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Professor, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen

Dr Naphy is Professor in History in the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. In 1982, he received his Bachelor of Arts (in Latin) from the College of William and Mary (in Virginia). He then received a Master of Divinity degree (in Historical Theology) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (in Texas) in 1987 where he also lectured in Latin for four years. He was awarded his doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1993. During the final year of his doctorate, he worked as an archivist at New College (Edinburgh) and then lectured for three years at the University of Manchester before being appointed a lecturer in History at Aberdeen in 1996. In addition to numerous articles and essays, he is the author of Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation and Plagues, Poisons, and Potions: Plague-Spreading Conspiracies in the Western Alps, c. 1530-1640. He has also authored a number of works aimed at a more general audience. These include Plague: Black Death and Pestilence in Europe (now translated into French, German, Italian and Polish), Sex Crimes from Renaissance to Enlightenment (with a German translation) and Born to be Gay: A History of Homosexuality (recently translated into both Portuguese and Spanish). He has appeared on television and radio programmes for Grampian-Scottish TV, Channel 4, BBC-Scotland, Bravo including Start the Week, hosted by Andrew Marr, alongside the eminent historian Simon Schama. His areas of research include the Reformation, medicine, gender, sexuality and crime.


  • 2007–present
    Professor, University of Aberdeen
  • 1999–2007
    Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen


  • 1993 
    University of St Andrews, PhD
  • 1987 
    Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, MDiv
  • 1982 
    College of William & Mary, BA


Fellow, Royal Historical Society