My research interests focus on the Elizabethan Church; connections between the European and English Reformations; and relations between Catholics, Puritans and the Elizabethan regime.I am currently working on a monograph, The Godly Commonwealth in Elizabethan England, which looks at the influence of Puritanism on the Elizabethan regime; the extent to which Protestants considered resisting Elizabeth I; and the emergence of a England as a Protestant nation by the end of the sixteenth century. This work draws heavily on sermons, letters and the reading practices of key figures in the Elizabethan Church: it is an attempt to examine both the intellectual formation of conforming Puritanism and the extent to which that shaped the Elizabethan Church.
I am also involved in the project: Renaissance Visions of Christian Origins, c.1450-1650. This is an international collaboration based at Calvin College, Michigan USA which will examine how Christian scholars wrote histories of Protestant and Catholic churches, justified emerging nation states, and shaped relations between Christians and non-Christians. I am contributing an essay on history, geography and the formation of the Elizabethan nation.
R.Oates, ‘ Protestantism and the Politics of Protest: Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabethan Puritanism ’
My earlier work includes a discussion of Catholic relations with the Elizabethan state, and the relation between religion and politics in renaissance Europe.
I co-organised a conference with Dr Christopher Fletcher (Pembroke College, Cambridge) on Religion and Politics, 1300-1600, and we are currently overseeing the publication of papers from that conference in Cultural and Social History.
I am a contributor to BBC History magazine (most recently on atheism in Tudor England, April 2007), and have written reviews for several publications including English Historical Review, H-Net, and Albion.
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