Tobias Gregory's Headshot


  • English
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Milton and his contemporaries
  • Renaissance epic
  • Varieties of post-Reformation religious experience
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Early modern political writing
  • Profile

    Tobias Gregory writes mainly about the literature, religion, and politics of early modern England, with a secondary interest in Italian literature. His articles and review essays on Milton, Spenser, Tasso, Empson, Ariosto, Browne, Herbert, Donne, Montaigne and others have appeared in ELH, Renaissance Quarterly, SELMilton Studies, Modern Philology, Huntington Library Quarterly, Journal of British Studies, Religion and Literature and the London Review of Books. Awards include fellowships from the ACLS, Huntington,and Folger, and the Isabel MacCaffrey Prize of the International Spenser Society.

    Dr. Gregory's first book From Many Gods to One: Divine Action in Renaissance Epic (Chicago, 2006) examines how Renaissance poets approached the problem of epic divine action: how to replace the Olympian gods of Homer and Virgil? Drawing on scholarship in several disciplines--religion, classics, history, and philosophy, as well as literature--the book sheds new light on two subjects of enduring importance in Renaissance studies: the precarious balance between classical literary models and Christian religious norms, and the role of religion in drawing lines between allies and others.

    Dr. Gregory’s current book project, Milton's Strenuous Liberty, tracks continuity and change over Milton’s career, and aims to discern amongst his shifting concerns which ones touched him most deeply. It argues that Milton on liberty should be understood rhetorically rather than systematically; for the importance of anticlericalism in Milton’s thought; for revised understandings of Milton on heresy, and of his politics in the late 1650s. Milton emerges in this study as an eloquent propagandist for unpopular positions, and as a poet who, in his late masterpieces, arrived at a broader perspective on the Puritan revolution he had supported without disavowing that lost cause.
    Dr. Gregory supervises graduate student research in most areas of early modern literary studies. Recent graduate courses include Renaissance lyric, Milton, Renaissance epic, and literature and religion in early modern England. At the undergraduate level, his teaching interests include Shakespeare, Milton, Renaissance intellectual history, and epic poetry from Homer to the present. He is an associated faculty member in CUA's University Honors Program.

    Curriculum vitae