Theology PhD student Dave Shaw tells us about his research and why he loves his PhD.
The Department of Theology and Religion at Exeter is a centre of excellence for teaching and research across a broad and diverse range of interests within the discipline. We are a dynamic and friendly team who offer intellectually challenging and wide-ranging teaching, and a flourishing research culture.
Meet our academics
Here are a few of our academics involved in research within the department;
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.
Our current PGRs
We're proud of the research carried out by our PhD students. There are currently around 50 PhD students in the Department, many of whom maintain an online personal profile detailing their research activities. Follow the links below to find out more about them and their research projects.
|Student||Research title||First supervisor||Second supervisor|
|Rachel Addison||Overcoming the legacy of Eugenics - historical, cultural and religious issues regarding the legitimacy of state involvement in the use of generic technologies.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Christopher Southgate|
|Joshua Bryant||An Empire Made Safe:The roles of late antique Roman fortified structures in the Eastern frontier region.||Professor Emma Loosley||Dr Ioana Oltean|
|Robert William Button||The Theology of Ritual in the Russian Orthodox Tradition: Perspectives on the Nikonian Reforms.||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Professor Emma Loosley|
|Philippa Campbellclause||Eucharistic Food Ethics: Challenging our Stale Economy with the Bread of Life in an Era of Increasing Food Insecurity.||Professor Christopher Southgate||Professor Tim Gorringe|
|Esther Chew Su Li||Recovering Heilsgeschichte for a Trinitarian Ethic||Dr Esther D. Reed||Dr Brandon Gallaher|
|Elisabeth Cook||Implications of Ezra 9-10.||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Professor David Horrell|
|Penelope Cowell Doe||Queering The Pilling Report||Dr Louise Lawrence||Dr Susannah Cornwall|
|Jonathan Curtis||Teetotalism as ethical choice.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Avril Mewse|
|Catherine Donner||The centrality of death in the life and writings of Thomas More.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Henry French|
|Paschalis Gkortsilas||John Chrysostom and the Greeks: Hellenism and Greek philosophy in the rhetoric of John Chrysostom||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Dr Richard Flower|
|Stephen Goundrey-Smith||The Impact of Pharmaceutical Research on the Shape of Human Life in the 20th Century||Professor Christopher Southgate||Dr Jonathan Hill|
|Eva Marina Syster Hannus||‘Theological anthropology in light of evolutionary and cognitive science’||Professor Christopher Southgate||Dr Jonathan Hill|
|Alistair Harper||‘Subversive-Fulfilment’: How Acts relates with the Greco-Roman world||Professor David Horrell||Professor Morwenna Ludlow|
|Giovanni Hermanin De Reichenf||The role of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John within Origen’s and Augustine’s Commentaries.||Professor Morwenna Ludlow||Dr David Tollerton|
|David Horner||Body and Soul: An evaluation of Richard Swinburne’s arguments for substance dualism||Dr Jonathan Hill||Joel Krueger|
|Cherryl Hunt||The manner the Bible is read and used in churches.||Dr Louise Lawrence||Dr Mike Higton|
|Hyun Kang||Establishing a novel eco-feministic model of godfrom Korean folklore.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Heidi Hadsell|
|Ha Young Kim||Divine Christology and Priestly Sacrifice in 1 Peter.||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Diane Lincoln||Emerging Church||Dr Esther D. Reed||Avril Mewse|
|Daniel McClellan||Divine Agency in Early Israelite and Jewish Literature and Cult||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Professor Siam Bhayro|
|Daniel Nessim||Didache, Torah, Gentile and Jew: A paradigm of distinction and unity.||Professor David Horrell||Professor Siam Bhayro|
|Amy Poppinga||Knowledge preceding action.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Scott Thumma|
|Louise Prideaux||Towards a Christian Theology of Contemporary Culture in the Reformed Tradition||Dr Esther D. Reed||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Leanna Rierson||Evaluating Paul’s Power-in-Weakness Claims and Strategies in the Corinthian Correspondence in Light of Current Vulnerability and Humility Research||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Mark Rivers Bland||Can money be “made” to glorify God? A proposal for a church-based token currency.||Dr Esther D. Reed||Professor Tim Gorringe|
|Carla Roland||Theology and Religious Studies.||Professor Ian Netton||Yahya Michot|
|David Shaw||New testament: Identity and Mission in the Letter of 1 Peter.||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|
|Hyunte Shin||New Testament Eschatology and the Environmental Crisis of South Korea: Towards a Contextual Christian Environmental Ethic||Professor David Horrell||Professor Christopher Southgate|
|Rebekah Welton||A Study of Gluttony and Drunkenness in Narratives of the Hebrew Bible in Relation to the Law of the Rebellious Son in Deuteronomy 21:18-21||Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou||Rita Langer|
|Ying Lam Yip||Choosing to Suffer: A Narrative Analysis of the Identity-Making Processes in Philippians||Professor David Horrell||Dr Louise Lawrence|