Dr Mark Philpott teaches some historiography and a broad range of medieval history for Keble, including both European and World, and British Isles papers.
Mark’s research centres on the medieval Church and how its teachings and especially its law shaped (and failed to shape) people’s lives. Much of his research has been inspired or enriched by teaching Keble students; not least in exploring how anthropological approaches might help shed light on historical issues. This has particularly been the case in his work on the coronation(s) of William the Conqueror, an exploration of the history of cannibalism, and his long-standing research project on the cults of bearded women saints.
The bearded ladies have sometimes taken Mark a long way from the medieval. This is also a feature of his other teaching, as J M Neale Fellow in Church History at St Stephen’s House (a theological college of the Church of England, and Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford). Here, amongst other teaching, he gives a series of lectures which range across the history of the Church in England from Bede to the Great Reform Act through a number of historical objects. Here perhaps can be discerned the influence of teaching Keble students the ‘History and Archaeology’ option.