Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of St Andrews
Website URL
Italy, religion, culture, Catholic Reform, Counter-Reformation, walking, conversion, preaching, early modern, devotion, Jewish-Christian relations, sermons.
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Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of religious culture in Italy during the tumultuous 16th and 17th century.

Most of my research coalesces around two fundamental questions:

  1. How did early modern people balance their private beliefs with public actions?
  2. How did close contact affect the way different religious groups interacted and imagined each other?

My first book (The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation ItalyHarvard UP 2013), applied these questions to Catholic preachers in Italy as they reacted to the pressures of the Protestant Reformation. I am currently on research leave (funded by a British Academy mid-career grant and an AHRC early-career fellowship) to complete my second monograph, Imaginary Jews in Early Modern Rome.  This project examines conversionary preaching to the Jews of Rome. It uses this popular spectacle as a lens on the workings of the early modern Catholicism and the early modern city of Rome, during a period when both were transformed. During this time I will also be editing a volume on religious minorities in early modern Rome, based on a series of collaborative workshops with other scholars.

I am increasingly interested in the topic of walking as a way to understand the early modern worlds and mentalities.

Recent Publications
  • Books:
    • The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy (I Tatti Monographs in Italian Renaissance History, Harvard University Press, 2013).
      • Reviews: American Historical Review; Renaissance Quarterly; Sixteenth Century Journal; Journal of Jesuit Studies; Renaissance and Reformation; Catholic Historial Reivew; H-Net; Church History; Rivista della Storia della Chiesa in Italia.
    • A Linking of Heaven and Earth: Studies in Religious and Cultural History in honor of Carlos M.N. Eire, Emily Michelson, Scott K. Taylor and Mary Noll Venables (St Andrews Studies in Reformation History, Ashgate, 2012).
    • Religious Minorities in Early Modern Rome, edited volume in preparation (with Matthew Coneys), Brill Companions to the Christian Tradition.
    • Imaginary Jews in Early Modern Rome, monograph in preparation.


  • Articles and Book Chapters:
    • “Conversionary preaching and the Jews of Early Modern Rome” Past& Present 235 issue 1, May 2017, 68-104.
    • “How to write a conversionary sermon: Rhetorical influences and religious identity,” in Religious orders and religious identity formation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ca. 1420-1620, Bert Roest and Johanneke Uphoff (Brill, 2016), 235-251.
    • “Dramatics in (and out of) the Pulpit in post-Tridentine Italy,” in The Italianist, 34 no. 3 (2014), 449-462.
    • “Evangelista Marcellino: One Preacher, Two Congregations” in Archivio Italiano per la storia della pietà 25 (2013): 105-202.
    • “An Italian explains the English Reformation (with God’s help)” in A Linking of Heaven and Earth: Studies in Religious and Cultural History in honor of Carlos M.N. Eire Michelson, Taylor, and Venables (Ashgate, 2012): 33-48.
Media Coverage
I write columns for Times Higher Ed (available at, notably about the UK immigration process.
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic