Neil Messer completed his PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, before studying theology and ethics in Cambridge and at King’s College London. A minister of the United Reformed Church, he has worked in pastoral ministry, ministerial training and academic posts. Since 2009 he has been at the University of Winchester, where he is Professor of Theology. His research interests are focused on theological bioethics, neuroethics and the science-theology dialogue. He is the author of six books including Science in Theology (Bloomsbury, 2020), Theological Neuroethics (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Flourishing (Eerdmans, 2013), as well as several edited volumes and numerous articles and chapters.

Recent selected publications:


  • Science in Theology: Encounters between Science and the Christian Tradition, London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark.
  • Theological Neuroethics: Christian Ethics Meets the Science of the Human Brain (Enquiries in Theological Ethics), London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark.
  • Flourishing: Health, Disease and Bioethics in Theological Perspective, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Articles and book chapters

  • “Providence: Neuroethics,” in The Routledge Companion to Christian Ethics, ed. D. Stephen Long and Rebekah L. Miles, Abingdon: Routledge (in press).
  • “Human Flourishing: A Christian Theological Perspective,” in Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities, Matthew T. Lee, Laura D. Kubzanzsky, and Tyler J. VanderWeele, New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • “Beyond ‘Science and Theology’: How Science Might Contribute to Theological Understanding,” Modern Believing2 (2021): 136–46.
  • Editorial: “Pandemic Theology: Christian Theology in the Midst of COVID-19,” Crucible (October 2020): 3–6.
  • “Judging the Secret Thoughts of All: Functional Neuroimaging, ‘Brain Reading,’ and the Theological Ethics of Privacy,” Studies in Christian Ethics1 (2021): 17—35.
  • “Christos Yannaras’ The Freedom of Morality and Western Christian Ethics,” in Christos Yannaras: Philosophy, Theology and Culture, ed. Andreas Andreopoulos and Demetrios Harper, Abingdon: Routledge (2019).
  • “Evolution and Theodicy: How (Not) to Do Science and Theology,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, 53.3: 821–35.
  • “Bioethics and Practical Theology: The Example of Reproductive Medicine,” International Journal of Practical Theology, 21.2 (2017): 291–314.
  • “What Should Theology (Not) Learn from Science? The Case of the Human Brain,” in The Limits of Science, ed. Gillian Straine, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 80–100.
  • “Contributions from Biology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality and Gender, ed. Adrian Thatcher, 69–87. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • “Sin and Salvation (Or, Salvation and Sin),” in Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Perspectives, Michael S. Northcott and Peter M. Scott, 124–40. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • (with Angus Paddison) “The Bible and Public Policy: What Kind of Authority?” in The Bible: Culture, Community and Society, ed. Angus Paddison and Neil Messer, 189–207. London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2013.




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