The Revd Dr Jonathan ArnoldBack to People

Department: Dean of Divinity
College appointment: Dean of Divinity
Phone: 01865 276027

Jonathan is Dean of Divinity at Magdalen and is responsible for all Chapel services and the pastoral care of all in College. He read theology at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, singing at the Royal Academy of Music and has a doctorate in English pre-Reformation Church history from King’s College, London. He trained for ordination at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He was Chaplain and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford (2008-2016) and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He teaches late-medieval and early-modern ecclesiastical history for the theology faculty and also researches and writes on music and theology. In 2014 he was also co-founder of a new girl choristers’ choir for Oxford, Frideswide Voices, which is the first choir in the history of the university to offer girls, aged 7-13, the opportunity of being a chorister and singing services in Oxford College Chapels.

Research Interests

Renaissance and late-medieval European humanism, especially on the eve of the Reformation; late-medieval and Reformation theology and ecclesiastical history, particularly in England; renaissance and early modern sacred choral music within the liturgy; Christianity and the Arts.

Current project: Music and Faith: Conversations in a Post-Secular Age (Boydell and Brewer, forthcoming, 2018).



Sacred Music in Secular Society (Ashgate, Autumn, 2014)

The Great Humanists: An Introduction (I.B. Tauris, London, 2011).

John Colet of St. Paul’s: Humanism and Reform in Pre-Reformation England (I.B. Tauris Press, London, December, 2007).

Articles and book chapters

‘Sacred Music and Human Dignity’ in Human Dignity, ed. J Loughlin (Bloomsbury, London, forthcoming, 2018).

‘Sacred Music in Secular Spaces’ in Theocracy, ed. G. Corbett (St. Andrew’s University, forthcoming, 2019).

‘Hearing Revelation: Music and Theology in the Reformation’ in B. Quash (ed.), ‘How Shall we Sing the Lord’s Song’: The Meaning of Music and the Song of God (Ashgate, forthcoming, 2018).

‘John Colet and Polydore Vergil: Catholic Humanism and Ecclesiology’, Moreana, 51 (2015), pp. 139-165.

‘Humanist Ecclesiology in Theory: The Dating of John Colet’s Written Works’, Moreana, 52 (2015), pp. 237-272.

‘Polydore Vergil and Ecclesiastical Historiography in his De Inventoribus Rerum IV-VIII’ in PD Clarke and C Methuen (eds.), The Church on its Past, Studies in Church History, 49 (2013), pp 144-156.

‘Roger Ascham’, Oxford Online Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation (OUP, 2013).

‘John Colet’, Oxford Online Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation (OUP, 2013)

‘Profit and Piety: Thomas More, John Colet and the London Mercery’, The Reformation and Renaissance Review, 12 (2011), pp 127-53

‘Anglicanorum Coetibus: Generous Offer or Aggressive Attack? A Problem of Ecclesiology.’, One in Christ, 44 (July, 2010), pp. 56-66.

General Interests

Christian ministry as Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College; Music, particularly performing and conducting classical choral repertoire; theatre; fell walking; watching cricket; time off with my family.