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William Bulman portrait

William Bulman


Department Chair

0009 - Maginnes Hall

Ph.D., Princeton University, 2010;

M.A., Princeton University, 2005;

A.B., A.M., Washington University in St. Louis, 2002

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Additional Interests

  • Early modern Britain and its empire
  • Enlightenment
  • Majority rule
  • Party Politics
  • Church of England


William Bulman studies the political, religious, and intellectual history of Britain and its empire in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the broader global history of majority rule. His research has been supported by awards from the Mellon Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2015.

Bulman’s first monograph, Anglican Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2015), re-interprets the early Enlightenment, the post-revolutionary Church of England, and the religious politics of later Stuart England and its empire. His second monograph, The Rise of Majority Rule in Early Modern Britain and its Empire (Cambridge, 2021), locates the origins of majority rule in the representative assemblies of early modern Britain and its Atlantic colonies. He is also the co-editor of two other books, God in the Enlightenment (Oxford, 2016) and Political and Religious Practice in the Early Modern British World (Manchester, 2022).

Bulman is currently writing a global history of majority rule and a history of debates about majority rule in revolutionary England while also conducting more technical, interdisciplinary research on the emergence of majority rule and party politics in Britain and its empire.


Political and Religious Practice in the Early Modern British World, ed. with Freddy Domínguez (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2022).

The Rise of Majority Rule in Early Modern Britain and its Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021). Major reviews: Jack Rakove in Reviews in American History (11 pages), Jack Greene in American Historical Review, and Asheesh Siddique in William and Mary Quarterly (8 pages, two books reviewed).

God in the Enlightenment, ed. with Robert G. Ingram (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Anglican Enlightenment: Orientalism, Religion and Politics in England and its Empire, 1648-1715 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). Reviewed in over a dozen publications including the Times Literary Supplement.



“Hobbes’s Publisher and the Political Business of Enlightenment,” Historical Journal 59:2 (June 2016), 339-64.

“Enlightenment and Religious Politics in Restoration England,” History Compass 10:10 (October 2012), 752-64.

“Publicity and Popery on the Restoration Stage: Elkanah Settle’s The Empress of Morocco in Context,” Journal of British Studies 51:2 (April 2012), 308-39.

“The Practice of Politics: The English Civil War and the ‘Resolution’ of Henrietta Maria and Charles I,” Past and Present 206 (February 2010), 43-79.

“Civil Religion in Joseph Addison’s Enlightenment,” History of European Ideas, Special Issue: The Church and the British Moralists (forthcoming).

“Reassessing Accusations of Maleficium and Inhumanity in Seventeenth-Century Britain,” with Amanda E. Herbert (revise and resubmit, currently under revision).



“Consensual Conflict in the Early Stuart House of Commons,” in Political and Religious Practice in the Early Modern British World, ed. William J. Bulman and Freddy Domínguez (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2022), 97-114.

“Post-Revisionism and the History of Practices in the Early Modern British World,” in Political and Religious Practice in the Early Modern British World, ed. William J. Bulman and Freddy Domínguez (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2022), 1-36.

“From Reformation to Enlightenment in Post-Civil War Orientalism,” in Koji Yamamoto, ed., Stereotypes and Stereotyping in Early Modern England: Puritans, Papists and Projectors (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2022), 285-307.

“From Renaissance to Enlightenment,” in Ann Blair and Nicholas Popper, eds., New Horizons in Early Modern European Scholarship (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021), 31-49.

“From Anti-Popery and Anti-Puritanism to Orientalism,” in Jason Peacey, ed., Making the British Empire, 1660-1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020), 56-76.

“Postsecular Feminisms in Historical Perspective,” in Nandini Deo, ed., Postsecular Feminisms: Religion and Gender in Context (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), 17-31.

“Secular Sacerdotalism in the Anglican Enlightenment, 1660-1734,” in Dan Edelstein and Anton Matytsin, eds., Let There Be Enlightenment: The Religious and Mystical Sources of Rationality (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), 205-26.

“Enlightenment for the Culture Wars,” in William J. Bulman and Robert G. Ingram, eds., God in the Enlightenment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 1-41.

“Religion, Enlightenment, and the Paradox of Innovation, c. 1650-1760,” in Donald A. Yerxa, ed., Religion and Innovation: Antagonists or Partners? (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), 100-112 (co-author Robert G. Ingram).

“Religious Toleration and the Enlightenment,” in Handbook on Toleration, ed. Karen Barkey and Jonathan Laurence (Springer, forthcoming, 2023).

