Theology and Religion
Our department is ranked in 2nd in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research.
In Theology we have a brilliant reputation as group of colleagues. This makes us an attractive place to work. When we’ve interviewed we’ve always had a really strong field. The best academics want to come and work with us.
We take the relationship between teaching and research very seriously, not just in the sense of research-inspired teaching, but also teaching-inspired research. So even if as academics we don’t have the time to write as much as we’d like during term, we’re still exploring those issues in our teaching.
I work in the field of New Testament studies and have undertaken a range of research during my many happy years at Exeter! Much of my work has been concerned with the letters of Paul and 1 Peter, and with social-scientific and ecological approaches to New Testament texts. My main research focus at the moment is on the subject of ethnicity, race and religion in constructions of identity in early Jewish and Christian texts, and on the ways these issues are interpreted in modern New Testament scholarship. This research is being funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship, which has enabled me not only to devote some extended time to the project but also to bring various international (and UK) visitors to Exeter, for various workshops and an international conference.
I am currently working on a book based on the project, as well as an edited volume of essays arising from the workshops and conference. Research work always informs my teaching, and I also learn much from that teaching – so there’s a mutual benefit, at least for me! One of the many joys of working at Exeter is the chance to discuss and explore new material and emerging ideas with students, both postgraduate and undergraduate. I’m also Director of the Centre for Biblical Studies, which enables me to arrange seminars and workshops for postgraduates and staff working in biblical studies, and also to welcome visitors to Exeter.
My current work at the interface between theology and international law involves a reconsideration of aspects of Christian teaching about natural law reasoning. At a time when many secularist theorists seem variously unable or unwilling to denounce torture as wrong, my work with the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, aimed to articulate an account of natural law reasoning shaped in relation to Jesus Christ and oriented to God's future.
My research focuses on contextual theologies, particularly those relating to sex, gender and sexuality. I also have interests in disability, homelessness, contextual Bible study, postcolonial theologies, queer theologies, and theologies of art.
My research has taken me in several thematic directions, but has mostly been focussed on the theology of the fourth century CE and especially on the Cappadocian theologian, Gregory of Nyssa. In particular, I am interested in the relevance of Gregory's ideas to modern theology.
More generally, I am interested in the modern reception of the church fathers and how recent theologians interpret the history of the early church.