Kirsten Macfarlane is Associate Professor of Early Modern Christianities at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, as well as Fellow, Tutor, and co-Director of Studies at Keble. She completed her BA (2012), MSt (2014), and DPhil (2017) at the University of Oxford, before moving to Trinity College, Cambridge to take up a Research Fellowship. She joined Keble in 2019.
Kirsten works at the intersection of religious, cultural, and intellectual history in the period from the Reformation to the early eighteenth century. She focuses on the history of biblical scholarship in Western Europe and North America, and has a particular interest in the early modern study of Hebrew and post-biblical Jewish literature by Reformed Protestant scholars. This is the topic of her first, forthcoming book on the controversial English Hebraist Hugh Broughton (1549-1612) and is also central to her more recent work on the Dutch Hebraist Willem Surenhuis (c 1664-1729), who is best known for producing the first full Latin translation of the Mishnah. In addition to these projects, she is currently working on a second monograph studying the influence of late sixteenth-century European biblical criticism on colonial North America, especially upon the popular religion and lay piety of early immigrants to Massachusetts.
She has held Fellowships at the Houghton Library, Harvard; the Massachusetts Historical Society; the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and, in July 2019, she was awarded the inaugural Lisa Jardine Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Lias, a peer-reviewed journal published by Peeters that provides a platform for the study, edition, and translation of primary texts relating to the intellectual and cultural history of early modern Europe. She has published articles in The Library, The Review of English Studies, and is co-editing a volume on the early modern Jewish and Christian reception of the Mishnah with Prof Joanna Weinberg and Dr Piet van Boxel.