The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

BA (Hons), LLB, PhD (Melbourne).

Leigh Penman is a UQ Postdoctoral Fellowship holder (2013-2016) and an Associate Member of the History Faculty, University of Oxford. He graduated with degrees in arts and law from the University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis, concerning millenarian thought in early seventeenth-century Germany, was undertaken at Melbourne in association with the former Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen. He is the author of the forthcoming monograph Unanticipated Millenniums: Chiliastic Thought in Post-Reformation Lutheranism, 1600–1630 (Springer), as well as several translations, and more than two dozen articles on aspects of early-modern intellectual and religious history. He has previously served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford (2009-2011), where he worked on the correspondence of Samuel Hartlib as part of the Cultures of Knowledge Project, and a research fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2011-2012.

His current research interests encompass networks of heterodox thinkers imagined and virtual communities in seventeenth-century Europe, and the instrumentalisation of early modern historical events in modern popular and political culture. At CHED, he will pursue a research project concerning Dissenting Religious Subcultures in Protestant Northern Europe, focussing on particular on transnational networks of heterodox thinkers and sympathisers which coalesced around figures like Ludwig Friedrich Gifftheil, Paul Felgenhauer, Samuel Hartlib and Johann Permeier.

Leigh is presently on secondment to the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, and will assume his postdoctoral research in December, 2014.


Room: 515, Level 5, Forgan Smith Building

Telephone:  (07) 336 5297


  • Unanticipated Millenniums. Chiliastic Thought in Post-Reformation Lutheranism, 1600-1630 (Studies in Early Modern Religious Reforms, Irena Backus, ed.) (New York, Cologne and Dordrecht: Springer, 2015 [Forthcoming]).


  • Waldamar Bena, In the footsteps of Jakob Böhme (Zgorleceg: Euroopera 2013). Translation of Sláduni Jakuba Böhme/ Auf den Spuren Jakob Böhmes (Zgorleceg: Euroopera, 2012).

Selected refereed articles

  • (with Vera Keller), 'From the Archives of Scientific Diplomacy: Science and the Shared Interests of Samuel Hartlib's London and Frederick Clodius's Gottorf,' Isis 106 (forthcoming, 2015).
  • ‘The Problem of Chiliastic Thought in Lutheran Confessional Culture, 1600-1630,’ in Apocalypticism, Millenarianism, and Prophecy: Eschatological Expectations between East-Central and Western Europe, 1560-1670, ed. Howard Hotson and Vladimír Urbánek (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014 [Forthcoming]).
  • "A Heterodox Publishing Enterprise of the Thirty Years' War. The Amsterdam Office of Hans Fabel (1616-after 1650)," The Library, 7th series, 15:1 (March 2014): 3-44.
  • (with Mark Greengrass) ‘L’ombre des archives dans le cultures du savoir du XVIIe siècle. Le cas des papiers de Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662)," in Bibliotheque de l’Ecole des Chartes (forthcoming).
  • (with Jürgen Beyer), ‘Printed autobibliographies from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,’ in Documenting the early modern book world: inventories and catalogues in manuscript and print, ed. Malcolm Walsby & Natasha Constantinidou (Leyden/Boston: Brill, 2013), 161-186.
  • ‘Jacob Boehme’s Intellectual Networks and the Heterodox Milieu of His Theosophy, 1600-1624,’ in The Routledge Companion to Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), ed. Ariel Hessayon and Sarah Apetrei (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 57-76.
  • ‘A Seventeenth-Century Prophet Confronts his Failures: Paul Felgenhauer’s Speculum Poenitentiae, Buß Spiegel (1625)," in Angels of Light: Sanctity and the Discernment of Spirits in the Early Modern Period, ed. Clare Copeland and Jan Machielsen (Leiden: Brill, 2013), pp. 169-200.
  • '“A Tissue of Inextricable Follies”, or, a Singular Adventure in Staffordshire. The Strange History of the Rosicrucian Vault in Britain.' Staffordshire Studies 17 (2012), 43-105.
  • ‘Jacob Boehme’s Student and Mentor: the Liegnitz Physician Balthasar Walther (1568-ca. 1631),’ in Offenbarung und Episteme: Studien zur europäischen Wirkung des Werkes Jacob Böhme im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012), pp. 38-74.
  • ‘Prophecy, Alchemy and Strategies of Dissident Communication. A 1630 Letter from the Bohemian Chiliast Paul Felgenhauer (1593-c.1677) to the Leipzig Physician Arnold Kerner.’ Acta Comeniana 23-24 (2011), 115-132.
  • ‘The Wicked and the Fair. Perceptions of the Batavia Shipwreck (1629) in Australian Popular Culture,’ in European Perceptions of Terra Australis. The Great Southern Land Before and After Discovery, ed. Alfred Hiatt, Anne Scott and Christopher Wortham (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), pp. 247-272.
  • (with Jürgen Beyer) ‘The Petitions of a “Supposed Prophetesse." The Lübeck Letters of Anna Walker and their Significance for the Synod of Dordt. A Linguistic and Textual Analysis,’ in Revisiting the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619), ed. Aza Goudriaan and Fred A. van Lieburg (Religious History and Culture Series) (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2011), pp. 107-134.
  • ‘Climbing Jacob’s Ladder. Crisis and Transcendence in the Thought of Paul Nagel (†1624), a Lutheran Dissident during the Time of the Thirty Years’ War,’ Intellectual History Review 20/2 (2010), 201-226.
  • ‘The First Appearance of Jacob Böhme’s Works in Print,’ Notes & Queries 57 (3) (2010): 419-421.
  • ‘Ein Liebhaber des Mysterii, und ein großer Verwandter desselben.’ Toward the Life of Balthasar Walther, a Wandering Paracelsian Physician.’ Sudhoffs Archiv. 94/1 (2010), 73-99.
  • ‘Repulsive Blasphemies. Paul Nagel’s Appropriation of Unprinted Works of Valentin Weigel and Jakob Böhme in his Prodromus astronomiae apocalypticae (1620),’ Daphnis. Zeitschrift für mittlere deutsche Literatur und Kultur der frühen Neuzeit 38 (2009), 599-622.
  • ‘The Unanticipated Millennium. Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Chiliastic Error in Paul Egard’s Posaune der göttlichen Gnade und Liechts (1623),’ Pietismus und Neuzeit. Ein Jahrbuch zur Geschichte des neueren Protestantismus 35 (2009), 11-45.
  • ‘“Sophistical Fancies and Mear Chimaeras?” Traiano Boccalini’s Ragguagli di Parnaso and the Rosicrucian Enigma,’ Bruniana & Campanelliana. Ricerche filosofiche e materiali storico-testuali. 15/1 (2009), pp. 79-98.


On this site

Go to top