22 Apr 2016 11:00am - 5:30pm Alison Richard Building SG1/2


Please register for the event by clicking here or using the online registration link on this page.  The fee is £25.00 for the day (includes, teas/coffees, lunch and wine reception) and £12.50 for students.

The seventh Balzan-Skinner lecture and symposium with Balzan-Skinner Fellow Dr Teresa Bejan.

As the core premise of modern moral and political philosophy, equality often demands more allegiance than investigation. The question of its historical emergence as a social and political ideal is generally set aside in favour of identifying the causal and constitutive harms of various kinds of inequality – political, social, or economic. This talk will explore ideas of equality as a political principle, a religious commitment, and a social practice in seventeenth-century England. These fascinating but forgotten visions of “equality before egalitarianism” shed light on the development of a central concept in modern political thought while providing some analytical clarity and historical insight sorely missing in contemporary debates.

For administrative enquiries please contact Michelle Maciejewska.



Arrival and coffee


Welcome and Introduction

Session 1

Chair: Mark Goldie (History, University of Cambridge)

Keynote Lecture: Teresa Bejan (Politics, University of Oxford)
Acknowledging Equality




Session 2

Chair: Kate Peters (University of Cambridge)

Martin Dzelzainis (English, University of Leicester)
‘The Vulgar only Scap’d who Stood Without’: Milton and the People

Jon Parkin (History, University of Oxford)
Reading Equality in Seventeenth-Century England


Tea/coffee break


Session 3:

Chair: Annabel Brett (University of Cambridge)

Justin Champion (History, Royal Holloway, London)
Trust and Authority: the Problem with ‘Unpleasing Priests’ and the Kingdom of Christ in Hobbes’s Thought

Ross Carroll (Politics, University of Exeter)
The Test of Ridicule in Shafesbury’s Politics                  


Wine reception in the atrium


Teresa M. Bejan is Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Oriel College. She received her PhD from Yale (2013), having taking her BA from Chicago and the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at Cambridge. She has been a Fellow in the Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities and has taught at the University of Toronto. Her research brings perspectives from early modern Anglophone political thought to bear on questions of contemporary theory and practice. Her first book, Mere Civility: Tolerating Disagreement in Early Modern England and America is forthcoming with Harvard UP.

Ross Carroll is Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Exeter. He took a BA in politics and philosophy at University College Dublin, an MSc in International Relations at the LSE, and a PhD in political science from Northwestern University. He has taught at the College of William and Mary, Virginia. His current book project is Cultivating Contempt: Ridicule in Eighteenth-Century Political Thought.

Justin Champion is Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London. He took his BA and PhD from Cambridge. He is the author of The Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken (1992) and Republican Learning: John Toland and the Crisis of Christian Culture (2003). He is currently completing a book on the later Hobbes and editing (with Mark Goldie) Thomas Hobbes: On Heresy and Church History. He is President of the Historical Association.

Martin Dzelzainis is Professor of Renaissance Literature and Thought at the University of Leicester. He took his PhD from Cambridge, on Milton’s history writing. He is editor of Milton’s Political Writings (1991), and co-editor of Marvell and Liberty (1999) and The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell (2003). He is engaged in projects on the political thought, literature, and historical writings of Marvell, Milton, and Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon.

Jon Parkin is Fellow and Tutor in History at St Hugh’s College Oxford. He has held posts at Cambridge, London, and York Universities, and is author of Science, Religion, and Politics in Restoration England (1999) and Taming the Leviathan (2007). He is editor (with Timothy Stanton) of Natural Law and Toleration in the Early Enlightenment (2013).

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