My research intends to trace the different ways the participants of the English Reformation tried to interpret the meaning of Romans 13:1-7 and how these interpretations made sense of the present during a period of seismic change.  The Pauline proof text ‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God’ (Rom.13:1), has been a neglected crux in the evolution of political theology and was central in the early modern debates which concerned politico-religious allegiance.


BA (Hons) History First Class

MA in Early Modern History with Distinction

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    Upcoming Paper: “There is no power but of God”: The Political use of God’s Law in during the Reformation.   To be given at the Law and Religion Workshop at the University of Edinburgh 26 & 27 June 2017.

    Previous Papers:

    “The powers that be are ordained of God”: Understanding the Origin of Authority from the Medieval to the English Reformation.   A long paper given to the Andrew Marvell Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Hull, 2 February 2017 by Special Invitation,

    The ‘mallitious and cruell assualtes of her enemies’: Wyatt’s Rebellion and Romans 13.   Paper given for ‘Mary I (1516-1558) A Conference in he 500th Anniversary Year held at UCL 30 September-1 October 2016.

    “subiectes so disobedient”: Romans 13 and the Edwardian Rebellions of 1549.   Paper given at The Reformation Studies Colloquium, Newcastle University 14-16 September 2016.

    Romans 13 in the Henrician Reformation.   Paper given for the School of History/IMS Postgraduate Colloquium 17 June 2014.

    Steven Foster

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