Niall Dilucia

PhD Candidate in Early Modern History
Niall Dilucia

I studied for my BA in History at St Catharine's College, Cambridge (2014-2017). I stayed at St Catharine's for an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History (2017-2018), writing a thesis on the relationship between early French Cartesianism and Catholic Eucharistic thought. After a year spent teaching in a secondary school, I returned to Cambridge in 2019 to begin a PhD in early modern intellectual history funded by a Vice-Chancellor's and Judy and Nigel Weiss Scholarship from the Cambridge Trust and Robinson College.

I am supervised by Dr Michael Edwards.

My PhD examines the relationship between philosophy, theology, and salvation in the works of three English Catholic scholars: Kenelm Digby (1603-1665). Thomas White (1593-1676), and Franciscus à Sancta Clara (1598-1680). 

I am also interested more generally in the history of political thought; the treatment of theology in contemporary historiography; and Neo-Latin studies. 

Robinson College, Cambridge Fellows and Graduates’ Research Day: ‘A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet? Cartesianism, the Eucharist, and the Problem of Philosophical Categorisation’ (January 2020).

Cambridge Workshop for the Early Modern Period: 'Sir Kenelm Digby and the Intellectual Mobility of a Seventeenth-Century Catholic Philosopher' (February 2021).

Between Self and State: Exile in the Early Modern World  (Interdisciplinary two-day conference, University of Cambridge): 'Sir Kenelm Digby and the Intellectual Experiences of an 'Exiled'  Seventeenth-Century Catholic Philosopher' (March 2021). 

Cambridge Workshop in Political Thought and Intellectual History:  'Sociability and Salvation in Early Modern Catholic Thought' (October, 2021). 

EMPHASIS Seminar, University of London: "“Salvation in English Catholic scholarship: reconsidering the philosophies of Sir Kenelm Digby, Thomas White, and Franciscus à Sancta Clara” (December, 2022).

For the academic year 2020-21 I was a co-convenor of the Graduate Workshop in Political Thought and Intellectual History.

I was a co-convenor of the 2021 Cambridge Political Thought and Intellectual History Graduate Conference: 'Education and Educators in Political Thought'. 

I supervise for Pol 7 (History of Political Thought to c.1700) and teach undergraduate HAP classes on Intellectual History and Postmodernism.


Tags & Themes


Robinson College, Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AN 


Key publications

'Robert Desgabets' Eucharistic Thought and the Theological Revision of Cartesianism' Intellectual History Review (2021, awarded 2nd place in the ISIH's Charles Schmitt Prize competition 2021, available here: 

'Salvation and Sir Kenelm Digby's Philosophy of the Soul' History of European Ideas (2022): 


Book Reviews

Review of A. de Meyer Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665): un penseur à l'âge du baroque (Honoré Champion, 2021) in Intellectual History Review (2022).

Review of L. Georgescu and H.T. Adriaenssen (eds.), The Philosophy of Sir Kenelm Digby 1603-1665 (Springer, 2022) in History of European Ideas (2023).

Other Writing

 "Seventeenth-Century Catholic Philosophers in Cambridge University Library" (Guest Post, Cambridge University Special Collections Blog, August 2022)