Dr Mara Van Der Lugt

Contact Details

Email: mvdl@st-andrews.ac.uk
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 463025
Fax - +44 (0)1334 462914





Research Interests

My research is inspired by a double background in history and philosophy. Following the completion of my doctorate (DPhil) in History at the University of Oxford in 2014, on the seventeenth-century French philosopher Pierre Bayle, I held a two-year fellowship at the Lichtenberg Kolleg – Institute of Advanced Studies in Göttingen (Germany). Before this, I completed a Master in Philosophy and a Research Master in Early Modern Intellectual History at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2010, focussing especially on questions of interpretation and dissimulation in early modern philosophers such as John Toland. Having been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in 2017, I am currently pursuing a three-year project on pessimism and the problem of evil in the early Enlightenment at the University of St Andrews.

My main research interests include: early modern philosophy and theology, the problem of evil, theodicy, pessimism, scepticism, deism, libertinism, early modern perceptions of Islam in the West, biblical criticism, secularism, bioethics and the ethics of reproduction.


Main Publications


Bayle, Jurieu and the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique. (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016).


‘The body of Mahomet: Pierre Bayle on war, sex, and Islam.’ Journal for the History of Ideas, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Jan. 2017), pp. 27-50.

 ‘A taste of paradise: early modern encounters with the Islamic afterworld.’ De Achttiende Eeuw Vol. 48, Nos. 1-2(Jan. 2017).

‘Bayle’s absent presences: Descartes and other guests in the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique’. Romance Studies, Vol. 31, Nos. 3-4 (Nov. 2013), pp. 189-199.

‘“I will utter dark sayings of old”: John Toland, pantheism and pathos of secrecy.’ De Achttiende Eeuw, Vol. 44, No. 1 (2012), pp. 103-130.

‘The Foreground and Background of Consciousness: An Introspective Argument Against Introspection’. Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy, No. 1 (2011), pp. 6-16.

Teaching Duties

I will be contributing to the MLitt course ‘Turning points in the history of ideas’.