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The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English

News and Events

18 June 2024

We are pleased to host an online seminar with Professor Jonathan Sell on Tuesday 18 June, 3-4pm (BST). The title of Professor Sell's paper is 'How Shakespeare became the Englishman’s God: reading religion in eighteenth-century bardolatry'.

To register, and receive the Zoom link, please click here.

For the full information, click here.

14 May 2024

This symposium on Tuesday 14 May 2024 will take a long view of the place of religion in minoritised identity. It will investigate experiences of migration and mobility, the challenges that geographical or social displacement can pose to structures of belief and religious practices, and ask how these are represented in textual, material and oral culture. By considering a range of different religious cultures and historical epochs, this symposium will compare methods and sources for researching identities and experiences over the long durée and debate whether the past and present can illuminate one another. Click here for more details.

9 May 2023

In this symposium scholars working on religious belief and unbelief in Britain from the early modern period to the twentieth century will share work-in-progress. Themes explored will include practices of belief; the uses of language; questions of translation; activities in educational and commercial settings as well as professional religious environments; accommodations and clashes between doctrine, philosophy, and everyday life; and the role of Scripture. The seminar will consider how varieties of (un)belief can be understood through attention to form (literary forms such as dialogues and sermons; the social forms of clubs and societies or behavioural expectations; urban environments and the landscape) from the perspective of different academic disciplines including Literary Studies, History and Theology. Click here for more details.

26 April 2022

Our final seminar this year will be a hybrid event, taking place on 17 May 2022 in Arts Two, 3.17 on the QMUL Mile End campus, and on Zoom. Professor Miri Rubin and Dr Mathilde van Dijk will be speaking on aspects of spiritual experience and representation in Medieval writings. Please register your interest on our event page, here.

30 January 2022

The third QMCRLE seminar of the academic year will take place on Tuesday 22 March 2022, 5-7pm via Zoom. In 'Diaspora and Parish: Francophone Art and Enlightenment 1685-1789', Dr Tessa Murdoch and Dr Hannah Williams will introduce cultures of worship, craft and international exchange centred around the Westminster community of Huguenot refugees and the Roman Catholic parish churches of Paris. Register here

Please also save the date for the final seminar of the year, on 17 May 2022. Prof. Miri Rubin (QMUL) and Prof. Mathilde van Dijk will share work in progress.

10 November 2021

Book Announcement: Religion and Life Cycles in Early Modern England (Manchester University Press, 2021)

This collection of 13 original essays assembles scholars working in the fields of history, English literature and art history to further our understanding of the intersection between religion and the life course in the period c. 1550-1800. Featuring chapters on Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities, it encourages cross-confessional comparison between life stages and rites of passage that were of religious significance to all faiths in early modern England. It originates in the QMCRLE conference 'Religion and the Life Cycle' organised by Emily Vine in 2018.

Click here for more information about the volume

7 November 2021

QMCRLE Seminar Series 2021-22

Our programme for Autumn/Winter 2021-22 focusses on religious environments in early modern cities. Papers will investigate church building and decoration, processes for authorising religious worship, lay involvement in urban religious life and diverse methodologies for researching religion in the city (including archival research, book history and locative apps). 

Thursday 11 November 2021: Religious Architecture & Visual Culture after the Fire of 1666
speakers: Matthew Walker (QMUL) and Mark Kirby (Oxford). Register here

Thursday 9 December 2021: Ways of Knowing Religious Sites in Early Modern Cities
speakers: Kathleen Lynch (Folger Shakespeare Library) and Fabrizio Nevola (Exeter). Register here

22 September 2021

Lived Religion in Europe Conference 15-16 October 2021 online

Please join us for our international conference on Lived Religion - full programme here

Keynote speakers: Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge, UK) and Kat Hill (Birkbeck, UK)

panels: Privacy, History of ExperiencesMedieval and Early Modern Orients and Lived Religion and Emotions

poster sessions from early career scholars

Register here (no charge)

4 December 2020

You are warmly invited to join us for the final 'Lived Religion' study day, jointly hosted by QMCRLE and LERMA at Aix-Marseille Universitié. The theme is Lived Religion and the Visual Arts.

The event will take place on 4 December from 2-4.30pm via Zoom.

Full details are available here, and on our programme below:

31 October 2019

The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan (2018), ed. Michael Davies and W. R. Owens, to which Anne Dunan-Page, N. H. Keeble, and Isabel Rivers are contributors, was the Winner of the Richard L. Greaves Prize of the International John Bunyan Society, 2019. Isabel Rivers’s Vanity Fair and the Celestial City (2018) received an Honourable Mention.


19 August 2019

QMCRLE is pleased to announce the publication of Church Life: Pastors, Congregations, and the Experience of Dissent in Seventeenth-Century England, edited by Michael Davies, Anne Dunan-Page, and Joel Halcomb (Oxford University Press, 2019).

The origins of this volume lie in a one-day conference, 'Church Life: Pastors & their Congregations’, held at Dr Williams’s Library, London, on 9 November 2013, as part of the Dissenting Experience project.


