Professor, Theology and Religious Studies
Director, Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
DPhil., Oxford University
He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge University and New College, Oxford University (where he took his DPhil. in Theology and Philosophy). His academic career has taken in posts in Oxford, Leeds, Liverpool (all UK), and Leuven (Belgium). He has held visiting research fellowships at Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University New York City and the Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento (Italy) as well as visiting professorships at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of Chichester (UK). He has published widely in the fields of ecclesiology and ethics, as well as in other aspects of systematic theology and philosophy, with recent books including Ecclesiology and Postmodernity: Questions for the Church in Our Time (2007), The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church (2008, ed. with Lewis Mudge), Church and Religious Other (2008), The Vision of John Paul II: Assessing his Thought and Influence, (ed. 2008) and The Ratzinger Reader (2010 ed., with Lieven Boeve). He serves as chair of the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network, co-chair of the Ecclesiological Investigations Program Unit of the American Academy of Religion and is editor of the Continuum Series, ‘Ecclesiological Investigations’. He is an Irish citizen, passionate about social justice, rugby union and music.
Academic Research Interests
Ethics and Ecclesiology; ecumenics - dialogue within and between churches, faiths and between faith communities and the wider ‘world’; comparative ethics and ecclesiology; social ethics (particularly pertaining to social justice, globalization, work, the morality of institutions and bioethical questions); the notion of ‘theologically-informed ethics’ (i.e. the nature of the contribution of the church to moral debates in secular society); the related area of ‘public theology’ and the parameters of a ‘public ecclesiology’; the moral philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche and their era (including their impact and later influence and their interaction with religious currents of thought); ethical theory; the possibility and nature of ethics in a postmodern age; ecclesial authority, governance, leadership and organisation; modern and contemporary systematic and philosophical theology.