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Dr Timothy Twining

  • College positions:

    Research Fellow

  • Subject:


BA in History, University of Cambridge (2006-10)

MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge (2010-11)

PhD in History, University of Cambridge (2012-2016)

Thesis title: 'Biblical Criticism and Confessional Division from Jean Morin to Richard Simon, c. 1620-1685'.

Research Interests

The main focus of my research is the intellectual history of early modern Europe, and especially the history of biblical criticism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Additional areas of research include: the material, confessional, and intellectual history of the Republic of Letters; the relationship between Jewish and Christian scholars and traditions of scholarship; the history of historiography; and the history of censorship.


I currently teach a range of subjects within the Historical Tripos, including papers on early modern history, the history of political thought, and historical argument and practice (HAP). Together with Professor John Robertson I teach the Part 1 Themes and Sources Paper 'Sacred Histories' (Option VIII). This year I will also be giving (with Dr Felix Waldmann) a class on the history of scholarship for the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History.


'Richard Simon and the Remaking of Seventeenth-Century Biblical Criticism', Erudition and the Republic of Letters 3 (2018), 421-487.

'Publishing a prohibited criticism: Richard Simon, Pierre Bayle, and erudition in late seventeenth-century intellectual culture', (forthcoming, 2020).

Monograph: Scripture, Scholarship, and History. Richard Simon and the Seventeenth-Century Transformation of the Old Testament (in preparation).

Other Interests

I'm especially interested in the cultural and intellectual history of the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries, notably the life and work of figures including Gershom Scholem, Alberto Giacometti, Samuel Beckett, and W. G. Sebald.