Elliott Cramer

Office Hours: 
Mondays 4-5PM, Wednesdays 3-4PM, or by appointment
Research Interests: 

I am interested in the negotiated relationship between church (particularly the Anglican/Episcopal church) and the state in colonial America. These entities are typically assumed to have been close allies, but they also possessed disparate goals and ideologies. This often meant that the colonial church did not obediently fulfill the moralizing function assigned to it by theorists and agents of civil government. I would also like to challenge the assumption that the strength of religion can be measured by the number of ordained clergymen on the ground. Colonial laypeople managed to sustain congregations for many years at a time in the absence of ministers, suggesting that clergy-led religious groups should be considered the exception rather than the norm. Money--lack of it, or disagreements about its proper use--often played a larger part in this than irreligion.

My undergraduate training was in philosophy and theology, though I began working my way towards history with an MPhil in Ecclesiastical History. In the course of my master's degree I researched the English Church in colonial Virginia, with particular attention to the effect of the English Civil Wars on religion in Virginia and the work of commissary James Blair. My master's thesis scrutinized the oft-remarked-upon friendship of Roger Williams and Sir Henry Vane for any evidence of theological cross-fertilization. Most recently (Fall 2017), I have written about the state of religion in New York before and after the arrival of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1702. As I begin my second year at Berkeley, I hope to continue broadening my knowledge of both European and American religion and politics.

GSI course: 
7A: Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War
Research Interests: 

Ecclesastical History

Religion in Colonial America

Colonial New York

Anglican Church

Graduate Position: 
Graduate Student