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Name: Kate Eleanor Garland

PhD: Religious Studies

Thesis Title: The Careful Infidel: Calvinist Anthropology in the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson 


Thesis Description:

My thesis seeks to provide a comprehensive account and analysis of Robert Louis Stevenson's Calvinist imagination. By considering his extensive corpus as a whole - his life writings, fiction, essays and letters - I shall undertake a reading which focuses on the theological dimensions and functions within his works. In utilising a religious lens to open up aspects hitherto obscured, my thesis will suggest that Stevenson's engagement with the Calvinist and Scottish Presbyterian tradition constitutes the unifying factor to his writings.

My interdisciplinary approach will consider Stevenson through a theological, literary, and historical, paradigm, accounting for Stevenson's thought not only in the nineteenth-century he was writing within, but the seventeenth-century he so often wrote about and explored. This research will address the historical and religious context of Scotland during this period, whilst considering Stevenson's Calvinist anthropology within a wider tradition of Scottish writers, from Walter Scott to James Robertson, and reflecting upon Stevenson's contribution to the canon and in particular his contemporary legacy.



Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr. Alison Milbank, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, The University of Nottingham.

Prof. John Coffey, School of History, The University of Leicester.

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

I am presently on placement with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature from September 2018 - March 2019 working on their Literary Tourism Toolbox project.


University email address:

Twitter: @kategarlandrls