Dr Miles Pattenden
Senior Research Fellow
Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Areas of expertise:
Catholic Church; papacy; early modern Italy; early modern Spain
HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0750-9454
MA (Cantab); MA (Toronto); DPhil (Oxon); BD (Cantab)
Miles Pattenden studies the history of the papacy and the Catholic Church from the later Middle Ages into modern times. Before joining ACU, he taught at University College Cork (2009-10) and the University of Oxford (2010-19), where he held fellowships at St Hugh’s College and at Wolfson College.
Miles’ work explores the nature of politics in papal Rome and of diverse Catholic clerical and intellectual cultures during the Counter-Reformation and Enlightenment. His first monograph Pius IV and the Fall of the Carafa reconstructed the events surrounding a notorious treason trial in which one pope ordered his predecessor’s nephews to be impeached for corruption. His second, Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy analyzed the political culture of the papal conclave as it evolved over a two-hundred-and-fifty-year period.
Current research projects include:
- Catholic Medievalisms
- Catholic Clerical Subcultures
- Global Latinity
- The Papacy in World History
- European History in Australia
Miles is a co-editor of The Journal of Religious History and of The Cambridge History of the Papacy. He is very interested in hearing from prospective research students with projects that focus on Italy, France, the Mediterranean or the Iberian Worlds.
- (2017) Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700 (Oxford University Press).
- (2013) Pius IV and the Fall of the Carafa: Nepotism and Papal Authority in Counter-Reformation Rome (Oxford University Press).
- (2020) A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal, ed. with Mary Hollingsworth and Arnold Witte (Brill).
- (2018) Cultures of Voting in Pre-Modern Europe, ed. with Serena Ferente and Lovro Kuncevic (Routledge).
- (2015; paperback 2018) The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia, ed. with Piers Baker-Bates (Ashgate).
- (2022) ‘Ringing in the Papal Restoration: Francesco Cancellieris Treatise on the Capitoline Bells (1806)’, Modern Italy 27, 207-23.
- (2022) 'Gaspar Sanz’s Ecos sagrados de la fama gloriosa de Innocencio XI (1681) and Clerical Cultures of Diversion in Baroque Spain’, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, early view online.
- (2021) ‘Papal Rome in Lockdown: Proximities, Temporalities, and Emotions during the Im/mobility of the Conclave’, I Tatti Studies 24, 291-309.
- (2020) ‘The Jesuit Giambattista Tolomei (1653–1726): Cardinal and Philosopher’, Journal of Jesuit Studies 7, 570-91.
- (2018) ‘Antonio de Fuenmayor’s Life of Pius V: a pope in early modern Spanish Historiography’, Renaissance Studies 32, 183-200.
- (2013) ‘The Conclaves of 1590 to 1592: An Electoral Crisis of the Early Modern Papacy?’, Sixteenth Century Journal 44, 391-410.
- (2009) ‘Governor and Government in Sixteenth-Century Rome’, Papers of the British School at Rome 77, 257-72.
- (2008) ‘The Canonisation of Clare of Assisi and Early Franciscan History’, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 59, 208-226.
- (2022) ‘Regime Change in Papal Rome: Pius IV and the Carafa (1559-61)’, in The Culture and Politics of Regime Change in Italy, c.1494-c.1559, ed. Alexander Lee and Brian Maxson (Routledge), 75-93.
- (2021) ‘The Early Modern Cardinal: An Historical Appraisal’, in Portrait Cultures of the Early Modern Cardinal, ed. Piers Baker-Bates and Irene Brooke, (Amsterdam University Press), 43-65.
- (2020) ‘The College of Cardinals’, in A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal, ed. Mary Hollingsworth, Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte (Brill), 23-39.
- (2020) ‘Cardinals and the non-Christian World’, in A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal, ed. Mary Hollingsworth, Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte (Brill), 375-92.
- (2020) ‘The Early Modern Historiography of Early Modern Cardinals’, co-written with Arnold Witte, in A Companion to the Early Modern Cardinal, ed. Mary Hollingsworth, Miles Pattenden and Arnold Witte (Brill), 435-52.
- (2019) ‘The Roman Curia’, in A Companion to Early Modern Rome: 1492-1692, ed. Pamela Jones, Simon Ditchfield, and Barbara Wisch (Brill), 44-59.
- (2018) ‘Cultures of Secrecy in Pre-Modern Papal Elections’, in Cultures of Voting in Pre-Modern Europe, ed. Serena Ferente, Lovro Kuncevic and Miles Pattenden (Routledge), 94-112.
- (2016) ‘From Ambassador to Cardinal? Francisco de Vargas at the papal court (1559-63)’, in Embajadores culturales. Transferencias y lealtades de la diplomacia española de la edad moderna, ed. Diana Carrió-Invernizzi (Editorial UNED), 139-56.
- (2015) ‘Rome as a “Spanish Avignon”? The Spanish Faction and the Monarchy of Philip II’, in The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia, ed. Piers Baker-Bates and Miles Pattenden (Ashgate), 65-84.
- ACU Research Fund, ‘Religious Mobilities: Europe and the Medieval and Early Modern World’, 2021-25.
- Government of Spain, Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia, ‘Poder y representación en la edad moderna. Agentes diplomáticos como mediadores culturales en los siglos XVI-XVIII’, 2016-20.
- British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, ‘The Early Modern Cardinal’, 2016-17.
