Colleges, School and Institutes
My principal work has been on the ways changes in philosophical method have an impact on theological reasoning. I am especially interested in Kant’s attempt to combine subject and object (in his transcendental idealism) and Hegel’s correction of this in his account of the concept (in his logic).
This has led to associated questions of truth, tradition, subjectivity and argumentation in inter-religious encounter (often stimulated by the practice of Scriptural Reasoning).
I read Music at King’s College, Cambridge (where I was a choral scholar), followed by Theology. After completing my PhD in Theology, I took up a research fellowship at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
In 1998 I moved to the University of Edinburgh, working in systematic theology and philosophy.
I was appointed to a chair in philosophical theology at the University of Birmingham in September 2015.
Willingness to take PhD students
I welcome enquiries from potential students in philosophical theology, especially post-Kantian thought (Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard) and its relation to C20 and C21 Christian theology (including Barth, Bonhoeffer, Tillich, von Balthasar, Pannenberg, Moltmann, Rahner, Jüngel, Tracey, Milbank), as well as key figures in the German tradition who are significant for engagements between religion and philosophy (including Bloch, Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas).
I also welcome enquiries in philosophical problems in interreligious engagement, a growing sub-field of the Philosophy of Religion, including problems in pluralism, truth, disagreement, and argument, especially in relation to theology of religions, comparative theology and scriptural reasoning.
Supervising doctoral work is one of the high points, and one of the most important parts, of my academic work. I was awarded ‘Best Research Supervisor’ (a university-wide award) in my former institution, in 2015.
All of my former doctoral students have completed successfully (writing on a wide variety of figures including Kant, Schelling, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Gadamer, Horkheimer, Tillich, and many others). My best recent former PhD students have gone on to hold Junior Research Fellowships or British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowships at Oxford.
I encourage all my students to present at academic conferences during their study, and work with them to prepare papers for presentation and publication that will help establish their presence in the academy.