I am a Professor of History at Ohio University, where I teach courses in early modern British and European religious, political and intellectual history. Born and brought up in Ruston, Louisiana, I did my undergraduate work at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and my graduate work at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. The founding director of the George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics and Institutions, I am a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the former president of the Southern Conference on British Studies, and a recent COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Durham University.
My research concerns religion and society in Britain during the ‘long’ eighteenth century. My most recent book is Reformation Without End: Religion, Politics and the Past in Post-Revolutionary England (2018). In addition, to co-editing God in the Enlightenment (2016) and Between Sovereignty and Anarchy: The Politics of Violence in the American Revolutionary Era (2015), I have also published Religion, Reform and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Secker and the Church of England (2007).
I am currently working on a book project, Hobbes's Century: England, Ireland and Religious Establishment, 1689–1742, a parallel history of the Churches of England and Ireland during the early eighteenth century. I am also co-editing a book with Jason Peacey and Alex Barber on Freedom of Speech, 1550–1850.