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Team Rector, Ashford Town Parish (Church of England, Canterbury)
I am an Anglican priest and currently the Team Rector in Ashford town Parish in Kent. I served as Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology at the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity for nearly seven years, and before that I worked in theological education as a member of staff and then the Principal at the South East Institute for Theological Education (now St Augustine’s College).
B. A. (Classics)
M. Phil. (Theology)
Ph. D. (Medieval Studies)
My background in Classics led to my first experience of teaching in a university context when I was asked as a graduate student to teach an introductory course on Ancient Greek. While I was at the South East Institute for Theological Education, I taught courses in many of areas of Christian theology, including church history, doctrine, liturgy, spirituality, ethics and hermeneutics. I also taught a module on Christianity and Judaism for undergraduates at the University of Kent.
More recently, I have contributed to sessions on ecumenism and ecclesiology for people preparing for ordained ministry in the Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches. I have also taught on the Psalms in Christian tradition. In the past I have acted as an external assessor for university validation processes and as an external examiner, while during my time at the Council for Christian Unity I was regularly involved in preparing church reports on ecumenical and theological matters. As an Anglican priest, I have served in a number of different parish contexts since being ordained in 1994, first in the Rochester Diocese and then in Canterbury, where I am an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral.
- Research Interests and Supervision
Having written my doctoral thesis on changing representations of interiority in medieval spiritual literature, I have continued to be interested in the history of theology and spirituality within the wider history of Western culture. My first book, for instance, was based on research into how the encounter with Judaism had shaped the development of Christian theology at critical periods. My previous role in theological education and ministerial formation led to an interest in the intersection between theological anthropology and contemporary approaches to vocation and formation, while my current work at the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity has prompted engagement with ecclesiology and the history and theology of ecumenism, in both cases resulting in further publications. In preparation for its centenary, I have been exploring the continuing significance of the ‘Lambeth Appeal to all Christian People’ from 1920 and have published some pieces relating to this. I have also an interest in the place of the Psalms in Christian theology and spirituality, and continue to pursue work in this area.
Responding to God’s Call: Christian Formation Today (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2012).
The Internal Foe: Judaism and Anti-Judaism in the Shaping of Christian Theology (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).
After Brexit? European Unity and the Unity of European Churches, edited by Matthias Grebe and Jeremy Worthen (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019).
Chapters and journal articles
“The Ecclesiology of Visible Unity at Lambeth 1920: Lost beyond Recovery?” Ecclesiology 16 (2020): 224-242.
“The Centenary of the ‘Appeal to All Christian People’ and the Ecumenical Vocation of Anglicanism,” Theology 123.2 (2020): 104–122.
“The Centenary of the 1920 Lambeth Conference’s Appeal to All Christian People: The Unity of the Church and the Strife of Nations,” in On Nations and the Churches: Ecumenical Responses to Nationalisms and Migration, ed. Jelle Creemers and Ulrike Link-Wieczorek, Proceedings of the 20th Academic Consultation of the Societas Oecumenica (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlangsanstalt, 2020), pp. 237–47
“Ecumenical Dialogue and the Question of Authority,” in Incarnating Authority: A Critical Account of Authority in the Church, ed. Paul Avis, Angela Berlis, Nikolaus Knoepffler, Martin O’Malley, Ta Ethika vol. 18 (München: Utzverlag, 2019), pp. 191–208.
“Reforming: A Theological Idea in a Secular Age?”, One in Christ 51.2 (2017): 298–313.
“The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: An Ecumenical Event?”, Theology 120/2 (March / April 2017): 100–07.
“Evangelii Gaudium: Good News for Ecumenism”, in Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, and the Renewal of the Church, ed. Duncan Dormor and Alana Harris (Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2017), pp. 218–38.
“Is there a Special Relationship between Christianity and Judaism?”, Current Dialogue 58 (November 2016): 41–43.
“What’s New about Renewal in Evangelii Gaudium?”, Ecclesiology 12 (2016): 73-90.
“Difficult Texts: Matthew 27.25”, Theology 2015, 118.5 (2015): 354-46.
