Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1948, Joseph Bergin took his BA and MA degrees at University College Dublin, before spending three years at the University of Cambridge where he completed his Ph.D in 1977. From 1978 until 2011 he taught early modern history at the University of Manchester (UK), where he held the chair of early modern history from 1996 until his recent retirement. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996 and a Correspondant (foreign) of the Institut de France (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres) in 2011. His research focuses on France during the long seventeenth century, and he has written several books and numerous articles on the connections between religion, politics and society during this period. His most recent book, Church, society and religious change in France 1580-1730 (2009) was awarded the Médaille des Antiquités de France by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 2010. In 2011, he was elected a Correspondant étranger of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.