Summary: Political Theology, Ethics, Continental Philosophy, Apocalypse in Religion and Political Culture, Eschatology in Christian Doctrine and Western Philosophy, Climate Change and Political Activism.
I joined the department in 2012, having previously taught at the University of Manchester, and Applied Ethics CETL at Leeds. My work brings together political theology and continental philosophy, and is usually in dialogue with the environmental humanities. I'm interested in the formation of eschatological (end-time) belief and its influence on political life - for example in relation to narratives of the 'Anthropocene' and human extinction, climate change and activism. I am involved in the following projects:
Religion and Extinction Network (AHRC) - How is the prospect of living in the "sixth mass extinction" imagined, narrated, resisted, denied, planned for, mourned, celebrated? How might religious traditions and indigenous spiritualties have an influence here?
Imagining and Representing Species Extinctions (White Rose doctoral network) - involving 3 students and 6 academic across Leeds, York, Sheffield, and crossing disciplines of philosophy and theology, English literature, design, management, and marine biology.
Eschatology and Extinction (book project) Explores the significance of the Anthropocene epoch to end-time belief. How does the thought of leaving a 'human trace' upon the planet influence, deter, or in any way contribute to political and environmental engagement? How much do our beliefs about death and the afterlife influence the imagination of extinctions present and future?
I am keen to supervise PhD students in the following areas:
- Political Theology
- Religion and Continental Philosophy / Critical Theory
- Environmental Politics / Climate Change and Christian Belief
- Religion and Political Activism
- Eschatology and Apocalypse in Cultural / Political context
- Existentialism and Phenomenology (L3)
- Religion, Politics and the Future (L3)
- Apocalypse to Utopia (Masters)
- Religion, Society and Public Life (Masters)
'Deep Time and Secular Time in the Environmental Long View', Theory, Culture & Society, June 2018
'Confessing Anthropocene' Environmental Humanities (2018) 10 (1): 310-329.
'Climate Change and Apocalyptic Faith', Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 233246, March/April 2014
'Challenging the Skeptics: False Prophecy and Climate Activism', Religion and Society: Advances in Research Volume 4, 2013 (Berghahn).
'Re-writing mortality: a theological critique of geo-engineering and de-extinction' in Clingermann and O'Brien (eds), Calming the Storm (Rowman and Littlefield 2016)
'Divine memory and the melancholy archive: Derrida and Augustine on the Anthropocene' in Dean-Drummond, C. and Bergmann, S. (eds) Religion and the Anthropocene (Wipf and Stock, 2016)
'Eschatology' in Scott, P. and Northcott, M. (eds), Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Perspectives' (London: Routledge, 2014)
Upcoming and Recent Presentations
'Beyond Survival: Religion in an Age of Extinctions', keynote: Religious Perspectives and Alternative Futures, Indiana University, Bloomington, May 2018.
'Apocalypse and the Work of Mourning', Climate and Apocalypse, Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements, Bedford UK, 29-30 June, 2017.
'Whose Deep Future? A Critique of Longer Term Thinking in Anthropocene Discourse', Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Anthropocene Lectures, Potsdam, 9th August 2016.
'Confessing Anthropocene', Encounters with Deep Time: Haunting, Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network, 20th April 2016.
'Millenarian Ideology and Temporality in Climate Politics', Morality of Millenarianism, Queen's University Belfast, 28 August, 2015.
Religion in the Anthropocene: Challenges, Idolatries, Transformations (keynote), 17 May 2015, Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.
On Failing and Mourning: the Lost Arts of Humanism? Re-Imagining Human. International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, 18-20 September 2014, University of Leuven, Belgium.