Research Stream

Keagan Brewer

Dr Keagan Brewer successfully completed his PhD at The University of Sydney in 2016, graduating in 2017, with support from a Top-Up scholarship from the ARC Centre for the History of the Emotions (CHE). Keagan specialises in twelfth- and thirteenth-century encounters—both intellectual and actual—between Europe and Asia, including the Latin East, legends, the associated mentalities of wonder and doubt, and their intersection with Christian belief. Keagan enjoys textual editing and translation, and has published in the Crusade Texts in Translation series.

In mid-June 2018, Brewer was appointed Honorary Research Associate in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at The University of Sydney. He has lectured at the Australian Catholic University and The University of Sydney in 2018 and 2019, and was appointed in March 2019 as deputy node leader of the CHE node The University of Sydney. In 2020 Brewer was awarded a Macquarie University Postdoctoral Fellowship for his project 'Atheism, Repression, and Emotions in Medieval Europe'.



Wonder and Scepticism in the Long Twelfth Century

Current Research Projects

  • Medieval atheism and the emotions
  • The representation of Muslims as divine agents in Christian sources responding to the fall of Jerusalem in 1187
  • The early Prester John manuscripts


Brewer, K. ‘God's Devils: Pragmatic Theodicy in Christian Responses to Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn's Conquest of Jerusalem in 1187’. Medieval Encounters 37.2 (2021): 125–64.

Brewer, K. 'Talking Wolves, Golden Fish, and Lion Sex: The Alterations to Gerald of Wales’s Topographia Hibernica as Evidence of Audience Disbelief?’ Parergon 37.1 (2020): 27–54. 10.1353/pgn.2020.0057.

Brewer, K. and J. Kane (eds and trans.), The Conquest of the Holy Land by Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Anonymous Libellus de expugnatione terrae sanctae per Saladinum (Routledge, 2019), vol. 32 of the Crusade Texts in Translation series.

Brewer, K. Wonder and Skepticism in the Middle Ages. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

Brewer, K. (compiler and translator). Prester John: The Legend and its Sources. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2015.


Symposium Paper: ‘Fear and Wonder as Tools for Belief Control, and the Possibility of Atheism in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Western Europe’, ‘Religion and Emotion in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, c.1100–1800’ symposium, The University of Adelaide, 23 November 2018.