About this Fellow
Diarmaid MacCulloch is a Fellow of Saint Cross College, Oxford, and Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London; he co-edited the Journal of Ecclesiastical History for twenty years. He was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1987 and was knighted in the UK New Years' Honours List of 2012. His chosen research field has been Tudor England (beginning with the Reformation in East Anglia, extending to a biography of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and a study of the Reformation under Edward VI); he has also written on the wider history of the European Reformation and on world Christianity generally. His A History of Christianity: the first three thousand years (winner of the 2010 Hessell-Tiltman Prize and the 2010 Cundill History Prize, Montreal) was followed by the BBC series A History of Christianity (given the Radio Times Readers' Award, May 2010). Further television work has included How God made the English, 2012, Henry VIII's Fixer: the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, 2013, and Sex and the Church, 2015. He has recently published Thomas Cromwell: A Life.
- Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford; Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford
- Tutor in History, Librarian and Archivist, Wesley College, Bristol, 1978 - 1990
- Approved Lecturer in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 1977 - 1978
- Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, 1976 - 1978
British Academy Appointments
- Vice President Public Engagement, 2016 -
- Chairman, Events and Prizes Committee, 2010 - 2016
- Activities Committee, 2009 - 2010
- Member of the Standing Committee of section H9 (Early Modern History), 2002 - 2009
Thomas Cromwell is one of the most famous – or notorious – figures in English history. Born in obscurity in Putney, he became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. After Wolsey's fall, Henry VIII promoted him to a series of ever greater offices, and by the end of the 1530s he was effectively running the country for the King. MacCulloch's biography for the first time reveals his true place in the making of modern England and Ireland, for good and ill.
The Reformation which engulfed England and Europe in the sixteenth century was one of the most highly-charged, bloody and transformative periods in their history, and has remained one of the most contested. In this dazzling book, Diarmaid MacCulloch explores a turbulent and endlessly fascinating era.
This book unravels a polyphony of silences from the history of Christianity and beyond. MacCulloch considers Judaeo-Christian borrowings from Greek explorations of the divine, and the silences which were a feature of Jesus's brief ministry. Many deliberate silences are revealed: the forgetting of histories inconvenient to later Church authorities, and Christianity's problems in dealing honestly with sexuality. Behind all this is the silence of God. In a deeply personal conclusion, MacCulloch brings a message of optimism for those still seeking God beyond the clamour of over-confident certainties.
How did an obscure personality cult come to be the world's biggest religion, with a third of humanity its followers? This book describes not only the main facts, ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society. Taking in wars, empires, reformers, apostles, sects, churches and crusaders, Diarmaid MacCulloch shows how Christianity has brought humanity to the most terrible acts of cruelty – and inspired its most sublime accomplishments.
Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, was the archbishop of Canterbury who guided England through the early Reformation—and Henry VIII through the minefields of divorce. A hesitant hero with a tangled life story, his imperishable legacy is his contribution in the prayer book to the shape and structure of English speech and through this to the molding of an international language and the theology it expressed.
Although the young Edward VI's death in 1553 led to resounding defeat for his Protestant allies, his reign has a significance out of all proportion to its brief six-year span. For during its course England's rulers let loose an explosive form of Christianity within the realm. MacCulloch underlines the significance of Edward's turbulent and neglected reign. As well as the young king's life and beliefs he takes a fresh look at the ruthless politicians who jostled for position around him and explores the strange afterlife of Edward's attempt at the religious transformation of his kingdom.
Winner of the Wolfson Prize for history, this book charts a seismic shift in European culture that marked the beginning of the modern world. The Reformation tore the western world apart. Acclaimed as the definitive account of these epochal events, Diarmaid MacCulloch's history brilliantly re-creates the religious battles of priests, monarchs, scholars and politicians, from the zealous Martin Luther nailing his Theses to the door of a Wittenburg church to the radical Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order; from Thomas Cranmer, martyred for his reforms, to the ambitious Philip II, unwavering in his campaign against Europe's 'heretics'.