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Arthur Ghins

Arthur Ghins

Reaching Equilibrium: Benjamin Constant and the Transformations of Religion in Modernity

Supervisor: Dr Chris Brooke


I am a PhD candidate in political theory at the University of Cambridge. The aim of my doctoral dissertation is to determine how 19th century French liberal Benjamin Constant (1767-1830) attempted to reconcile religion with the transformations at work in the post-revolutionary world. I argue that Constant tried to conceive of a type of religiosity that would be flexible enough to adapt itself to the needs of modern society, but also firm and original enough in its principles to retain what makes it distinctively religious.

I hold a dual BA in Law and Philosophy from Université Saint-Louis, Brussels (2011), a two-year master in Law from Université Catholique de Louvain (2013), an MA in Philosophy from KU Leuven (2014) and an MSc in Political Theory from LSE (2015).

From January to June 2017, I will be a visiting researcher at SciencesPo Paris (CEVIPOF). I am also a graduate gesearch associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS). In previous years, I have worked as an intern for several law firms, a newspaper as well as for the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

My research is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Cambridge Trust and the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS). I am a Leslie Wilson Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge. 

Research Interests

-       Modern History of Political Thought

-       French Liberalism (Montesquieu, Tocqueville, Constant, Madame de Staël, Guizot)

-       Political Theory

-       Political Theology

-       Secularism and Post-Secularism