Institute of Modern History

Dr. Richard Kirwan

visiting scholar, lecturer in history at the University of Limerick


Fachbereich Geschichtswissenschaft der Universität Tübingen
Seminar für Neuere Geschichte
Wilhelmstraße 36
72074 Tübingen

Email: richard.kirwanspam

Visit Dr Kirwan’s personal webpage at the University of Limerick

Curriculum Vitae

Richard Kirwan specialises in early modern European history with a focus on the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire. His research interests include the social and cultural history of early modern universities, early modern print culture, early modern elites, and the culture and politics of religious conversion in confessional Germany. Prior to his employment at the University of Limerick, Dr Kirwan held posts at the University of St Andrews; European University Institute, Florence; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; and Trinity College Dublin.

Research interests

Current Project

Dr Kirwan’s current project examines the phenomena of religious conversion and religious exile in the world of learning in the Holy Roman Empire in the period between the Peace of Augsburg and the Peace of Westphalia. In this time of heightened confessional antagonism the regulation of orthodoxy became especially important. As the guardians of knowledge and truth, universities were obliged to ensure orthodoxy of belief among scholars. This project will explore the experiences of scholars who did not conform to such impositions. The project will determine patterns of conversion and exile through the examination of a range of individual cases from prominent converts and refugees to minor and forgotten figures. It will also examine responses to conversion and exile from the perspectives of the communities, institutions and political authorities affected. This project will thus offer a comparative understanding of the interwoven political, social and religious complexities of the phenomena of learned conversion and exile. This research project is sponsored and funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.