Dr Felicity Loughlin

Lecturer in the History of Modern Christianity

  • School of Divinity

Contact details



Room 1.9
School of Divinity, 5 Roxburgh St

Post code


  • I am happy to meet with any student at a mutually convenient time. Please get in touch by email to arrange an in-person or online meeting.


I am a historian of modern Christianity, with particular expertise in the Scottish, British and European contexts. My research spans the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries and is underpinned by an interest in the role of religion in shaping understandings of the self, society, and the wider world. My work to date has explored Christian encounters with non-Christian faiths and beliefs, the intersections between religious debate and scholarship, and Christian responses to cultural and intellectual change. 

Born in Glasgow, I spent my childhood in Surrey and my adolescence in Ayr. I left the west coast in 2008 to complete an undergraduate degree in History and Classics at the University of Edinburgh. I moved to the Divinity School in 2012, where I completed a Masters in Theology in History. I remained at the University of Edinburgh for my doctoral research on the Scottish Enlightenment's engagement with global non-Abrahamic religions. I was awarded a PhD in History in 2018 and a monograph based on the thesis is in preparation for Oxford University Press.

After three years as a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, I returned to the University of Edinburgh in as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, where I began my current project on unbelief and the Scottish Christian landscape, c.1697-1914.  I was appointed Lecturer in Church History in 2022. 



MA (Hons) History and Classics, MSc Theology in History, PhD in History (all awarded by the University of Edinburgh)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Treasurer of the Scottish Church History Society: https://www.scottishchurchhistory.org/

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Distance PhDs Coordinator

Undergraduate teaching

Popular Religion, Women and Witchcraft

History of Christianity as a World Religion 1B

Postgraduate teaching

Creeds, Councils and Controversies

Religion and Enlightenment: The Birth of the Modern


Research summary

My research focuses on the history of modern Christianity, with a particular focus on the Scottish, British and European contexts. 

 Key Research Themes & Specialisms:

  • Scottish Christian encounters with non-Christian faiths and beliefs
  • Scottish Christian responses to intellectual and cultural change
  • The intersections between Scottish religious debates and the history of scholarship
  • Debates and relationships between Scotland's unbelievers and Christians

Current research interests

My current research, for which I was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, explores unbelief in the Scottish Christian landscape, c.1697-1914. Examining the period between the last execution for blasphemy and the emergence of proto-humanist Ethical Societies, it investigates the emotional and intellectual history of Scotland's unbelievers, their varied responses to the Christian mainstream, and the reactions they elicited from the civic and ecclesiastical authorities and religious communities.

Past research interests

-Religious controversy after the Scottish Enlightenment, 1789-1843; Scotland's investigations of global non-Abrahamic religions, c.1700-1800; ritual and religion in the European Enlightenment; the reception of antiquity in the European Enlightenment.