Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Dr Steve Chavura

Dr Steve Chavura

Location: Building W6A, Room 429
Phone: (02) 9850 8808


Stephen Chavura is a political theorist and intellectual historian. He has coordinated courses on a range of topics including the history of political thought, the philosophy of sociology, Australian history, religion and politics, and nationalism and self-determination. His research interests include the history of political thought, Australian intellectual history, philosophical issues relating to freedom of speech, and church and state. His book Tudor Protestant Political Thought (Leiden: Brill) was published in 2011, and his work has appeared in journals such as History of European Ideas, Journal of Religious History, and Australian Journal of Political Science. He is currently an ARC Senior Research Associate.


  • 2001 BA (Hons. I) University of Western Sydney
  • 2007 Ph.D. University of New England

Recent Publications

  •  2007 Tudor Protestant Political Thought 1547-1603 (Leiden: Brill)

Edited journal

  • 'Rethinking Secularism in Australia', special edition of Journal of Religious History, vol.38 no.3 2014 (with Ian Tregenza).

Journal articles and scholarly book chapters

  • (Forthcoming with G. Melleuish) 'Utilitarianism contra Sectarianism: the Official and the Unauthorised Civic Religion of Australia,' in William Coleman (ed), Only in Australia: The History, Politics and Economics of Australian Exceptionalism, Oxford University Press.
  • (2015) 'Mixed Constitutionalism and Parliamentarism in Elizabethan England: The Case of Thomas Cartwright', History of European Ideas, 41(3).
  • (2015 - with G. Melleuish) 'Conservative Instinct in Australian Political Thought: The Federation Debates, 1890-98', Australian Journal of Political Science.
  • (2015 with I. Tregenza) 'A Political History of the Secular in Australia, 1788-1945', in T. Stanton (ed.), Religion after Secularization in Australia, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).
  • (2014) '"...but in its proper place...." Religion, Enlightenment, and Australia's Secular Heritage: The Case of Robert Lowe in Colonial NSW 1842-1850', Journal of Religious History (2014a).
  • (2013) 'On Separating Religion from Politics', in J. Jose and R. Imre (eds.), Not So Strange Bedfellows: The Nexus of Politics and Religion in the 21st Century, (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar, 2013).
  • (2011a) 'The Secularisation Thesis and the Secular State: Reflections with Special Attention to Debates in Australia', in J. Barbalet, A. Possamai & B. Turner, Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology, (Anthem Press, New York. 2011).
  • (2010) 'The Separation of Religion and State: Context and Meaning', Nebula: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship, (December 2010).

Research grants

  • 2015 ARC Discovery Grant (2015-2017). Project: 'A Secular State? Reason, Religion, and the Australian Polity, 1788-1945'. With Professor John Gascoigne and Dr. Ian Tregenza.