We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University News

Find an expert

Welcome to the Durham University Media Guide to Expertise, a resource for journalists seeking informed comment on a wide variety of topical issues.

To find an expert in a specialist area, please use the 'search' facility to search by keyword or expert surname.

Search media contacts

Professor Robert Song, M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon)

Telephone: 0191 33 43959
Room number: 101 (Abbey House)

(email at

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Ethics: Christianity and politics
  • Ethics: biotechnology/genetic engineering
  • Medical and health research topics: ethics in biotechnology/genetic engineering
  • Political thought & theory: Christianity and politics
  • Political thought & theory: ethics in biotechnology/genetic engineering

Current postgraduates

I am currently supervising postgraduates researching in the following areas:

  • the virtue of generosity
  • theology and dementia
  • a theological ethnography of the Durham miners
  • the church under Blair
  • the ethics of surrogate motherhood
  • evidence-based hospital chaplaincy
  • genetic manipulation and sports enhancements
  • theology and appetite/desire
  • pastoral responses to eating disorders
  • homosexuality, apologetics and ecclesiology

Past postgraduates

Postgraduate research I have supervised includes the following:

  • Jennifer Moberly, 'The Virtue of Bonhoeffer's Ethics: A Study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Ethics in Relation to Virtue Ethics' (PhD)
  • Sarah Charlton, 'The Creation of Families: Christianity and Contemporary Adoption' (PhD)
  • Peter Manning, 'Cohabitation in Britain: A Theological and Pastoral Response' (PhD)
  • Ashley Wilson, 'Hermeneutics and Moral Imagination: The Implications of Gadamer's Truth and Method for Christian Ethics' (PhD)
  • Paul Markham, 'Conversion Converted: A New Model of Christian Conversion in Light of Wesleyan Theology and Nonreductive Physicalism' (PhD)
  • Mary Rowell, ‘Towards a New Paradigm for Bioethics: Ecological and Theological Contributions’ (PhD)
  • Dennis Cheek, 'Theology and Technology: A Framework for Analysis and Decision Making with Special Reference to Intelligent Transportation Systems' (PhD)
  • Edmund Wee, ‘A Christian Theological Response to Human Gene Patenting’ (MA)
  • Helen Savage, ‘Changing Sex? Transsexuality and Christian Theology’ (PhD)
  • Maria Lastochkina, ‘Christian Views of Euthanasia: A Comparison of Russian and Western Perspectives’ (MA)
  • Nigel Oakley, ‘Educating Christians for Political Involvement: An Examination of Augustinian, Liberation and Confessing Church Approaches’ (PhD)
  • Audrey Elkington, 'A Theological Consideration of Issues Raised by Human Genetic Manipulation with Particular Reference to Gene Therapy' (MA)

Research Interests

  • Bio-ethics, esp. ethics & human genetics
  • Christian ethics
  • Church and society


Books: authored

  • Robert Song (2002). Human Genetics Fabricating the Future. Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press.
  • Robert Song (1997). Christianity and Liberal Society. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Books: edited

  • Waters, Brent & Song, Robert (2013). The Authority of the Gospel: Explorations in Moral and Political Theology in Honour of Oliver O'Donovan. Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans.
  • Craig Bartholomew., Jonathan Chaplin., Robert Song. & Al Wolters (eds.). (2002). A Royal Priesthood? The Use of the Bible Ethically and Politically: A Dialogue with Oliver O'Donovan. Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, vol. 3. Carlisle: Paternoster Press.

Edited works: contributions

  • Robert Song (1998). 'Democratie'. In Dictionnaire Critique de Theologie. Jean-Yves Lacoste (ed.) Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 308-9.
  • Robert Song (1997). ‘Moral Theology’ (revision). In The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. E. A. Livingstone (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1110-12.

Essays in edited volumes

  • Song, Robert (2013). Transgenic Animals and Ethics: Recognizing an Appropriate Dignity. In Animals as Religious Subjects: Transdisciplinary Perspectives. Deane-Drummond, Celia, Clough, David & Artinian-Kaiser, Rebecca London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark. 243-258.
  • Robert Song (2010). Bonhoeffer and the Biotechnological Imagination. In Bonhoeffer and the Biosciences: An Initial Exploration. Ralf K. Wüstenberg, Stefan Heuser & Esther Hornung Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 75-87.
  • Robert Song (2009). Humanity, Divinity and Interspecies Embryos. In The Legal, Medical and Cultural Regulation of the Body: Transformation and Transgression. Smith, Stephen W. & Deazley, Ronan Farnham: Ashgate. 127-141.
  • Mark Bratton (2009). The Bible and Human Genetics. In God, Ethics and the Human Genome. London: Church House Publishing. 33-45.
  • Robert Song (2007). Conclusion: Fragility and Grace, Theology and Disability’. In Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church. John Swinton & Brian Brock London: T & T Clark. 234-44.
  • Robert Song (2004). 'Sharing Communion: Hunger, Food, GM Foods and Population Growth'. In The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. Stanley Hauerwas & Samuel Wells (eds.) Oxford: Blackwell. 388-400.
  • Robert Song (2003). 'The Human Genome Project as Soteriological Project'. In Brave New World? Theology, Ethics and the Human Genome. Celia Deane-Drummond London: T. & T. Clark. 164-184.
  • Robert Song (2003). To Be Willing to Kill What for All One Knows Is A Person Is to Be Willing to Kill a Person. In God and the Embryo Religious Voices on Stem Cells and Cloning. Brent Waters & Ronald Cole-Turner Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 98-107.
  • Song, Robert. (2002). 'Whose Sanctity of Life? Ricoeur, Dworkin and the Human Embryo'. In Holiness Past and Present. Barton, Stephen. London: T. & T. Clark. 460-476.
  • Robert Song (1999). 'Wisdom as the End of Morality'. In Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?. Stephen C. Barton (ed.) Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. 295-306.
  • Robert Song (1994). 'Political Life'. In Veritatis Splendor: An Anglican Response. Charles Yeats (ed.) Norwich: The Canterbury Press. 57-68.

Journal papers: academic

  • Song, Robert (2013). Body Integrity Identity Disorder and the Ethics of Mutilation. Studies in Christian Ethics 26(4): 487-503.
  • Pugh, E. J., Song, R., Whittaker, V. & Blenkinsopp, J. (2009). A Profile of the Belief System and Attitudes to End-of-Life Decisions of Senior Clinicians Working in a National Health Service Hospital in the United Kingdom. Palliative Medicine 23(2): 158-164.
  • Robert Song (2007). 'Genetic Manipulation and the Body of Christ'. Studies in Christian Ethics 20(3): 399-420.
  • Robert Song (2006). Knowing There Is No God, Still We Should Not Play God? Habermas on the Future of Human Nature. Ecotheology 11(2): 191-211.
  • Robert Song (2005). Christian Bioethics and the Church's Political Worship. Christian Bioethics 11: 333-348.

Learn more about our expertise

Watch Durham’s academics give an insight into their research.