“Reasons for the Conversations: Reflections from an Anglican Late Arrival”, in Sharing the Faith at the Boundaries of Unity: Further Conversations between Anglicans and Baptists, ed. Paul S. Fiddes, Centre for Baptist History and Heritage Studies 12 (Oxford: Regent’s Park College, 2015).
“Praying the Psalms and the Challenges of Christian–Jewish Relations: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Thomas Merton,” Studies in Christian–Jewish Relations 9:1 (2014): 1-23.
“Praying the Psalms in the Name of Christ: Christian-Jewish Relations since Vatican II and a Pre-modern Spiritual Tradition,” in Interpreting the ‘Spirit of Assisi’: Challenges to Interfaith Dialogue in a Pluralistic World, ed. Maria Diemling and Thomas J. Herbst (Canterbury Franciscan International Study Centre, 2013), pp. 235-51.
“Priestly Formation through Part-time Study in the Church of England and its Relationship to Roman Catholic Developments,” in Late Have I Loved You. Part-time Priestly Formation for Adults: Psycho-spiritual Aspects, ed. Matt Ham (Lulu 2011).
“Augustinian Anxiety and the Creation of Narrative in William of St Thierry,” in Sources of Transformation: Revitalising Traditions of Christian Spirituality, ed. Edward Howells and Peter Tyler (Continuum 2010).
“A Model of Ministerial Formation: Conceptual Framework and Practical Implications,” in The Making of Ministry, ed. Angela Shier-Jones (Epworth 2008).
“Babes in Arms: Speechlessness and Selfhood,” in Children of God: Towards a Theology of Childhood, ed. Angela Shier-Jones (Epworth 2007).
“Faith Seeking Understanding,” in The Reader 103:1 (2006): 4-5.
“Interpreting Scripture for the Love of God: Hugh of St Victor on Reading and the Self,” in Biblical Interpretation: The Meanings of Scripture Past and Present, ed. John M. Court (Continuum 2004).
“Beginning without End: Christianity in Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 39:3-4 (2002): 340-362.
“Theology and the History of Metanarrative: Clarifying the Postmodern Question,” Modern Believing 42:4 (2001): 15-23.
“The Theology of Time Regained: Eucharist, Eschatology and Resurrection,” New Blackfriars 80 (1999): 512-524.
“Remembrance and Redemption: Including Walter Benjamin,” Theology CII no. 808 (1999): 262-269.
“Joseph Butler on the Enemies of Virtue,” Studies in Christian Ethics 12.1 (1999): 48-56.
“Adam of Dryburgh and the Augustinian Tradition,” Revue des Études Augustiniennes 43 (1997): 339-347.
“Joseph Butler's Case for Virtue: Conscience as a Power of Sight in a Darkened World," Journal of Religious Ethics 23 (1995): 239-261.
“Dicta mea dicta sunt patrum: John of Fécamp's Confessiones,” Recherches de Théologie Ancienne et Médiévale LIX (1992): 111-124.
“Augustine's De trinitate and Anselm's Proslogion,” Collectanea Augustiniana III.
“On the Matter of the Text,” University of Toronto Quarterly 60 (1991): 337-353.
“Christianity and the Limits of Tragedy,” New Blackfriars 70 (1989): 109-117.
“Renewal and Reform: Does it Have a Theology?”, lecture given at Preston Minster published on Renewal and Reform Facebook page on 7 December with extract in Church Times for 9 December 2016.
“The Roots of Renewal and Reform”, published in “Theological Reflections” series for Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme, 28 September 2016.
(with Jonathan Goodall) “The Limits of Diversity”, in Supporting Papers for The Faith and Order Commission’s Report, Communion and Disagreement, 2016.
“Towards a Contemporary Theology of Discipleship: Sources for the Church of England”, from Resources for Developing Discipleship from the Ministry Division, Education Division and Mission and Public Affairs Division of the Church of England, 2014.
I have contributed to three volumes of Church House Publishing’s Reflections for Daily Prayer and also to their Reflections on the Psalms.