Theology and Religion at Exeter is innovatively interdisciplinary and characterised by strong research collaborations and impact across a range of sectors. We engage some of the most important issues of our time that interface with religion – sustainability, race and racism, health and wellbeing, sex and reproduction, cultural memory and recovery from conflict. Our mission is to be at the forefront of defining research agendas to inspire and resource the understanding, critique, and constructive collaboration with faith traditions and religions for the benefit of our planet and its people(s). This is critical as global challenges cannot be met in isolation from religious/cultural traditions and their ongoing legacies.
Working collaboratively with organisations (from the NHS to the United Nations) for the benefit of a variety of public stakeholders and audiences, we generate real-world impact in our complex world.
Our two Centres and Network provide a particular focus for research activity and public engagement. We warmly welcome PhD enquiries and applications.
Our research in biblical studies covers topics ranging from historical and archaeological studies to contemporary ethical and contextual interpretation, holding regular seminars and welcoming visiting research fellows.
The Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology (EXCEPT)'s goal is to foster and further theological and ethical research in contextual, practical and ministerial concerns. We are committed to developing theological and interdisciplinary research projects at all levels.
Founded in 2007, The Network for Religion in Public Life (NRPL) is an interdisciplinary research partnership. It links students and staff at the University of Exeter and partner institutions with shared interests in how religion interacts with public life.
We seek to model innovative interdisciplinarity across research themes including:
Our research in 'Lives of Objects' brings together colleagues working variously in material culture, cultural heritage and the digitizing of artefacts. Francesca Stavrakopoulou researches the materialities of ancient Israelite/Judahite, early Jewish and early Christian cultures.
Emma Loosley brings blended specialisms in Classical and Byzantine art, history and liturgy in the archaeology of Christian sites in Syria and material culture of the Syrian peoples in Late Antiquity.
Several colleagues work on 'Identity, Memory and Destruction' across the centuries – from Morwenna Ludlow’s analysis of ancient constructions of, and attacks upon, religious identity (with Richard Flower, Classics) to David Tollerton’s studies in identity destruction, Holocaust memory, sacred sites and rituals of remembrance, and David Horrell's exposure of how methods in New Testament studies (de)constructed ideologies of racial and religious difference. Jonathan Hill’s work has developed ‘philosophic sagacity’ methods from cross-cultural perspectives to analyse and articulate Wiccan belief-shaped identities
The 'Well-being, Disability Studies and Trauma Recovery' theme brings together colleagues working in variously interdisciplinary ways.
Louise Lawrence and Helen John [link to profile] are researching the religious dimensions of disability issues in Namibia alongside experts from Health Sciences, Inclusive Education, and Economics, Development and Management Science. Susannah Cornwall is a specialist in spirituality, sexuality and gender studies and works widely with external partners. Esther Reed is working with the mining industry on a blueprint for Mine Chaplaincy to give confidence to mining operators in facilitating spiritual care. Christopher Southgate has recently led teams developing a practical theology of trauma and self-care for congregations.
Specialist expertise in the department also interfaces with bio-semiotic studies in living systems and philosophy from ancient Platonism to present-day analytic philosophy of religion, Continental philosophy and philosophy of science
Specialist expertise in the department also interfaces with bio-semiotic studies in living systems and philosophy from ancient Platonism to present-day analytic philosophy of religion, Continental philosophy and philosophy of science.
Christopher Southgate trained originally as a research biochemist and is active in science/religion investigations of pre-linguistic meaning-making, co-operation and signification(s) in living systems (funded by John Templeton Foundation) with laboratory-based research and computer-modelling experts in Portland State, Georgia Tech and Arizona State Universities. Andy Jones’s research focuses on how ideas derived from theology influenced the development of science.
New research will show how history can inform future memorials to coronavirus victims
Experts, politicians, charity leaders and activists join forces to discuss impact of religion and culture on the lives of people with disabilities in Namibia
New study will uncover influence of medieval philosophers on today’s pluralism