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Welcome to

Members of the Centre

Dr Jeremy Bonner

I was the Ramsey Fellow in Anglican Studies at the University of Durham from 2013 to 2015. The holder of a PhD in history from the Catholic University of America, I have taught at Robert Morris University, Duquesne University and the University of Sheffield and am currently a lecturer with the Lindisfarne Regional Training Programme. I have written and published on various aspects of modern American and English Church history, including The Road to Renewal: Victor Joseph Reed and Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905-1971 (Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2008); Called Out of Darkness Into Marvelous Light: A History of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, 1750-2006 (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009); and Empowering the People of God: Catholic Action Before and After Vatican II (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013), which I co-edited with Mary Beth Fraser Connolly and Christopher Denny. I recently completed “‘The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of Things Not Seen’: Bishop John Jamieson Willis and the Mission of the Church, 1910-1947,” for Mark Chapman and Jeremy Bonner, eds., Costly Communion: Ecumenical Initiative and Sacramental Strife in the Anglican Communion, which is expected to be published by Brill in 2018.

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Professor Christopher Cook

I qualified in medicine from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1981. I undertook postgraduate training in psychiatry at the United Medical & Dental Schools of Guys and St Thomas’s in London. My MD thesis was on the genetic predisposition to alcohol misuse, and I published widely in the field of alcohol misuse and addiction, including articles on spirituality and addiction, before making spirituality, theology and health my main area of clinical and academic interest. I have higher degrees in both medicine and theology. I was ordained as an Anglican Priest in 2001.

I am Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Durham University, an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, and an Honorary Minor Canon at Durham Cathedral. I am President of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality. My book publications include The Philokalia and the Inner Life (James Clarke, 2011), Spirituality, Theology & Mental Health (ed. CCH Cook, publ SCM, 2013), and Spirituality and Narrative in Psychiatric Practice (eds Cook, Powell & Sims, Royal College of Psychiatrists Press, 2016).

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Revd. Dr David Goodhew

I am on the staff of the Anglican theological college, Cranmer Hall, which is part of St Johns College, Durham University, as Director of Ministerial Practice.

Within Anglican Studies I have a special interest in the contemporary Anglican Communion, having edited the volume Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present, (Routledge 2017). I have published widely in the fields of modern British church history and theology and South African social and religious history. I am co-editing with Anthony-Paul Cooper The Desecularisation of the City: London’s Churches, 1980 to the Present, to be published by Routledge in 2018. I also oversee the work of the research centre, the Centre for Church Growth Research.

Details about the Centre for Church Growth Research can be found at

Professor Mike Higton

My post in Durham is part of the University's Common Awards partnership with the Church of England. I am responsible for academic input into the University's validation of the Common Awards in Theology, Ministry and Mission offered by the Church in colleges and courses around the country, and for developing collaborative research projects that bring together people from the church and university sectors to discuss the future of theological education.

My own research is in the area of Christian doctrine, and I am particularly interested in the roles that doctrinal discussion plays in the life of the Church of England.

I am a member of the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission, of the Theological Reference Group of the Church’s Education Office, and of the Theological Working Group of the Transformations Group (which examines attitudes to women’s ministry around the church), and am honorary lay Canon Theologian at Sheffield Cathedral.

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The Reverend Canon Dr David Kennedy

Alongside my role as Associate Director of the Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies I serve as Vice-Dean and Precentor of Durham Cathedral. I am also currently a part-time lecturer in Liturgy in the Department of Theology and Religion and at Cranmer Hall, Durham. Previously, I was lecturer in Liturgy and Christian Spirituality at Queen’s College, Birmingham and part-time Lecturer in the Department of Theology, Birmingham University. I also served for 10 years on the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England, and as national Chair of Praxis, Enriching Worship Today, and am chair of Durham Diocesan Liturgical Committee. I have written books on the Eucharistic epiclesis and on liturgical time.

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Professor Walter Moberly

My writing focusses on questions to do with how best to understand the ancient biblical texts, especially the Old Testament, as Christian Scripture in the life of the church and the world today. I discuss the nature of interpretation, and what might make for contemporary religious literacy.

Representative recent work includes: Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture (Baker Academic: 2013), and “Biblical Hermeneutics and Ecclesial Responsibility” in Stanley Porter & Matthew Malcolm (eds.), The Future of Biblical Interpretation (Paternoster: 2013), 105-125.

