Diarmaid MacCulloch

Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch (born 31 October 1951, in Kent, England) is Professor of the History of the Church in the University of Oxford (since 1997) and Fellow (formerly Senior Tutor) of St Cross College, Oxford (since 1995). He is a prize-winning author of historical books. Though ordained as a deacon in Church of England, he declined ordination to the priesthood for political reasons.


MacCulloch read history at Churchill College, Cambridge (B.A. 1972, M.A. 1976). He took a Diploma in Archive Administration at Liverpool University in 1973, and then returned to Cambridge to complete a Ph.D. under the supervision of Sir G.R. Elton (awarded 1977). MacCulloch was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (1978), a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1982), and a Fellow of the British Academy (2001). He is a Doctor of Divinity of the University of Oxford.

He joined the (now Lesbian and) Gay Christian Movement in 1976, serving twice on its committee and briefly as honorary secretary.

From 1978 until 1990, MacCulloch was a tutor at Wesley College, Bristol. He interrupted his teaching to study for the Oxford Diploma in Theology (awarded 1987) at Ripon College Cuddesdon. In 1987 he was ordained deacon in the Church of England and from 1987 to 1988 he served as Non-Stipendiary Minister at Clifton All Saints with Saint John in the diocese of Bristol. However, in response to a motion put before the General Synod in 1987 by the Reverend Tony Higton regarding sexuality of clergy, he declined ordination to the priesthood and ceased to minister at Clifton.

Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490 - 1700 (2003), won the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award adding to his earlier success in carrying off the 1996 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Thomas Cranmer: A Life

His History of Christianity will be published in 2009, to accompany a BBC Television series.


  • Suffolk and the Tudors (1986)
  • The Later Reformation in England (1990)
  • Henry VIII: Politics, Policy, and Piety (1995)
  • Thomas Cranmer: A Life (1996)
  • Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation (1999)
  • Reformation: Europe's House Divided 1490 - 1700 (2003)


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