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Durham University

Welcome to

Postgraduate Research

The Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies is a hub for postgraduate researchers working on all aspects of the theology, life, history and traditions of the worldwide Anglican Communion in any discipline at Durham University. This page is the place for current and potential postgraduate researchers to connect with others.


Prospective postgraduate researchers interested in proposing a project on themes related to the Anglican Communion are warmly invited to contact a member of the centre with expertise in their chosen subject area.

For current postgraduate researchers wishing to appear on this page, or to learn more about the centre’s postgraduate research, please email Samuel Horlor at admin.cas@durham.ac.uk.


Current Postgraduate Researchers

Nicholas Brown

Nick is a part-time doctoral student, researching issues centred on the role of lay singers in Anglican choral foundations. In particular, he is interested in exploring the spiritual nature of singers' experience and the theological possibilities of their performances – relating this to the theological and ecclesiological assumptions that are present within the Anglican tradition of theology and spirituality.

Read more about Nicholas Brown's research.

Enya Doyle

Enya Doyle is a final year PhD candidate in Music & Theology whose academic interests include linking music with social justice, theology, education, and gender, sex and sexuality. Unsurprisingly then, Enya's thesis is a transdisciplinary study of gender diversity in Anglican cathedral music. Enya's PhD is informed by primary research carried out in cathedrals across England in 2017/2018 and is funded by the St Matthias Foundation.

Read more about Enya Doyle’s research.

Philip Hobday

Philip Hobday is studying part-time for a PhD in Theology while working as a parish priest in Reading. He is researching one of the Church of England’s earliest theologians, Richard Hooker (1554-1600). Comparing Hooker’s thought with that of a representative theologian of the ‘catholic’ and ‘reformed’ traditions (Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin) will show that there is far greater convergence than often supposed between the three traditions (Anglican, catholic, and reformed). As well as helping relocate Richard Hooker’s theology more precisely on its own account, this might yield insight into genuine areas of convergence and disagreement in contemporary ecumenical dialogue.

Jenny Leigh

Jenny Leigh is a final year PhD candidate in the Department of Theology and Religion. Her research is concerned with coherence of Christian ethical and political identity, and how this is formed – both within the Church (with a particular focus on the Church of England) and in society. The work grows out of working as a parliamentary researcher (for an MP, and then for the Lords Spiritual) and in social policy, experiences which raised questions around how we think theologically about our identities as both Christians and citizens and how these can be held together.

Read more about Jenny Leigh’s research.

David Newton

David Newton is a part-time distance student in the Department of Theology and Religion who began his PhD in October 2018. He is a vicar just outside Cambridge. His academic work has broadly fallen in the intersection between doctrine and ethics. His current research explores kenotic motifs in recent British Anglican Discourse, paying particularly attention to how kenosis, and a range of correlates,have been deployed by Sarah Coakley and Rowan Williams, as they think through both Trinitarian Theology and the Ethical Life.

Ivor Perry

Ivor Perry is a part time, distance student in the Department of Theology and Religion. His work is concerned with expressions of loss and the changing faith of ‘ordinary’ people as a result of war. In 2014 he published Bringing Them Home, the story of thirty men from his adoptive village, Wymeswold, who did not return from the First World War. His current project focuses on the Commonwealth War Graves and the role of headstones in remembrance.

Read more about Ivor Perry’s research.

Nick Todd

Nick Todd is an Army Chaplain researching the Church of England’s attitudes to conflict and military issues in the post-Cold War period. This part-time research emerges from his personal experience as an Anglican minister deployed on operations in Afghanistan. The aim is to consider conversations around these issues, employing Critical Discourse Analysis to explore deeper. Extending existing work on the Church of England in earlier periods of history, Nick's research builds a picture of voices speaking today and examines how these voices have developed over time.

John Wallace

John Wallace is currently studying for a DThM in the Department of Theology and Religion. His area of interest is church planting, the process of establishing new churches. The project focuses on three church plants with different origins and different levels of maturity; it compares new churches in London and the East Midlands with those built in the Victorian era as a result of the Oxford Movement.

Read more about John Wallace’s research.