Book Publication: Alan Strathern, Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (CUP, 2019)

unearthlypowers alanstrathern

Congratulations to OCGH Advisory Committee member Dr Alan Strathern on the publication of his new book, Unearthly Powers: Religious and Political Change in World History (CUP, 2019), which examines patterns of change in the fundamental nature of religion and its relationship with political authority, taking in examples from across world history. For more information about the book, please visit

A forthcoming companion volume will consider why the rulers of some societies converted to Christianity and others did not. Underlying both books is a large question: Why does the religious map of the world today look the way it does?

To listen to Dr Strathern discuss these publications and his research more widely, please visit the Global History Podcast (Episode 1: Alan Strathern on Religion and Political Authority in the Pre-Modern World).

Alan Strathern is Associate Professor in History at Brasenose College. He works on the global history of religious encounter and conversion, particularly in those regions that came into contact with European travellers in the early modern period (1500-1800). He is co-convenor of the forthcoming conference, ‘Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence’ (link).