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Dr Timothy Twining

  • College positions:

    Patricia Crone 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 intellectual, cultural, and religious history of early modern Europe from the Reformation to the eighteenth century, especially including: the history of biblical scholarship, theological controversy, and confessional identity; the relationship between Jewish and Christian scholars and traditions of learning; the material, confessional, and intellectual history of the 'Republic of Letters'; 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). I have also taught the Part 1 Themes and Sources Paper 'Sacred Histories' (Option VIII) and classes 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.

'The Early Modern Debate over the Age of the Hebrew Vowel Points: Biblical Criticism and Hebrew Scholarship in the Confessional Republic of Letters', Journal of the History of Ideas 81 (2020), 337-358.

‘Publishing a prohibited criticism: Richard Simon, Pierre Bayle, and erudition in late seventeenth-century intellectual culture’, in The Worlds of Knowledge and the Classical Tradition in the Early Modern Age, eds. Dmitri Levitin and Ian Maclean, Leiden: Brill, 2021, 336-365.

Monograph: The Limits of Erudition: The Old Testament in Post-Reformation Europe (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.