'Natural Law in Interregnum England: Thomas Barlow on Human Obligation'
Supervisor: Dr Sarah Mortimer
My primary interest is in religious and political ideas in early modern Britain. My doctoral thesis is the first extensive study of Thomas Barlow (1608/9-1691), a leading Reformed theologian and premier scholar of his time. Close examination of his manuscripts in the Queen's College Library, Oxford, reveals hitherto unknown aspects of him as a keen follower of Grotius and Catholic lawyers with regard to ideas of law and obligation. Using the intellectual insights from these Continental authors, Barlow intensely considered the limits of human obligation in religion, politics, and society during the 1650s, when the traditional authorities fell apart in the wake of the English Civil War. My thesis situates Barlow's idea in wider European intellectual conversations about law and obligation, as well as in political, social, religious, and parochial contexts of England in the 1650s. My approach to Barlow resolves many of his aspects that have perplexed historians, but more broadly it also transforms our understanding of natural law and religion in the second half of the seventeenth century.
I was born in South Korea and migrated to Japan at the age of sixteen. I gained my undergraduate and master's degrees at the University of Tokyo, and enjoyed one year at Johns Hopkins University as an exchange student. For more detail, please visit my profile on a researcher portal based in Japan, where you can also find my list of publications, presentations, and teaching experiences: https://researchmap.jp/sylvhana55/?lang=english
My most recent article (open access) in The Seventeenth Century is available here.
I am recently developing my interest in the broader intellectual and cultural interaction across the globe in early modernity. Based on this interest, I have organised a conference at Oxford, 'Authority and the Global Early Modern: Translation and Transformation' with Jacob Fordham on 20 April 2023.
My DPhil degree and research are generously funded by Murata Foundation, Suenobu Foundation, and Japan Student Service Organisation.