I hold the position of Lecturer in British History (Maitre de Conférences en Civilisation Britannique) at the Université Paris 8. My main research interests lie in the history of ideas in early modern Britain and Europe. The study of patriarchalism, absolute power, resistance theory, republicanism, patriotic ideals and democracy has been the keynote of my work so far.
In addition, I have written about the practice of history-writing, notably about the methodology of intellectual history. Thanks to my time at the HCAS, I was able to complete a book manuscript titled Anti-democracy in England 1570-1642. In the last couple of years, I also edited Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England, 1603-1689 (Brill, 2019) with Markku Peltonen, and Crisis and Renewal in the History of European Political Thought (Brill, 2021) with Laszlo Kontler and Clara Maier.
My time at the Collegium can only be described as excellent both professionally and personally. The HCAS’s collegiality and vibrant intellectual atmosphere gave me the opportunity to learn a great deal about old and new things, and to form some lasting friendships.
My current position is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Cognate Studies at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology (2018‒). My special field within Hebrew Bible Studies is Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) studies and Second Temple Judaism. My research interests include social changes within late Second Temple Judaism, ritual studies, social identity construction in ancient religious movements, ethnicity, archaeology of Hellenistic and Roman Palestine, cognitive science of religion, sociology of sectarianism in early Judaism and early Christianity, and collective memory and transmission of traditions.
My time at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2007–2010) made me fully appreciate the dimensions of global perspectives and both the challenges and joy of interdisciplinary work. Biblical studies and study of our ancient roots will flourish if actively opened up to wider humanities and social sciences. First, any detailed study will require the larger framework of how human behavior can be investigated in its various forms—these will be conceptual tools, theories, and hypotheses. Secondly, comparative inquiries are crucial in placing the ancient sources in their context. Thirdly, collegiality and cooperation only work if based on trust and sufficient resources. This, in my experience was what HCAS stands for.