If you are at the Durham campus or Queen's Campus, Stockton, dial the last five digits of the phone number. From outside the UK, the number is +44 191 33 and the last five digits.
Dr Colin Crowder
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deputy Head, Faculty of Arts and Humanities,
Director, Combined Honours in Arts and Social Sciences,
Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion
As a Deputy Head of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, I deputise for the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and I work with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the other two Deputy Heads of the Faculty on many aspects of the Faculty’s affairs. I am a member of the Faculty Board, Faculty Research Committee, and both of the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committees (undergraduate and postgraduate). I represent the Faculty on a number of university committees, advisory groups, and working parties, many of which relate to my particular areas of interest, including recruitment and admissions, learning and teaching, and web communications. With the other faculty officers, I chair appointing panels, process concessions and appeals, and work with the departments, the other faculties, and the central administration on strategic issues, policies and procedures, and student casework. I also represent the University as a member of the Executive Committee of DASSH UK – a national forum for Deans of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
As the Director of Combined Honours in Arts and Social Sciences, I am in charge of Combined Arts and Combined Social Sciences, which complement Durham’s Single Honours and Joint Honours programmes by providing a flexible framework for study at undergraduate level. Combined Honours students study modules in two, three, or four subjects, inside and outside the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health. My responsibilities in Combined Honours include the design and delivery of the core module The Humanities in the Modern World, and its successor, from 2010, Perspectives on Human Nature.
For many years, I was a lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, but on account of my other responsibilities my involvement in the work of the Department is now very limited. Since 2005, I have taught on some modules, supporting colleagues in contemporary theology and the study of religion, and supervised research projects at BA, MA, and PhD level, but I am not currently delivering any BA or MA modules or taking on new research students. I am unlikely to be doing much teaching, other than in Combined Honours, over the next few years, but I hope that I will be able to deliver the occasional lecture, supervise a few dissertations on topics related to my interests, and examine work by some BA and MA students, particularly in philosophy of religion and in religion, literature, and film.
I studied Theology at Durham, back in the 1980s, specialising in systematic theology, the philosophy of religion, and ethics. Pursuing my growing interest in the philosophy of Wittgenstein, I then studied Philosophy at Swansea, where I started to work on the research project which was completed with the submission of my Ph.D. thesis, Belief, Unbelief, and Wittgensteinian Philosophy of Religion. By then I was back in Durham, covering for a lecturer who had been awarded a two-year research fellowship, and at the end of this period I was appointed to a permanent lectureship. During the 1990s, I taught in contemporary theology and the philosophy of religion, but I spent much of my time in the promotion of postgraduate work, in the Department (as Director of the MA in Theological Research, and, later, Director of Postgraduate Studies), and in the Faculty of Arts (as Director of Postgraduate Training). I was appointed as Associate Dean of the new Faculty of Arts and Humanities in 2002, then Deputy Dean in 2004, and since 2007 I have divided my time between the Faculty and Combined Honours, although I continue to be a member of the Department as a Senior Teaching Fellow.
My interests include the philosophy of Wittgenstein and its influence on contemporary philosophy of religion, the rationality of religious belief, and philosophical atheism and the ‘natural history’ of religion since the Enlightenment. I am interested in the ways in which religious beliefs and practices are sustained, or undermined, or transformed, in particular social and cultural contexts, and this is related to my interest in religion and literature, and, more recently, in religion and film. These interests are reflected in the modules which I have taught in the Department, including Religion and Film, Atheism in the Modern World, and Reason and Religious Belief, and at the MA level The Bible in the Cinema, Wittgenstein and Religion, and Philosophy and Religious Belief.
In the last couple of years, I have completed the supervision of PhD projects on God, eternity, and the philosophy of time, and divine impassibility and the philosophy of the emotions. Before that, I supervised PhD projects on a wide variety of subjects, which included Wittgensteinian ethics and the concept of ‘self-renunciation’, Dewey, Rorty, and the status of theological non-realism, René Girard and theological anthropology, Bonhoeffer and social democracy, Lutheran theological ethics after MacIntyre, and Hendrik Kraemer’s theology of religions. I also supervised MA projects on subjects including the ontological argument in contemporary philosophical perspective, and the ‘revelatory’ model in the theology of salvation.
- Modern atheism
- Philosophy of religion
- Religion, literature and culture