Early Modern Scholarship in Nineteenth-century Britain: The Persistence of the Past (forthcoming, Cambridge 2017)

'Ignatius of Loyola', in Making and Remaking Saints (forthcoming)

‘Piety and plutocracy: the social and business world of the Thorntons’, in Jane Brown & Jeremy Musson (ed.), Moggerhanger Park: an architectural and social history (Ipswich, 2012).

‘Reason vs. Revelation? Evangelical apologetics in the thought of Thomas Rawson Birks’, in R. Crone, D. Gange & K. Jones (eds.) New Perspectives in British Cultural History, 1600-2000 (London, 2007), pp. 90-104.

Other Publications

Reviews for Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature; English Historical Review; History; IHR Reviews in History; Journal of Religious History; Studies in World Christianity; Wesley and Methodist Studies; Journal of Ecclesiastical History