7 May 2019

New publication on the Online Publications page:


28 January 2019

Isabel Rivers’s book Vanity Fair and the Celestial City: Dissenting, Methodist, and Evangelical Literary Culture in England 1720-1800 (Oxford, 2018) is a finalist in the Theology and Religious Studies category of The Association of American Publishers (AAP) 2019 PROSE Awards honoring scholarly works published in 2018.


5 December 2018

New Mary Hays Resource

‘Mary Hays: Life, Writings, and Correspondence’ presents the most complete accounting to date of the life and career of Mary Hays (1759-1843). The website is designed to enable students and scholars to gain open and free access to all pertinent materials related to Hays’s familial and social circles, her writings, and wide correspondence, including some 90 letters by her close friend Eliza Fenwick (1766-1840) appearing for the first time in their entirety. More than 400 letters, fully annotated, are included, along with complete texts of all her periodical writings and all reviews of her own writings, as well as an extensive genealogy of Hays never before seen, the latter owing much to the diary of her long-time friend and relation through marriage, Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867). The site has been created, compiled, and maintained by Timothy Whelan, Georgia Southern University, and can be found at


3 May 2018

We are delighted to release the programme and registration details for the ‘Religion and the Life Cycle, 1500 – 1800’ conference at QMUL on July 6th 2018. We are looking forward to hearing such a fantastic range of papers. The programme can be accessed here.

There is no conference fee for unwaged or student delegates.
The conference fee for waged delegates is £25.
The cost of the conference dinner is £25.


17 April 2018

New book announcement: Vanity Fair and the Celestial City by Isabel Rivers, forthcoming July 2018. More information is available here.
For a discount flyer, click here:


4 January 2018

QMCRLE member Isabel Rivers is giving a plenary talk at the Ecclesiastical History Society’s Winter meeting on Saturday 20 January. The theme is Churches and Education.


6 December 2017

The QMCRLE lunchtime seminar programme for the Spring semester and the programme for the Seminar in Religion and Literature are now available. All are welcome at these events!


20 November 2017

The QMCRLE conference ‘Religion and the Life-Cycle 1500-1800’ will take place at QMUL on 6 July 2018

Keynote speakers: Elaine Hobby (Loughborough) and Adam Sutcliffe (King’s College London).

The Call for Papers is available here and proposals are being accepted until 26 January 2018


1 November 2017

Enlightenment and Dissent  31 (2016) is the final issue of the journal. This issue, and the complete archive, will continue to be available via the QMCRLE website


29 September 2017

QMCRLE is pleased to announce new books by three of our members:

Anne Dunan-Page, L’éxperience puritaine

Caroline Bowden (ed.), The Chronicles of Nazareth (The English Convent), Bruges, 1629-1793

Laurence Lux-Sterritt, English Benedictine Nuns in Exile in the Seventeenth Century: Living Spirituality

 Congratulations to Anne, Caroline and Laurence!


17 August 2016

Isabel Rivers, Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture in the School of English and Drama, has been elected a Fellow of the Ecclesiastical History Society.

The Society’s aims are to foster interest in, and to advance the study of, all areas of the history of the Christian Churches. The number of Fellows is strictly limited to twenty-five of the world’s leading experts in the field. Professor Rivers has been recognised by the Society for her energetic commitment to eighteenth-century religious history throughout her career.


1 July 2016

An Inventory of Puritan and Dissenting Records, 1640–1714, by Mark Burden, Michael Davies, Anne Dunan-Page and Joel Halcomb (2016) is now available via the publications page of the QMCRLE website.

IUF Foundation and LERMA logos


25 April 2016

On Satuday 23 April, the inaugural research workshop of QMCRLE was held at Queen Mary with papers from Anthony Bale, Laurence Lux-Sterritt, Douglas Hedley and Neil Keeble, and a roundtable with contributions from Emma Mason, Anne Page, David Colclough and James Kelly. Click here for the programme.


23 March 2016

QMCRLE is delighted to announce a partnership with LERMA (La Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone), a research centre based at Aix-Marseille Université comprising 43 historians, literature specialists and linguists dedicated to the study of the anglophone world. It has a strong tradition in early-modern and religious studies. This new partnership seeks to promote international exchange and the sharing of knowledge and research in the fields of literature and religion in English. The Director of LERMA, Anne Dunan-Page, will be speaking at the QMCRLE research workshop on 23 April.

LERMA and QMCRLE logos

4 January 2016

The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English was launched on 4 January 2016, following the closure of the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies at the end of December 2015. Several of the projects and publications formerly housed on the Dr Williams’s Centre website are now housed here: the Dissenting Academies Project, the Henry Crabb Robinson Project, Enlightenment and Dissent, the Surman Index Online, and online publications. An archive of events held by the Dr Williams’s Centre from 2005 to 2015 is also provided here.

The Centre also provides links to other projects in the field of Religion and Literature that are run by the Centre’s members.


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