Politics and International Relations


Charles’ research interests lie in the interdisciplinary area of the history of political thought. His primary research interest is eighteenth century political thought, particularly in field of religion and politics. He is interested in the rise of atheism in France at the time, and in particular the thought of the baron d’Holbach and Jean Meslier. He is also interested in methodological questions in the history of ideas, particularly Gadamerian hermeneutics and Foucauldian genealogy. Charles also has an interest in contemporary political thought, particularly issues of toleration within pluralist societies. His wider research interests include ethics, religion and politics, epistemology and the study of materialism.

Contact Information


Rutherford S4.E2

Academic office hours are available on the Moodle Student Guide

Expertise: Contemporary and historical atheism. Languages: French (fluent) English (fluent) Spanish (good)

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Devellennes, C. and Dillet, B. (2018). Questioning New Materialisms: An Introduction. Theory, Culture & Society [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276418803432.
Devellennes, C. (2016). Atheism, secularism and toleration – towards a political atheology. Contemporary Political Theory [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/cpt.2016.13.
Devellennes, C. (2014). A Theory of Atheology: Reason, Critique, and Beyond. Telos [Online] 166:81-100. Available at: http://journal.telospress.com/content/2014/166/81.full.pdf+html.
Devellennes, C. (2014). Choice, blind spots and free will: an autopoietic critique of Isaiah Berlin's liberalism. Philosophy and Social Criticism [Online] 40:895-911. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0191453714545339.
Devellennes, C. (2014). Utility contra utilitarianism: Holbach's international ethics. Journal of International Political Theory [Online] 10:188-205. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0278364914526019.
Devellennes, C. (2013). Fourth Musketeer of Social Contract theory. History of Political Thought [Online] 34:459-478. Available at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/hpt/2013/00000034/00000003/art00004.
Book section
Devellennes, C. (2016). D'HOLBACH RADICAL : contrat social et éthocratie dans la pensée politique du baron. in: Garcia-Alonso, M. ed. Les lumieres radicales et le politique. Honore Champion, pp. 321-340.
Devellennes, C. (2016). Marx and Atheism. in: Sayers, S., MacKenzie, I. and Bates, D. eds. Marxism, Religion and Ideology: Themes from David McLellan. Routledge.
Devellennes, C. (2016). Jean Meslier: the exemplar of radical Enlightenment political thought. in: Ducheyne, S. ed. Ashgate Companion on the Radical Enlightenment. Ashgate.
Internet publication
Devellennes, C. (2014). A Dialectic Atheology – Understanding the Past, Present and Future of Atheism [Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network blog]. Available at: http://blog.nsrn.net/2014/09/02/a-dialectic-atheology-understanding-the-past-present-and-future-of-atheism/.
Devellennes, C. (2017). Naturalism and Unbelief in France, 1650-1729. Global Intellectual History [Online] 2:422-424. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/23801883.2017.1372041.
Devellennes, C. (2016). The Heart of Human Rights. By Buchanan Allen. Perspectives on Politics [Online] 14:1187-1188. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1537592716003431.
Total publications in KAR: 12 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Charles is currently working on a revised version of his PhD thesis, entitled “The Enlightenment of Atheism. Ethical and Political Philosophies without God in the Eighteenth Century and Today.” He is also revising some work on the relevance of Holbach’s work for IR theory, in particular international ethics; on a theory of atheology for contemporary political thought; and on methodological developments based on a Gadamerian hermeneutics.

Research Supervision

Charles is interested in supervising anyone with an interest in the history of political thought and political theory.

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Charles takes great pride in his teaching, and has excelled in various domains from foreign policy analysis to political philosophy, and in using innovative teaching methods including use of online fora, in-class simulations and role-plays. He is teaching on a wide range of modules this year, including:

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Last Updated: 09/11/2017