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Dr Martin Walker

Former Research Student

Martin Walker

Research overview

My research focuses on the concept of irenicism in mid to late seventeenth-century England. My hypothesis is that irenicism was the prevalent and characteristically English theological tradition. As such, it may explain why previous historians have failed in their attempts to identify Puritanism, Latitudinarianism, religious “indifference”, etc., as causal in the establishment of the new empirical science. My main research question, therefore, addresses one of the central problems in the history of English intellectual thought – the relation of English religion to English natural philosophy in the seventeenth-century. It seeks to uncover some of the key theological and religious assumptions that underpinned the rise of experimental natural philosophy in England.

Research Grants

My PhD research is funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council studentship from the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.



Career Details

I completed my B.A. in History at Lancaster University and then completed my MSc in History and Philosophy of Science at Utrecht University. I am now in the first year of my PhD research.

Thesis Title

Irenicism in Matters of Faith and Matters of Fact: Rethinking the relationship between Anglicanism and Natural Philosophy in mid to late seventeenth-century England


Research Interests

My research currently focuses on the concept of right reason which, I believe, was in many ways a precursor to irenicism. I am currently investigating the differing applications and conceptions of right reason that existed throughout the Restoration era. These differing conceptions, as I hope to show, were underpinned by divergent epistemological and theological traditions.

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