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Dr James Kirby


I studied history as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Oxford, before being elected to a Title A Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2014.

Subject groups/Research projects

Modern British History:

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my interests lie in modern British intellectual, religious and political history. Particular interests include historiography, theology, legal thought, the periodical press and the history of scholarship.


At Oxford I lectured on Religion in the British Isles, 1815-1924, and on ideas of Progress and Degeneration in nineteenth-century Britain. I have also taught papers on nineteenth-century European Political and Social Theory and on Intellect and Culture in Victorian Britain.


  • Modern British History

Key Publications

Historians and the Church of England: Religion and Historical Scholarship, 1870-1920 (OUP, 2016).

'A. V. Dicey and English Constitutionalism', History of European Ideas (forthcoming).

'History, Law and Freedom: F. W. Maitland in Context', Modern Intellectual History (forthcoming).

'R. H. Tawney and Christian Social Teaching: "Religion and the Rise of Capitalism" Reconsidered'English Historical Review, 131 (2016).

'From Tractarian to Democrat: The Intellectual Formation of E. A. Freeman', in G. A. Bremner and Jonathan Conlin (eds), Making History: Edward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics, Proceedings of the British Academy, 202 (OUP, 2015).

'An Ecclesiastical Descent: Religion and History in the Work of William Stubbs', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 65 (2014).