Ertegun Staff and Scholar Profiles

Spence Weinreich

Current course: 
MPhil in Theology

I am a historian of late medieval and early modern Europe, focusing on Spain and England in the sixteenth century. My work, broadly speaking, explores the history of ideas—religious, historical, and scientific—and how different kinds of knowledge merge and divide. Under the supervision of Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch, my M.Phil. dissertations examine theological responses to plague and the prison writings of the Tudor churchman and politician Stephen Gardiner.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I received my B.A. in history from Yale University in 2015, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and receiving the Warren Memorial High Scholarship Prize for work in the humanities. My senior essay, a study of Mercedarian hagiography, was honored with the Theron Rockwell Field Prize, the Andrew D. White Prize for European history, and the Elizabethan Club Award for Renaissance studies. My work has appeared in Early Science and Medicine, Names: A Journal of Onomastics, and The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, and I am an assistant editor on the Journal of Jesuit Studies.

In addition to research, I am a keen translator, working primarily with Spanish, French, and Latin. My translation of Pedro de Ribadeneyra’s Historia eclesiástica del scisma del reyno de Inglaterra (1588), a history of the English Reformation written by a Spanish Jesuit, is forthcoming from Brill.

When not spending time with long-dead saints, I enjoy cycling, crossword puzzles, writing doggerel, and trivia of all kinds. I am also a devotee of science fiction and horror stories, a passion I am beginning to explore in a more scholarly fashion.

The opportunity to explore my intellectual passions in the unique environment of Ertegun House, in the company of such extraordinary colleagues, is an honor and a privilege I can only strive to be worthy of.