Professor William Gibson BA, MA PhD, DLitt, FRHistS, FRSA, PGCE

Professor of Ecclesiastical History



  • U78001 The Early Church
  • U78002 Liberation Theology
  • U78003 Grasping the Nettle
  • U78004 Making Moral Choices
  • U78028 Ecumenism
  • U78029 Atheism and the Problem of Evil in Literature
  • U78038 Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust


Academic and research interests

  • Religious History of early modern and modern Britain (broadly 1600-1900);
  • Historical theology
  • History of Universities;
  • Welsh history;
  • Church and State, the Church and politics.

Research and consultancy projects

  • 2009-10 Visiting Research Fellow, Baylor University Texas, working on sermon studies and culture 1688-1901.
  • Reviews Editor, Archives, the journal of the British Records Association.
  • Co-Editor, Wesley and Methodist Studies

Current major research projects

  • Oxford Handbook on the British Sermon 1689-1901 (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2012)
  • Ashgate Companion to World Methodism, (Ashgate Publishing, forthcoming, 2012)


Recent papers

  • "Professor William Gibson is speaking in November 2010 at an International Conference on Princely Chapels in France"
  • “‘From Wicked Town to Peaceable Borough’” University of Winchester research seminar 2008.
  • “‘None But Presbyterian Baptism’: Samuel Wesley and the Lay Baptism Controversy”, Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, 2009
  • “Fletcher’s Bishop: Methodism and Bishop James Beauclerk of Hereford”, Religion Gender and Industry Conference, 2009.
  • “‘The Improvement of the Clergy’: The Work of Archdeacon Thomas Sharp of Northumberland, 1723-57”, Early Modern Sermons Seminar, Birmingham University, 2009
  • “Round Table on the British Sermon” Western Conference on British Studies in Arizona, October 2009
  • “Samuel Wesley” American Historical Association/American Society of Church History joint meeting in San Diego in January 2010.

Director of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History

Career history

  • Teaching in secondary, further and higher education
  • Inspection roles in HMI, Ofsted and ALI


  • Books
  • Book chapters


Book chapters

  • ‘The Conformity of Samuel Wesley Reconsidered’ Methodist History, vol. XLVII no 2, January 2009
  • ‘Mr Wesley’s Business: Debt, Dissenters and Distress, 1705’ in Historical Research, 2009
  • ‘A Bishop for Virginia in 1672: a Fragment from Bishop Ward’s Papers’ in Archives, April 2009
  • 'Electoral religion in the reign of Charles II and the limits of the confessional state?' in The Historical Journal, 2008.
  • ‘The Offscouring of the Earth’: the Pessimistic Theology of Canon Abraham Markland of Winchester in Hampshire Studies, 2007
  • Dissenters, Anglicans and the Glorious Revolution: The Collection of Cases in The Seventeenth Century, 2007
  • ‘The Persecution of Thomas Emlyn, 1703-1705’ in The Journal of Church and State, vol. 48, 2006
  • ‘William Talbot and Church Parties 1688-1730’ in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 2007