Skip navigation

Dr Joseph Hardwick

Associate Professor

Department: Humanities

Joe’s research interests and teaching specialisms lie primarily in modern British imperial, environmental, animal and religious history, with a particular focus on the political and religious culture of British settler communities. His first book - see the research pages for further information - considered the Church of England's relationship with the British empire, while the second, published 2021, tells the story of the long-running history of 'special worship' or 'national prayer' in settler colonies from the mid-eighteenth century to the First World War. Research for these books was made possible by fellowships with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a 2019 visiting fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra. His current work considers the place of nature in cultures of prayer and worship in modern Britain, with a primary focus on the Church of England's engagement with animal, natural world, and ecological issues.

Joseph Hardwick

Joe’s current research considers the varied ways that churches in modern Britain, and the Church of England especially, have engaged with the natural world and ecological issues. A forthcoming journal article explores how far the intermixing of human life with the lives of a great variety of non-human animals, both wild and domesticated, has been reflected in everyday worship in the Church of England since 1900.

Past research has focused on the overseas development of the Church of England, and more recently, the culture of community-wide worship that was a long-running feature of British settler societies at moments of acute crisis (droughts and wars) and celebration (the coming of peace, the birth of royals). Joe has also written on the history of religious responses to extreme weather and climate change.

His 2014 Manchester University Press book, An Anglican British World, considered how the Church of England dealt with migration and how an institution that enjoyed a privileged status in parts of the British Isles tried to maintain a new kind of establishment overseas, most notably by projecting new forms of cultural and ethnic authority across the empire of British settlement.

His second book - Providence, Prayer and Empire: Special Worship in the British World, 1783-1919 (Manchester University Press, 2021) - considers those moments when colonial populations of many faiths and ethnicities came together to pray for common causes and objects in times of crisis and celebration, and, in so doing, expressed a powerful, and often inclusive, sense of religious community.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Animals, Anglicans, and cultures of prayer and worship in England, c.1900-c.1950, Hardwick, J. 1 Apr 2024, In: Journal of Ecclesiastical History
  • Cows, communities, and religious responses to the 1865-6 British rinderpest outbreak, Hardwick, J. 12 Mar 2024, In: Journal of Religious History
  • Prayer, providence and empire: special worship in the British World, 1783-1919, Hardwick, J. 10 Aug 2021
  • Acts of God: continuities and change in Christian responses to extreme weather events from early modernity to the present, Hardwick, J., Stephens, R. 1 Mar 2020, In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
  • The Church of England, Print Networks and the Book of Common Prayer in Atlantic Canada, c. 1750-c. 1830, Hardwick, J. 1 May 2020, Reappraisals of British Colonisation in Atlantic Canada, 1700-1930, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press
  • Special worship in the British Empire: from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, Hardwick, J., Williamson, P. Jun 2018, In: Studies in Church History
  • Australia and New Zealand, Hardwick, J. 5 Oct 2017, The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Oxford University Press
  • Fasts, thanksgivings and senses of community in nineteenth-century Canada and the British Empire, Hardwick, J. 22 Nov 2017, In: Canadian Historical Review
  • Special days of worship and national religion in the Australian colonies, 1790-c.1914, Hardwick, J. 28 Feb 2017, In: Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
  • The Church of England and English Clergymen in the United States, 1783-1861, Hardwick, J. 2017, English Ethnicity & Culture in North America , University of South Carolina Press

  • Michael Pearce The military history of Berwick Upon Tweed from 1792 - 1908. Start Date: 01/10/2021 End Date: 10/03/2023
  • Heather Page ‘The Political Languages of the Durham Miners, 1832-1884’ Start Date: 01/03/2020 End Date: 30/03/2022
  • Heather Page Start Date: 01/03/2020 End Date: 19/02/2021
  • Shane Smith Forgotten Settlers: The Migration, Society and Legacies of British Military Veterans to Upper Canada (Ontario), 1815-1855 Start Date: 07/10/2014 End Date: 18/07/2018
  • Stan Neal Jardine Matheson and Chinese Migration in the British Empire, 1833-1853 Start Date: 02/10/2012 End Date: 05/04/2016
  • Jennifer Kain Preventing 'Unsound Minds' from Populating the British World: Australasian Immigration Control and Mental Illness 1830s - 1920s Start Date: 25/04/2012 End Date: 12/11/2015

  • History PhD January 09 2009
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2011

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

image of a mobile phone with the instagram app logo on the screen
Creative Gateshead
Sara Hurley, Architecture student and Peter Holgate, Associate Professor in Architecture and Built Environment at Northumbria University
Man sketching design plans on paper. Photo credit: Akin Kaelyn/Shutterstock
More news

Back to top