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Diarmaid MacCulloch


Diarmaid MacCulloch, an Oxford scholar and popular author, has become widely known for his general-interest books on the history of Christianity, and the Protestant Reformation in particular. Since 1997 he has been Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University and, since 1995, Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford.

MacCulloch was born in 1951 in Kent, England, the son of a Scottish minister. He attended Churchill College, Cambridge, from 1969–72, earning a master’s degree. He also studied at University of Liverpool and then completed his doctorate at Cambridge University in 1977, acquiring a diploma in archive administration. He studied further at Ripon College, which led to a Diploma in Theology at Oxford University in 1987. In addition to serving on the theological faculty at Oxford, MacCulloch is a fellow of the British Academy and coeditor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Since 2011 he has been project director of the Bishop Auckland Castle Christian Heritage Centre. His also is president off the Church of England Record Society.

MacCulloch is best known in Europe and North America for his award-winning book, The Reformation (2004). That book was followed by another popular work, A History of Christianity: The First 3,000 Years (2009), for which he produced a six-part BBC television presentation. In 2012 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to scholarship. He has specialized in writing on Tudor England, which includes his award-winning biography, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (1996).

His many writing awards include the Wolfson History Prize (2003), the British Academy Prize (2004) and the National Book Critics Circle Award (2005) in the United States. He has been elected a fellow to several historical organizations, including the Society of Antiquaries of London (1978) and Royal Historical Society (1982). His invited lectures have included the Cundill Lecture (2012), Roland M. Bainton Lecture (2011), Reid Lecture (2009), the keynote of the Calvin Quincentenary Congress (2009), the Prothero Lecture (2004), and the Erasmus Lecture (2003).

MacCulloch’s most recent book is Thomas Cromwell: A Life (2018). His 2012 book, Silence in Christian History: The Witness of Holmes’s Dog, parallels the topic of his 2012 Gifford Lectures. His many other books include: Christian History: An Introduction to the Western Tradition (2006); Tudor Rebellions (2004);Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation (1990); The Later Reformation in England 1547–1603, rev. ed. (2000); How to Read Church History, rev. ed. (1994); The Later Reformation in England 1547–1603 (1990); and Suffolk and the Tudors (1986). His articles have appeared in the Historical Journal; English Historical Review; Transactions of the Royal Historical Society; Journal of British Studies; Modern Reformation; History Review; History Today; Archaeology Review; Journal of Ecclesiastical History; Journal of Theological Studies; and he has contributed essays and book reviews to several British newspapers.

  • —L. Witham