“John Evelyn’s History of Religion: Between Anglicanism and Enlightenment,” in The Politics of Religion: Radical Ideas and the Crisis of Christianity in England, 1640 to 1740, ed. Alex Barber and Katherine East (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, forthcoming, 2023).



“The English Revolution and the History of Majority Rule,” Recovering Europe’s Parliamentary Culture, 1500-1700, Blog Series, Center for Intellectual History, University of Oxford, Fall 2021 (1,500 words).

“Author Response” to review of Anglican Enlightenment by David Magliocco, in Reviews in History (2015) (2,000 words).

“Addison, Lancelot,” in Norman A. Stillman, ed., Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, 5 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 1:40-41.



Mark Goldie, Contesting the English Polity 1660-1688: Religion, Politics, and Ideas (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2023), in History of European Ideas (forthcoming).

R. Barry Leavis, Render Unto Caesar: Ecclesiastical Politics in the Reign of Queen Anne (James Clarke, 2022), in Journal of Church and State (forthcoming).

Simon Mills, A Commerce of Knowledge: Trade, Religion, and Scholarship between England and the Ottoman Empire, 1600-1760 (Oxford UP, 2020), in Journal of Modern History 95:2 (2023), 426-8.

Stephanie Koscak, Monarchy, Print Culture, and Reverence in Early Modern England: Picturing Royal Subjects (Routledge, 2020), in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 53:2 (2022), 343-5.

Michael Hunter, The Decline of Magic: Britain in the Enlightenment (Yale UP, 2020), in Journal of Modern History 94:3 (2022), 693-5.

Joke Spaans and Jetze Touber, eds., Enlightened Religion: From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety in the Dutch Republic (Brill, 2019), in Church History and Religious Culture 101 (2021), 127-9.

George Southcombe, The Culture of Dissent in Restoration England: “The Wonders of the Lord” (Boydell/Royal Historical Society, 2019), in Journal of British Studies 59:4 (2020), 918-19.

W.B. Patterson, Thomas Fuller: Discovering England’s Religious Past (Oxford UP, 2018), in Journal of Modern History 92:1 (2020), 172-3.

Robert G. Ingram, Reformation Without End: Religion, Politics and the Past in Post-Revolutionary England (Manchester UP, 2018); in The Scriblerian and the Kit-Kats (2020).

Philip Connell, Secular Chains: Poetry and the Politics of Religion from Milton to Pope (Oxford, UP, 2016); in The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats (2019).

Dmitri Levitin, Ancient Wisdom in the Age of the New Science: Histories of Philosophy in England, c. 1640-1700 (Cambridge UP, 2015); in Reviews in History (2016) (5,000 words).

Arthur Marotti and Chanita Goodblatt, eds., Religious Diversity and Early Modern English Texts: Catholic, Judaic, Feminist, and Secular Dimensions (Wayne State UP, 2013); in Modern Philology 113:3 (2016), E179-81.

B. Sirota, The Christian Monitors: The Church of England and the Age of Benevolence, 1680-1730 (Yale UP, 2014); in Journal of British Studies 53:4 (2014), 1057-8.

N. Tyacke, ed.,  The English Revolution, c. 1590-1720 (Manchester UP, 2007); and P. Baker and E. Vernon, eds., The Agreements of the People, the Levellers, and the Constitutional Crisis of the English Revolution (Palgrave, 2012); in Journal of Modern History 86:3 (2014), 661-4 (2,000 words).

P. Beeley and C. Scriba, eds., Correspondence of John Wallis (1616-1703), vol. 3 (Oxford UP, 2012); in Archives 39:127 (2013), 72-3.



The Debate Over Majority Rule in Revolutionary England (monograph manuscript, complete draft).

Why the Majority Rules: A History (academic trade book manuscript, partly drafted).


Time Travel: How to Make History (HIST 001)

Three English Revolutions (HIST/GS 015)

Democracy's Rise and Fall (HIST/GS 017)

First Year Seminar: The Origins of Modern Democracy (HIST 090) 

Histories of Globalization (HIST/GS 101)

Eckardt Scholars Program Advanced Seminar: Majority Rule (ECK 281)

The Capstone Experience (HIST 302) 

The British Empire and the Modern World (HIST/GS 348)

Historical Research (401)

Readings in Transnational History (HIST 403)

Topics in the British Atlantic World (HIST 421)