Dr Alistair McFadyen

Dr Alistair McFadyen

Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology

+44 (0)113 34 33653

Summary: Theological anthropology, sin; theology and public life; policing, religion and theology; theology, religion and sexual exploitation of children; feminist theology.

Location: Hopewell House

Teaching Commitments: 33653


Research Interests

Al McFadyen works mainly on the theme of humanity, trying to understand theologically what it means to be human in practice as well as in theory and how to speak humanly about humanity.

In his research and writing, he operates within the interface, not only of church and secular world, but of academy and world, often attempting a triangulation between Christian doctrine, secular theories and concrete situations of practice in the real world, hoping for mutual illumination.

He has developed this approach writing on child sexual abuse and the holocaust, on inner-city policing, and on personhood.

He could give a complicated theoretical account of why this is an appropriate theological methodology, but really it's simply a triangulation he finds he lives within and is his existential situation as an Anglican (Episcopalian) lay-person, working in the academy who has always also found himself engaged in other communities of practice.

Alongside his full-time academic post, he also serves part-time as a police officer in a challenging, multi-faith and multi-ethnic inner-city area of Leeds. Especially since the 7th July 2005 terrorist attacks on London, he has tried to work more explicitly in ways that bring the two worlds of policing in a plural society and academic study of religion together. He is currently drawing on earlier work on sexual exploitation of children to research the religious and cultural factors in organised exploitation and abuse in the UK.

He is currently finalising a book called Seeking Humanity, whilst also working theologically on the themes more directly related to his policing experience - loving enemies, loving the neighbourhood, terrorism, torture.

Elsewhere on the web:

Academia Edu



Dr McFadyen was co-editor of the series Changing Society, Changing Church for SPCK, and previously co-edited the series Society and Church for SCM Press. 

He has served as a member of the Church of England's Doctrine Commission, responsible for the book Being Human: A Christian Understanding of Personhood illustrated with reference to power, money, sex and time. For six years he served as secretary to Society for the Study of Theology