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Canon Professor Simon Oliver

I am Van Mildert Professor of Divinity and Canon Residentiary of Durham Cathedral. My research interests lie in the field of Christian theology and philosophy, particularly the thought of Thomas Aquinas, the doctrine of creation and the history of the relationship between theology and science. As well as co-editing The Radical Orthodoxy Reader and a number of other collections, I am author of Philosophy, God and Motion (Routledge, 2005) and the forthcoming Creation: A Guide for the Perplexed and Creation’s Ends: Teleology, Ethics and the Natural. I will deliver the Stanton Lectures in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Cambridge in 2017.

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Dr Susan Royal

I am a historian of early modern English religious culture, and have a particular interest in the way sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Protestants situated themselves historically and theologically. The origins and development of the Church of England, and those who dissented from it, are therefore central to my research. My PhD explored the Reformation-era legacy of the late medieval Lollard dissenters, and this forms the basis of a book I am writing about memory and identity in the English Reformation. I am also the Membership Secretary for the Church of England Record Society and serve on the Executive Committee for the Ecclesiastical History Society.

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Canon Professor Michael Snape

I am Michael Ramsey Professor of Anglican Studies, Director of The Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies, and an ecumenical lay canon of Durham Cathedral. I am also Honorary Secretary of the Church of England Record Society and the official historian of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department. My research interests lie in Christianity and the experience of war in the modern era, ranging from the eighteenth century through to recent ISAF operations in Afghanistan. My past and forthcoming publications include God and the British Soldier: Religion and the British Army in the First and Second World Wars (London: Routledge, 2005); ‘Anglican Army Chaplains in the First World War: Goodbye to Goodbye to All That’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 62, 2011; God and Uncle Sam: Religion and America’s Armed Forces in World War II (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2015); and ‘War and Peace’, in Jeremy Morris and Rowan Strong (eds), The Oxford History of Anglicanism Volume IV: The Twentieth Century (Oxford: OUP, 2017).

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Dr Julia Stapleton

I am Reader in Politics in the School of Government and International Affairs and Associate Director of The Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies. I am interested in political thought within the Church of England in the twentieth century, as expressed by both its clergy and lay members. I have a particular interest in conceptions of the relationship between church, state, and nation across a range of liberal and Conservative perspectives. I am the PI for an AHRC funded project entitled ‘Church, State, and Nation: The Journals of Herbert Hensley Henson, 1900-1939’. The project will run from July 2017-December 2020. The aim of the project is to create a scholarly on-line edition of Henson’s journals that cover the years 1900-1939, when Henson was at the peak of his influence as a public figure, and to write scholarly articles on British political, intellectual and religious history in this period, using the journals and other sources.

My publications include Englishness and the Study of Politics: the Social and Political Thought of Ernest Barker (Cambridge, 1994), and ‘T.E. Utley and Renewal of Conservatism in post-war Britain’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 19:2 (2014), 207-26.

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Professor Pete Ward

I am Professorial Fellow in Ecclesiology and Ethnography. This is a joint appointment in the Department of Theology and Religion and at St John’s College. My research focuses on the links between Theology and the cultural expressions of the Christian Church and in wider society. I have an interest in contemporary worship, young people and the Church and theological empirical methods in ecclesiology, and religion media and popular culture. I was formerly the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advisor for Youth Ministry. As well as working in Durham I am also Professor of Practical Theology at MF The Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo and at NLA University College in Bergen, Norway.

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Professor Philip Williamson

As a professor in the Department of History, my publications have included studies of party politics, government, the monarchy, and economic and imperial policies in early twentieth-century Britain. I was principal investigator for the AHRC-funded project on ‘British state prayers, fasts and thanksgivings’, which is producing National Prayers: Special Worship since the Reformation in three volumes for the Church of England Record Society: I am chief editor for volume 2, General fasts, thanksgivings and special prayers in the British Isles 1689–1870 (2017), and volume 3, Worship for national and royal occasions in the United Kingdom 1871–2012 (forthcoming). I have a Leverhulme research fellowship (2016–19) for work on ‘Royalty and religion in the British Isles since 1689’, and I am a co-investigator for Julia Stapleton’s AHRC-funded project on ‘Church, state, and nation: the journals of Herbert Hensley Henson, 1900-1939’.

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