While at CRASSH, Dmitri Levitin’s principal research project will be a revisionist account of the development of the comparative history of religion, c. 1500–1800. Challenging the claim that comparatism was linked to any specific political or ecclesiological programme, it will demonstrate how it developed out of the erudite culture of late humanism. At the same time, the historical-contextualist tendency of that culture undermined the comparatist project even as it developed, creating tensions that have plagued the discipline to the present day.


Dr Dmitri Levitin is the CRASSH Lloyd Dan David Research Fellow in association with the Mellon Sawyer Seminars.

He is a historian of early modern British and European intellectual, religious and cultural history. Among other subjects, he has published on: the history of scholarship (especially histories of philosophy, sacred history and Egyptology), shifting  understandings of religious orthodoxy and heterodoxy; the history of near-eastern studies; the intellectual history of church-state relations; the relationship between science and humanism; the history of pharmacy; physico-theology; England’s role in the European republic of letters.

He holds BA, MPhil and PhD degrees from Selwyn College, Cambridge. Since 2010 he has been a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He also lectures and supervises for the History Faculty, on various aspects of early modern history and the history of political thought and intellectual history. In 2013 he held a Visiting Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington D.C. For forthcoming talks, please see here.


Ancient Wisdom in the Age of the New Science: Histories of Philosophy in England, c. 1640–1700 (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press, 2015)

'The Historical Assumptions behind the General Scholium', in Newton's General Scholium After 300 Years, ed. S. Ducheyne, S. Mandelbrote and S. Snobelen (forthcoming)

'Newton and scholastic philosophy', in Newton in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. M. Feingold (forthcoming) 

'”Made up from many experimentall notions”. The Society of Apothecaries, medical humanism, and the rhetoric of experience in 1630s London', Journal for the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (forthcoming, 2014).

'Rethinking English physico-theology: Samuel Parker's Tentamina de Deo (1665)', Early Science and Medicine, 19 (2014), pp. 28–75. [Brill Online] 

'John Spencer's De legibus Hebraeorum (1683–85) and “enlightened” sacred history: a new interpretation', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 76 (2013), pp. 49–92 [Ingenta Connect]

'The Experimentalist as Humanist: Robert Boyle on the History of Philosophy', Annals of Science, 71 (2014), pp. 149–82 [Taylor & Francis]

'Halley and the Eternity of the World Revisited', Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 67 (2013), pp. 315–29 [Royal Society]

'John Locke', in The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, ed. Karla Pollmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) (OUP)

'From sacred history to the history of religion: Pagans, Jews and Christians in European Historiography from the Reformation to “Enlightenment”, Historical Journal, 55 (2012), pp. 1117–60 [Cambridge Journals]

‘Matthew Tindal’s Rights of the Christian Church (1706) and the Church-State Relationship’, Historical Journal, 54 (2011), pp. 717–40 [Cambridge Journals]

 ‘Reconsidering John Sergeant's Attacks on Locke's Essay’, Intellectual History Review, 20 (2010), pp. 457–77 [Taylor & Francis]


Tel: +44 1223 766886