Professor Hilary M Carey

BA hon(Syd.), D. Phil(Oxon.)

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a religious and cultural historian.  My major research interests lie in the history of religion and imperialism particularly within the transnational boundaries of the nineteenth-century British empire. I am interested in big historical questions such as how religion serves to tie empires together (or tear them apart) and different sites of mission-led settler colonialism. I have written about the history of religious orders, missions and missionaries, missionary linguistics, the history of the colonial Bible and 'colonial' missions to British settler colonies. My most recent book, Empire of Hell, winner of the Kay Daniels prize, provides a religious history of the campaign to end the transportation of British and Irish convicts.

I trained initially as a medieval historian at the University of Oxford and I continue to retain an interest in the history of comparative religions, empires and forms of belief across the Latin, Greek and Arabic global cultures.  

Current Projects

I am currently researching the history of 19th century missions to British seamen and lascars.

Research interests

Contact details

Prof. Hilary M. Carey FAHA
Professor of Imperial & Religious History
School of Humanities (History)
13 Woodland Road (Rm B48)
Clifton Bristol BS8 1TH
Tel: +44 117 3318245 (Internal 18245)
Office 13 Woodland Road, Basement B48.

Research interests


I am on research leave in tb1 2021/22. I teach a range of courses for undergraduates and postgraduates in areas of my research expertise including  HIST20120 Outlaws, HIST30122 Global Empires and HISTM0017 Themes in the History of Colonialism.

Research interests

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise postgraduates in the fields of imperial religious history, histories of settler colonialism and topics in religious history more widely.

External positions

Expert Panel for Humanities and Arts, Icelandic Research Fund

2017 → …

Conjoint Professor, University of Newcastle

1 Jan 201431 Dec 2021


  • colonialism
  • religious history
  • Australia
  • convicts and convict transportation
  • medieval astrology
  • imperialism
  • ecclesiastical history
  • missions
  • British Empire
  • seamen and mariners


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