"Religion, law, and human obligation: Thomas Barlow and Interregnum England"
Supervisor: Dr Sarah Mortimer
My primary interest is in religious and political ideas in early modern Britain. My doctoral thesis is the first extensive study of Thomas Barlow (1608/9-1691), a leading Reformed theologian and a premier scholar of his time. Close examination of his manuscripts in the Queen's College Library, Oxford, reveals hitherto unknown aspects of him as a keen follower of Grotius and Catholic lawyers with regard to ideas of law and obligation. Using the intellectual insights from these Continental authors, Barlow intensely considered the limits of human obligation in religion, politics, and society during the 1650s, when the traditional authorities fell apart in the wake of the English Civil War. My thesis situates Barlow's idea in wider European intellectual conversations about law and obligation, as well as in political, social, religious, and parochial contexts of England in the 1650s. My approach to Barlow resolves many of his aspects that have perplexed historians, but more broadly it also transforms our understanding of natural law and religion in the second half of the seventeenth century.
I was born in South Korea, migrated to Japan at the age of sixteen, and was educated in Japanese institutions until I took the master's degree, except for one exchange year at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. For more detail, please see my profile on a researcher portal based in Japan, where you can also find my list of publications/presentations and teaching experiences: https://researchmap.jp/sylvhana55/?lang=english
My DPhil degree and research are generously funded by Murata Foundation, Suenobu Foundation, and Japan Student Service Organisation.