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Colin Donnelly


I am originally from New York in the United States, but came to the UK to study Theology at the University of Oxford, where I completed a BA (1st Class) in 2018 and an MPhil (with Distinction) in 2020. Figuring that the middle of a global pandemic was an ideal time for a cross-country move, I then came to Durham in October of 2020 to do a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Alec Ryrie. While at Durham I have had the great pleasure of being a Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate modules Introduction to the History of Christianity, Introduction to Christian Theology, God & Evil, and The Reformation and its Legacy, and to work as an external tutor at Cranmer Hall. While at Durham I have been supported by a Durham Doctoral Studentship, for which I am most grateful. In the summer of 2022 I was also a fellow at the Wittenberg Center for Reformation Studies in Germany, and I am very grateful to the center for its support.

My research focuses on the emergence of evangelical (i.e. Protestant) reformism in Cambridge between 1520 and 1535, a period in which numerous reformers central to the English Reformation (including Thomas Bilney, Hugh Latimer, Robert Barnes, Myles Coverdale, John Frith, and Thomas Cranmer) all clustered in that university. Emphasizing the experimental nature of evangelical theology in this early period, prior to the erection of fixed confessional boundaries, my work examines continuities between evangelical and Catholic reformism, fraternization across the dubious border between 'magisterial' and 'radical' reformations, and the belief among early reformers in doctrines (such as psychopannychism) which would come in subsequent generations to be condemned by both Catholics and Protestants alike.