Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Polly HaPolly Ha, who is joining the Duke Divinity School faculty this year as associate professor of the history of Christianity, has been selected to deliver a prestigious Langford Lecture this year.

Named after former Duke University Provost and Divinity School Dean Thomas Langford, the lectureship was established in 2000 to honor Langford’s commitment to the highest university values of scholarship, teaching, collegiality, and promotion of faculty excellence and community. Each year, the Langford Lectureship series afford Duke faculty an opportunity to hear about ongoing scholarly activities of recently promoted or hired colleagues.

Ha’s work focuses on the history of Christianity and the construction of diverse confessional and ecclesiastical traditions in the Reformation and post-Reformation world. She specializes in reception studies of the Reformation, ecclesiastical thought, historical method, political theology, and the wider impact of reformation on men and women across the social order. She has published numerous articles on reformation reception and co-edited a volume with Patrick Collinson on The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain (Oxford University Press). Her monograph English Presbyterianism, 1590–1640 (Stanford University Press) challenged traditional assumptions about the development of reformed polity in pre-civil war England and the nature of popular participation in reformed communities by analyzing English exiles in the Netherlands and New England.

Ha’s work also addresses the political and social research of ecclesiastical independence in the English Revolution, its expansion of classical notions of liberty, and implications for the freedom of speech, association, consent, and conscience. She is chief editor of The Puritans on Independence (Oxford University Press) and Reformed Government (Oxford University Press), and is currently working on the longer term impact of reformation, reconfigurations of the relationship between religion and politics, and broader intellectual change and social innovation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

"We are delighted for Professor Ha to receive this honor," said Kavin Rowe, vice dean for faculty and George Washington Ivey Distinguished Professor of New Testament. "Her selection as a Langford Lecturer shows Duke's enthusiasm for her scholarship and our excitement about welcoming her to the faculty."

Professor Ha’s lecture will be given in April to a group of faculty colleagues from across the university.