Samuel Robinson

Dissertation Fellow
Samuel Robinson Image

Samuel Robinson’s dissertation project, “Flesh Be Made Spirit: Theology, Materialism, and Radical Religion in Early Modern England,” considers the relationship between conceptualizations of God and matter in seventeenth-century England. Working chronologically from the ideological upheaval of the English Revolution (1642-1660), Robinson draws upon medical, alchemical, and natural philosophical texts to chart an intellectual history of the ways in which early modern thinkers “embodied” God. The idea of “body,” a range of formulations regarding the nature of corporeality and matter, increasingly served as a resource for theological discourse, philosophical debate, and popular religious belief in the late seventeenth century. Questions of materiality, divine agency, and religious knowledge were deeply entwined in the English Enlightenment’s broad question concerning the relationship between spirit and body. Robinson argues that this period was the moment when the relationship between God and matter collapsed under the weight of this intense intellectual interrogation.

Samuel Robinson is the 2015-16 Irving and Jean Stone Fellow.