Post-Reformation Papal Peacemaking. Prestige and Rhetoric in the Reign of Pope Clement VIII, 1592-1605
In his PhD-project, Christian analyses the response of the papacy to the challenges to its supranational authority posed by the Reformation and the interests of secular states in the early-modern period. His project is a case study of the pontificate of Clement VIII Aldobrandini (ruled 1592-1605) and is funded by the 'Durham Doctoral Fellowship'-scheme and a 'Fellowship for Prospective Researchers' of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
Since peacemaking was a diplomatic technique to enhance a state's international importance, Christian examines how Pope Clement VIII undertook to settle conflicts between Catholic states as part of his duties as the padre commune of all Catholic princes, with the aim of increasing the political prestige of the papacy. He is interested in questions such as: What was the diplomatic role of the pope as the spiritual head of Christendom and how was it perceived by Catholic princes? What were the papacy's ideal policies and how were they reflected in real international politics?
Christian has been able to conduct research in archives and libraries at the Vatican, in Rome, Frascati, Turin, Madrid, Simancas, Paris and Brussels with the generous support of the Royal Historical Society, the Society for Renaissance Studies, the Senior Common Room of University College (Durham), as well as the Department of History in Durham. These research trips allow Christian to place papal diplomacy in the inter- and supranational context in which it actually operated.
'Fellowship for Prospective Researchers', Swiss National Science Foundation(2012-2013)
'Durham Doctoral Fellowship', Durham University (2009-2012)
'Study Fellowship', Society for Renaissance Studies (2011)
'Postgraduate Travel Research'-grant, Royal Historical Society (2011)
'Travel Scholarship', Senior Common Room of University College, Durham University (2011)
'Postgraduate Travel Research'-grant, Royal Historical Society (2010)
'Padre commune and pater familias: benison or predicament? Pope Clement VIII between the public good of Christendom and private family interest (1592 - 1605)', biennial Reformation Studies Colloquium (St Chad's College, Durham University, September 2012)
'Papal Pain and Peace: Clement VIII’s Promotion of the Pope as Padre Commune (1592 - 1605)', biennial Society for Renaissance Studies-conference (University of Manchester, July 2012)
'From Iudex to Mediator: Peacemaking as an Indicator of the Political Power of the Early-Modern Papacy', Cultures of Conflict Resolution in Early-Modern Europe-conference (St John's College, Cambridge University, May 2012)
'Peace, Piety and Public Opinion: Promotion of the Papacy in the Reign of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605)', Tudor Symposium (University of Sheffield, September 2011)
'Preventing and Keeping the Heretic: Pope Clement VIII's Involvement in the English Succession (1596-1603)', European Reformation Research Group (University of Newcastle, September 2011)
History of Early-Modern Political Thought, University of Sunderland (Spring Semester 2012 and 2013; Teaching Assistant in charge of the whole module)
BA-Dissertation Supervisor, University of Sunderland (2012/2013)
Reformation Europe, Durham University(2011/2012; Tutor)
Co-convenor (with Andy Burn) of the Early Modern Postgraduate Discussion Group, 2009-2010
Co-organiser (with Andy Burn) of the Early Modern Postgraduate Conference, May 2010