Brian Hanson, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of History and Theology

Brian is a historian of early modern England with particular interests in the religious, intellectual, and political cultures of the sixteenth century. His research focuses on the intersection of humanism and evangelical theology in Tudor England. His most recent book, Reformation of the Commonwealth: Thomas Becon and the Politics of Evangelical Change in Tudor England, examines sixteenth century evangelicals’ vision of a godly commonwealth within the broader context of political, religious, social, and intellectual changes in Tudor England. He is currently working on two projects. The first will trace political protest, rebellion, and religious rhetoric in Elizabethan England with particular regard to the art of ‘rayling’ against civil authorities. The second will explore the use of seditious and treasonous content under the guise of popular commonwealth euphemisms in the sermons of Tudor England, particularly between 1540 and 1580. 

Academic Credentials

  • B.Mus., Bob Jones University (Piano Performance)
  • M.Mus., Bob Jones University (Piano Performance)
  • M.A., Bob Jones University (Theology)
  • M.Div., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D., University of St. Andrews (History/Reformation Studies)


  • Early Modern England
  • The English Reformation
  • Early Modern Households
  • Early Modern Political Rebellion
  • Renaissance Humanism 
  • History of Religious Toleration


  • “‘Thruste oute teares of repentaunce’: Dramatizing Conversion in Reformation England” in Reformation, Communication and the Book in Early Modern Europe: Essays in honour of Andrew Pettegree, ed. Arthur der Weduwen and Malcolm Walsby (Leiden: Brill, 2022), pp. 48–63.
  • 40 entries on Medieval and Reformation history in Lexham Dictionary of Church History, ed. Michael Haykin (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2022).
  • Sedicious’ sermons: Preaching, Politics, and Provocation in Reformation England” in Audience and Reception in the Early Modern Period, ed. Mitzi Kirkland-Ives and John Decker (London: Routledge, 2021), pp. 124–144.
  • “Sarah Wight” in Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing in English, ed. Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).
  • Book reviews for Renaissance and Reformation, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Renaissance QuarterlyChurch History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, The Sixteenth Century Journal, and Reading Religion.
  • Reformation of the Commonwealth: Thomas Becon and the Politics of Evangelical Change in Tudor England (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019).
  • “Martin Luther and the English Reformation”, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Vol. 21, No. 4 (Winter 2017): pp. 177–186.
  • Waiting on the Spirit of Promise: The Life and Theology of Suffering Of Abraham Cheare, with Michael Haykin (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014). Online.

Selected Presentations

  • “‘Sedicious’ prophets: Old Testament prophecy, ‘common weale,’ and political protest in Tudor England,” American Society of Church History, New York, NY. January 2020.
  • “The art of ‘rayling’: ‘conscience’ and criticism in Tudor England,” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, St. Louis, MO. October 2019.
  • “Reading the Spirit in the Psalms: Protestant Pneumatology and the Psalter in Early Modern England,” Evangelical Theological Society, Denver, CO. November 2018.
  • “‘Order thy houshold godly and honestly’: ‘Common weale’ and Tudor household piety in the writings of Thomas Becon (1512–1567),” Sixteenth Century Society & Conference, Albuquerque, NM. November 2018.

Selected Awards and Grants

  • Reformation of the Commonwealth: Thomas Becon and the Politics of Evangelical Change in Tudor England shortlisted for 2020 RefoRC Book Award.
  • Research Affiliate, Center for Early Modern History, University of  Minnesota, Twin Cities (2018–Present).
  • School of History PhD Scholarship, University of St. Andrews (2013–2017).
  • Archival Research Travel Grant, Davenant Foundation (2015).

Other Professional Activities

  • Manuscript referee for Southeastern Theological Review. 2019–present
  • Manuscript referee for Themelios. 2017–present
  • Choral and Instrumental Composer, Concordia Publishing House. 2017–present 
  • Choral Composer, Choristers Guild. 2013–present


Follow Dr. Hanson on Twitter: @brianlhanson