8 Mar 2018 - 9 Mar 2018 All day Lightfoot Room, Old Divinity School, St John's College, CB2 1TP


Workshop organised by the ‘Religious Diversity and the Secular University‘ project.

Speakers: Joshua Bennett, Herman Paul, Adam Sutcliffe, Irene Zwiep, Philippa Levine, Perrine Simon-Nahum

We devote the third international workshop of the CRASSH-Mellon project, “Religious Diversity and the Secular University” to historiography. The nineteenth century continues to be called the century of history, and for good reason. At the disciplinary level, the practice of historical research and teaching is institutionalised in the modern research university, a story in which the figure of Leopold von Ranke still looms large. At the methodical level, the traditions of source-criticism and textual scholarship practiced by early modern humanists are carried over, reconceptualised and formalised in ways recent histories of ‘philology’ are exploring at length. More generally, the historiographical mind-set pervaded scholarly mentalities and rhetoric across the disciplines, as History replaced Providence as ultimate cause.
On a still widespread reading, historiography helped drive the disenchantment of the world. Against this narrative, however, this workshop will explore the persistence of religion and the religious across the historical disciplines and historical writing in the nineteenth-century. We shall look at historians, certainly, but also priests, theologians, artists, novelists, reformers, philosophers, a colourful cast of characters including August Neander, John Tolluch, Charles Kingsley, Moses Hess, Erastus Palmer and William Etty, Georg Waitz, Heinrich Graetz, and Karl Marx. Discussing six pre-circulated papers across two days, we shall explore such questions as: how did Catholic, Protestant and Jewish historians deal with the religious, with their own histories and those of others? How did historiography deal with the fact of religious diversity? How did history reconcile the secularization of scholarly method and scientific ideals with the persistent religious identities and loyalties of the historian?

If you would like to attend this workshop, please register with the project administrator.

andrew w mellon foundation logo


‘Religious Diversity and the Secular University’ is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to support a multi-disciplinary examination of the interplay between religion, secularism, and the role of the university, reference #41600622.


Day One: Thursday 8 March 2018

10:30 - 11:00


Tea and Coffee available

11:00 - 12:30

Session One

Irene Zwiep (University of Amsterdam)

Believers in the Nation? The Place of Religion in Jewish National Identification, 1815 – 1897

Response: Theodor Dunkelgrün (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

12:30 - 13:30


13:30 - 15:00

Session Two

Herman Paul (Leiden University)

Confessional Antagonisms in Nineteenth-Century German Historiography

Response: Paul Kurtz (University of Cambridge)

15:00 - 15:15


15:15 - 16:35

Session Three

Adam Sutcliffe (KCL)

Nineteenth Century Economic History and the Jewish Purpose Question

Response: Hartley Lachter (Lehigh University)

Day Two: Friday 9 March 2018

09:30 - 11:00

Session Four

Joshua Bennett (University of Oxford)

Doctrinal History and Religious Diversity: August Neander in Germany and Britain

Response: Gareth Atkins (University of Cambridge)

11:00 - 11:30


11:30 - 13:00

Session Five

Perrine Simon-Nahum (CNRS/ENS)

What was “Science” for Jewish Scholars in Nineteenth-Century France?

Response: Arthur Asseraf (University of Cambridge)

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:30

Session Six

Philippa Levine (University of Texas, Austin)

‘Going Naked for the Lord’: Religious Beliefs, Secular Systems and Naked Bodies

Response: Abelmajid Hannoum (University of Kansas)

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Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk