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Centre for the Study of Religion and Conflict

Unit(s) of assessment: History

Research theme: Global Heritage

School: School of Arts and Humanities


The centre has been established at NTU in order to increase understanding of the origins, ideology, implementation, impact and historiography of religion and conflict from the medieval period into the early nineteenth century. Our understanding of "conflict" is interpreted very broadly to incorporate not just military but political, social, institutional, cultural, ethnic, racial and gendered themes, source material and debates. Tolerance, religious change and the role of religion in the resolution of conflict are also of central importance to the studies we engage in.

The expertise of the centre’s core members focus broadly on the Crusades; the Levant and the Military Orders; Reformations and Confessional societies; the Conquest of the New World and Mexican identity; Africa during the late medieval period; Britain from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth centuries; and the Transatlantic slave trade.

We have undertaken and supervised significant research relevant to racial inequalities (Lussana, Fuller, Simmons); poverty, welfare and social inequalities (King, McCallum); religious diversities (Morton, McCallum, Hodgson, Fuller, Gould); identity (Fuller, Hodgson); military histories (Morton, Bennett); gender and emotions (Hodgson, Lussana, Powell).

Our activities have brought together a wide network of scholars who investigate the relationship of different faiths, confessions and heterodoxies to a variety of conflicts in global contexts as they intersect with other societal and situational factors. Our networking has enabled comparisons and contrasts across a wide range of geographical and chronological contexts and helped to develop new definitions and paradigms for understanding the roles played by belief in national, communal, and inter-personal conflicts.

Details of our networking events and the research activities of staff and students are captured on our conference website and our blog. Typical activities include public lectures; book festivals; schools’ outreach and TV and radio interviews – please contact if you would like to collaborate with us.

PhD Students

Below is a list of current PhD students attached to the centre. Members of our team co-supervise a number of PhDs with other universities in the Midlands 4 Cities DTP. Our students regularly engage in our events programme of seminars, workshops and conferences. We also hold special postgraduate workshops aimed at MA Students and 3rd year undergraduates thinking about postgraduate study in Medieval and Early Modern topics. The Centre provides our PGRs with important opportunities to develop their research skills and to network both nationally and internationally.

Giampiero Bagni The Templars in Bologna.

Natasha Bailey (co-supervised with University of Leicester) Nahua women in the pulque trade of early colonial Mexico. M4C profile.

Matthew Bayly A human ecology of the poor law in the Lincolnshire Wolds, 1800-1860.

Luke Butler Southeast Asian Illuminated Manuscripts : A Study of the Maritime Silk Road Using Scientific Imaging and Artificial Intelligence.

Laura Charles Experiencing Love and Marriage in the East Midlands 1600-1700.

Catherine Gower Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japheth’: The production, dissemination and use of royal genealogical chronicles in the first reign of Henry VI (1422–61).

Jeffrey James Punishment in the New Poor Law workhouse, 1834-1884.

Lucy Judd Maleficium or Beneficium: Women’s ‘domestic’ knowledge-sharing culture in Early Modern Nottinghamshire.

James Kendrick What makes a JP? A character research project on JPs in

Elizabethan Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Chelsea Kilian The Emotional Experience of Friendship in Early Modern England.

Elizabeth Lowry Household textiles and the English country house 1600-1940s.

Erin Newman Were Male and Female criminals in Seventeenth Century popular and court literature, represented as either defying or complying with Religious and Gender Ideals?

Jennifer Pearce, Latin law and the Indigenous Population of the Crusader States.

Lizbeth Powell The emotional landscape of Sir Thomas Parkyns of Bunny.

Chloe Riggs Queenship in the thirteenth century Levant.

Sophie Rice Dying Well during the British Civil War.

Mark Robinson Routiers, Brabancons and Cotteraux: Mercenaries and Crusade in Southern France, 1179-1229.

Mary Rudling The experiences of the poor under the Old and New poor laws in Sussex, 1800-1860.

Amy Scott Women and separation from their children.

Maxine Spry The use of angels and angelic motifs in martyrdom treatises during the English Reformation.

Makiko Tsunoda A study of 18th to 19th-century Japanese Nanga Paintings through art historical and material analysis, with a focus on the Nanpin School.

Caroline Walton An emotional history of the nineteenth-century workhouse.

PhD Funding

Find out everything you need to know about funding your doctoral studies – from tuition fees and loans, to studentships and external funding.

Key people

Professor Martyn Bennett - Early Modern social, political and military history, civil wars in Britain and Ireland.

Dr Amy Fuller -Early Modern Spain and Mexico, religious drama and iconography.

Dr. Kevin Gould – European Reformations, French Wars of Religion

Dr Natasha Hodgson - (Director) The Crusades, the Latin East, Medieval Gender, Masculinities Heresy, Domesday, Normans, Wars of the Roses, Medieval and Early Modern Religion and Conflict.

Professor Stephen King – Poverty and Welfare from sixteenth to nineteenth centuries.

Dr Sergio Lussana - Modern American history, slavery, African-American history, antebellum South, gender, masculinity.

Dr John McCallum - Early Modern British religious history, the Scottish Reformation, poverty, charity and poor relief.

Dr Nic Morton - The history of crusading, military orders, inter-faith relations between Christianity and Islam.

Dr. Adam Simmons - African diasporas in Africa, Europe, and Asia c.400-c.1600.


Miracles Political Authority and Violence in Medieval and Early Modern History (proceedings from the 2019 CSRC conference) ed. Matthew Rowley and Natasha Hodgson (Routledge, 2021) forthcoming.

Religion and Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds: Identities, Communities and Authorities (proceedings from the 2017 CSRC conference) ed. Natasha Hodgson, Amy Fuller, John McCallum, Nicholas Morton (Routledge 2020).

Please see links to staff pages for details of individual publications.


Since 2017 the centre has held a biennial international conference: a three-day programme which incorporates a public lecture and workshops across Nottingham.

In 2021 this will be held online due to Covid-19:

Challenging Narratives of European Conquest and Commemoration: The Fall of Tenochtitlan, 500 Years On (12-13th August 2021) Please visit our blog for further details.

We regularly hold research seminars and bespoke events such as one-day workshops and public lectures. Previous workshops we have supported include

  • The Crusades: Borders Margins and Interfaces (2020)
  • The 500th Anniversary of Moctezuma and Cortes’ first meeting (2019)
  • Charity, Welfare and Emotions in Early Modern Britain and Ireland funded by the Royal Historical Society (2019)
  • The Thirty Years War – 400 years on (2018) co-funded by the British Council for Military History


The research activities of centre members have been supported by external grants from the AHRC; ESRC; Wellcome Trust; Leverhulme; the Pasold Trust; the Royal Historical Society; the Council for British Research in the Levant and the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East.

Our students work on projects in collaboration with institutions such as the British Library; the National Archives; the Ashmolean Museum; the British Museum; the Society of Antiquaries of London and Nottingham Castle Trust.

Recent Awards

Dr Adam Simmons, Leverhulme ECR Fellowship Award for Africa, Africans and Portuguese Knowledge Strategies c. 1415 – c. 1550 (2020)

Professor Steven King - Janette Harley Prize from the British Records Association (2020) for  Writing the Lives of the English Poor 1750s-1830s (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019)

Editorial Roles

Family and Community History (King)

Nottingham Medieval Studies; Advances in Crusades Research; Themes in Medieval and Early Modern History (Hodgson)

Scottish History Society Publications (McCallum)

Rulers of the Latin East; The Military Religious Orders: History, Sources, Memory (Morton)

Media Activity

Please visit our blog to see our recent media activity.

Here for the epic thinkers

The School of Arts and Humanities is home to research in Modern Languages and Linguistics; English Language and Literature; History; and Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.

AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership scholarships.

Applications are open between October and January each year.