Researcher biography

  • Degrees: BE (Hons) (QUT), PhD (Cornell), MDiv (Duke), PhD (UQ) (2016)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Peter Harrison
  • Area of Research: My PhD thesis, entitled “Providence and Natural Causation in Early Modern England,” looked at the relationship between claims that God providentially guides and governs the world and claims that what takes place in the world can be explained through appeals to natural causes. Analysing the writings of a cadre of early modern English authors, I attempt to answer a number of interrelated questions: What role do natural causes play in early modern accounts of providence? How (if at all) does the doctrine change in response to a growing recognition of the power of natural causes to explain what goes on in the world? To what extent (if at all) can God accomplish his will for the created order through the use of naturally caused phenomena? How does an increasing focus on natural causes impact how people interpret the meaning of what goes in the wider world and in their own lives? And, what are the implications of a reliance on natural causes to explain what goes on in the world for God’s ability to use the created order as a medium through which to communicate with human beings?