Kirk Essary


  • The University of Western Australia (M204), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Personal profile


Kirk Essary is Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at UWA, and dicipline convenor of Classics and Ancient History. He teaches in both the History and Classics departments. He holds a PhD in Religion (Florida State University, 2014), an MA in Religions of Western Antiquity (Florida State, 2010), an MA in Classics (Texas Tech University, 2008), and a BA in Philosophy (Oklahoma State University, 2006). From 2018-2022, he served as Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. His research focuses on religious and intellectual history in late medieval and early modern Europe, with a special interest in Christian humanism, reception history (of classical and biblical texts), the Protestant Reformation, the relationship between philosophy and theology, and the history of emotions. His current preoccupation is Erasmus, and his most recent monograph, The Renaissance of Feeling: Erasmus and Emotion, will be published with Bloomsbury in 2024. 

Roles and responsibilities

Senior Lecturer, History and Classics
Convenor, Classics and Ancient History

Previous positions

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (2018-2022)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (2015-2018)


Renaissance and Reformation
Early Modern Intellectual History
History of European Religions
History of Emotions
Christian Humanism
Erasmus of Rotterdam
John Calvin


French (reading)
Spanish (reading)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research expertise keywords

  • History of Christianity
  • Sixteenth-century Christianity
  • History of Christian thought
  • John Calvin
  • Erasmus of Rotterdam
  • Renaissance and reformation
  • History of emotions
  • Religious epistemology
  • Early modern European history
  • Religion
  • Classical tradition
  • Religion and literature


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