I first studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. After a year working at a mission school in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and a further year working in Leeds, I moved to the University of Cambridge to study Theology. I was ordained to the diaconate in 1998 and to the priesthood in 1999. In 2000-2001 I was acting Dean of Jesus College, Cambridge and Director of Studies in Theology. From 2001 to 2004 I was Chaplain of Hertford College, Oxford. During this time in Oxford, I was also honorary Chaplain to Helen House and Douglas House, hospices for children and young adults with life-limiting illness. This led to a particular interest in theological anthropology and the theology of disability, topics which I now include in undergraduate modules. I was Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales, Lampeter from 2004 and moved to the University of Nottingham in 2009, becoming Head of Department in 2013. I came to Durham as Van Mildert Professor of Divinity in September 2015.
In the general field of the doctrine of creation, I have written a book entitled Creation: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Bloomsbury, 2017) which I hope will be of interest to a wide readership. I am also editing The Oxford Handbook of Creation, due for publication in 2020.
As well as my research in the doctrine of creation, I have published on the relation between theology and philosophy, Augustine of Hippo (354-430), the wider thought of Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274), the fifteenth century German Cardinal and philosopher Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) and the twentieth century Catholic theologians Henri de Lubac (1896-1991) and Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988). In 2009 I co-edited The Radical Orthodoxy Reader with John Milbank and you can listen to me give a brief introduction ot Radical Orthodoxy here.
Aside from my work in the Department of Theology and Religion, I am an Anglican priest and residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral. This joint role of University Professor and Cathedral Canon, which has its origins in the foundation of the University by the Bishop of Durham and the Cathedral Chapter in 1832, connects the work of academic theology with the daily life of the Church. I sit on the Anglican Communion’s faith and order commission (the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order) and serve on the Academic Board of the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology and the Research Degrees Panel of the Church of England’s Ministry Division.
I am a native of Nottingham and a lifelong fan of Nottingham Forest as well as a lover of cricket, rugby, food, film, books and France.