Dr Joshua Bennett

Walter Dingwall Junior Research Fellow


BA History (Oxford, 2010); MSt Modern British and European History (Oxford, 2011); DPhil (Oxford, 2015) 

Academic Background

Undergraduate and graduate degrees at Christ Church, Oxford, 2007-2015; Scouloudi Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, London, 2014-2015; Lecturer in History at St John’s College, Oxford, 2015-2016; Walter Dingwall Junior Research Fellow in History at Christ Church, Oxford, since 2016.  

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught outline papers covering British history since 1800 and General (European/world) history from 1700 to 1945; a first-year Optional Subject on the French Revolution; a second-year Further Subject on Victorian intellectual history; and first-year and finals papers on historiography and historical methodology. I have also undertaken undergraduate thesis supervision.

Research Interests

I work on the intellectual and religious history of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain, which I study in European context. In particular, I am currently revising my doctoral thesis, ‘Doctrine, progress and history: British religious debate 1845 – 1914’, for publication with Oxford Historical Monographs. A study of Victorian arguments over the role of religion in historical progress, the book recovers the central position of providential, secularising and Idealist strands of historical thought in nineteenth-century intellectual life. My next project focuses on the role of secularism in British intellectual culture between 1870 and 1939. I am interested in how progressive thinkers in this period confronted the complex legacies of nineteenth-century religious revival, whilst investing the social sciences with new kinds of post-theological social, political, and intellectual potential.


‘God and Progress: Religion and History in British Intellectual Culture, 1845-1914’ (Oxford University Press monograph, forthcoming)

‘The age of Athanasius: the Church of England and the Athanasian Creed, 1870-1873’, Church History and Religious Culture (2017) 

‘A history of ‘rationalism’ in Victorian Britain’, Modern Intellectual History (FirstView publication 2015; print edition forthcoming)

‘The British Luther Commemoration of 1883-1884 in European Context’, Historical Journal (2015)

The Victorian High Church and the Era of the Great Rebellion (Oxford: Davenant Press, 2011)