Professor Hilary M Carey

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

  • BS8 1TB

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 religion and punishment, 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.  

My current projects include a collaborative history of missions to seamen, and the history of the 'global bible', the plan to translate the bible into all the languages of the world. I am also writing a short history of the 'condemned sermon' at Newgate.


Research interests

Contact details

Prof. Hilary M. Carey FAHA
Professor of Imperial & Religious History
School of Humanities (History)
Arts Complex, Woodland Road
Clifton Bristol BS8 1TH
Tel: +44 117 3318245 (Internal 18245)
Office Arts Complex Humanities Building 1.H022

Research interests


I teach a range of courses for undergraduates and postgraduates in areas of my research expertise including HIST10046 Slavery,  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


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
  • bible


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