- British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, ‘Cultures of Voting in Pre-Modern Europe and the Mediterranean’, 2013-14.
- Government of Spain, Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia, ‘Poder y representaciones en la edad moderna: redes diplomáticas y encuentros culturales en la Monarquía Hispánica’, 2013-15.
Accolades and awards
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
- Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University
- Visiting Fellow, Madrid Institute for Advanced Study
- Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Università di Bologna
- Marie Curie Visiting Fellow, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice
- Rome Scholar, British School at Rome
Co-editor, The Journal of Religious History.
Co-editor, The Cambridge History of the Papacy. Vol III: The Papacy and Global Affairs and IV: Society and Culture.
International advisory board, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.
- ‘Who were the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?’, ABC Radio Sydney (17 August 2022).
- ‘The "papalistation" of apology: what will be the significance of Pope Francis's visit to Canada’, ABC Religion & Ethics (27 July 2022).
- ‘End Game: Pope Francis’ succession planning’, The Catholic Herald (July 2022).
- ‘Pope Francis’s remarks on pornography betray his equivocal position on sexual ethics’, ABC Religion & Ethics (13th June 2022).
- ‘Europe’s dowager empress: Maria Theresa and the fate of the Habsburgs’, Australian Book Review 443 (June 2022).
- ‘Roe vs Wade: the bishops’ dilemma’, Eureka Street (26th May 2022).
- ‘Father Stu: the consolations of a calling’, ABR: Arts (9th May 2022).
- ‘History Lessons: what Australians can – and should – learn from the curious case of Tobias Rustat’, ABC Religion & Ethics (31st March 2022).
- ‘Morrison’s narrow view of universities is alien to Menzies’, The Australian (23rd March 2022).
- ‘“A path to self-destruction for the Church”: Cardinal George Pell and the status of gay Catholics’, ABC Religion & Ethics (23rd March 2022), Spanish version (30th April 2022).
- ‘Forget Patrick: March 17 is also St Gertrude’s Day, commemorating the patron saint of cats’, The Conversation (17th March 2022).
- ‘Pope Francis in War and Peace’, Eureka Street (15th March 2022).
‘War in Ukraine highlights lack of knowledge of European History’, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Brisbane Times (7th March 2022).
- ‘The Theology of Chocolate’, History Today 72.3 (March 2022), 16-18.
- ‘Saint Olga of Kyiv is Ukraine’s patron saint of defiance and vengeance’, The Conversation (1st March 2022) the Jerusalem Post (1st March 2022), French version (2nd March 2022), Spanish version (2nd March 2022).
- ‘When baptism goes wrong: the Church’s rules in a new era of legalism’, ABC Religion & Ethics (22nd February 2022).
- ‘Lucius the Lorikeet to star in Australia’s first Latin textbook’, Sydney Morning Herald (10th February 2022).
- ‘“We are answerable for what we choose to believe”: Historians and the practice of History’, ABC Religion & Ethics (8th February 2022).
- ‘Benedetta: Paul Verhoeven’s “convent life gone wrong”’, ABR: Arts (7th February 2022), podcast version (episode #94).
- ‘Historians say 536AD was the “worst year to be alive”’, ABC Radio Canberra (3rd February 2022).
- ‘Volcanoes, plague, famine and endless winter: welcome to 536', The Conversation (2nd February 2022), Spanish version (3rd February 2022), and Portuguese version (5th February 2022).
- ‘An early modern historian plays (word)games’, Journal of the History of Ideas Blog (31st January 2022).
- ‘What now for senior clergy who covered up abuse?’ Eureka Street (27th January 2022) and La Croix International (29th January 2022).
- ‘On historians and the historicity of Jesus’, ABC Religion & Ethics (19th January 2022).
- ‘Pope Francis, pets, and the Christian ideal of marriage’, ABC Religion & Ethics (7th January 2022).
- ‘The Dangers of Elevating Social Ethos to Religious Orthodoxy’, Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and Related Bills, co-authored with Michael D. Barbezat and Timothy W. Jones. (December 2021).
- ‘When Pope Francis Comes of Age’, Eureka Street (16th December 2021).
- ‘The ostentatious story of the “young pope” Leo X: his pet elephant, the cardinal he killed and his anal fistula’, The Conversation (1st December 2021).
- ‘If I could go anywhere: the “cathedral” at Blythburgh that rises from the marshes’, The Conversation (24th June 2021).
- ‘George Pell’s “Prison Journals”: Can the Cardinal answer his critics?’, ABC Religion & Ethics (7th May 2021).
- ‘Mano a mano: Napoleon and the papacy’, Australian Book Review 431 (May 2021).
- ‘The colour of money: Can Pope Francis curtail the wealth of the cardinals?’, ABC Religion & Ethics (7th April 2021).
- ‘A promiscuous she-pope with a dilated cervix: The legend of Pope Joan, who gave birth on a horse’, The Conversation (23rd February 2021).
- ‘Rome and Home’, The Times Literary Supplement 6047 (22nd February 2019).
- In Our Time: ‘Papal Infallibility’, BBC Radio 4 (10th January 2019).
- Empire Builders: ‘The Spanish Empire’, Pilot Productions (25th May 2018).
- Radio interviews for ABC Radio (National, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Regional Queensland, Sydney, Regional Western Australia), 2SER/107.3 (Sydney), and Radio Exterior de España (RTVE).