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Department of Theology and Religion


Professor Gerard Loughlin, BA MA (Wales) PhD PGCE (Cambridge)

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43960
Room number: Abbey House B06a

Contact Professor Gerard Loughlin (email at


My interest in theology and religion has always been interdisciplinary. I studied theology and English literature at the University of Wales (Lampeter) and undertook my doctoral research - on the philosophy and theology of John Hick, and under the initial supervision of John A. T. Robinson - at the University of Cambridge (Trinity College). After a short time as a sixth form teacher (St Dominic's, Harrow on the Hill) I joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Newcastle, where I served as Head of Department from 1996-2001. On the closure of the Newcastle department in 2004, I moved to the long established (1832) but newly named Department of Theology & Religion at Durham. Thus in terms of both institutional location and academic discipline, my work crosses the borders between theology, philosophy and religious studies which is also the study of cultures.

My MA thesis was on The English Novels of Roman Catholic Modernism (Wales 1981) and its concern to move between theology, literature and literary theory was more fully realised in my first book, Telling God’s Story: Bible, Church and Narrative Theology (Cambridge University Press 1996/1999). This offers an account of the Christian life as a socio-textual practice, and its concern with 'telling' the 'body of Christ' opened the way for my second book: Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology (Blackwell 2004), which crosses the borders between theology and film in order to rethink Christian imaginings of the human body and its desires.

Long before 'queer theory' began to destabilize the always unstable identities of sex (fe/male) and gender (feminine/masculine), Christian thought was imagining a fluid, polymorphous body, which it named 'Christ', and through which it sought to remake all other carnalities. It is this strange tradition that is one of my current interests, and it is explored in an an edited volume on Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body (Blackwell 2007), and a forthcoming study of Homosexuality and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press). I am co-editor with Jon Davies of Sex These Days: Essays in Theology, Sexuality and Society (Continuum 1997) and co-editor with Elizabeth Stuart, Kent Brintnall and Marika Rose, of the journal Theology & Sexuality (Taylor & Francis), and I am also an Associate European Editor of Literature and Theology (Oxford University Press).

Durham is an excellent place in which to pursue interdisciplinary, 'cross-dressing' theology. The Department is home to some of the country's leading scholars in biblical and religious studies, with a wide range of anthropological, sociological and textual skills, as well as to theologians who - like myself - are concerned to explore cultural, ethical and political issues in and through theology. At Durham I contribute to the teaching at undergraduate level of systematic and philosophical theology, as well as offering modules on Christian Gender and Religion and Film. I supervise postgraduate students in these and related fields.

Research Interests

  • Christian Gender
  • Religion and Film
  • Narrative Theology
  • John Henry Newman
  • Roman Catholic Modernism

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "The University". In The Edinburgh Critical History of Nineteenth-Century Christian Theology. Edited by Daniel Whistler. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 64-84.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2016). "Disordered Bodies and the Body of Christ". In Reading the Body of Christ. Edited by Saskia Wendel and Aurica Nutt. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh. 57-68.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2015). "(Homosexual) Bodies and the Image of God". In Making Humans: Religious, Technological and Aesthetic Perspectives. Edited by Alexander Darius Ornella. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. 3-20.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2015). "Gay Affections". In The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality and Gender. Edited by Adrian Thatcher. Oxford University Press. 608-623.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2015). "The Literal Sense and the Senses of Scripture". In The Routledge Companion to the Practice of Christian Theology. Fodor,Jim & Higton, Mike London: Routledge. 174-190.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2013). "Making it Plain: Austin Farrer and the Inspiration of Scripture". In Scripture, Metaphysics, and Poetry: Austin Farrer’s The Glass of Vision with Critical Commentary. Robert MacSwain. Ashgate. 167-180.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2012). "Nouvelle Théologie: A Return to Modernism?". In Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology. Gabriel Flynn & Murray, Paul D. Oxford Oxford University Press. 36-50.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2012). "Nuptial Mysteries". In Faithful Reading: New Essays in Theology in Honour of Fergus Kerr, OP. Oliver, Simon, Kilby, Karen & O'Loughlin, Tom London: T. & T. Clark. 173-192.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2010). "Catholic Modernism". In The Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth-Century Theology. David Fergusson. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 486-508.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2010). "Essere creatura, diventare umano: una critica a Oliver O'Donovan", translated by Giovanni Pernigotto. In L’Enigma Corporeità Sessualità e Religione. Antonio Autiero and Stefanie Knauss. Bologna: EDB. 89-109.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2009). "Theology in the University". In The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman. Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 221-240.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2008). "Tarkovsky's Trees". In Tarkovsky. Dunne, Nathan. London: Black Dog Publishing. 81-95, 438-439.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2008). "The Madonna's Tear: Biblical Images in the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky". In Recent Releases:The Bible in Contemporary Cinema. Geert Hallbäck and Annika Hvitamar. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press. 81-92.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Idol Bodies". In Idolatry: False Worship in the Bible, Early Judaism and Christianity. Stephen C. Barton. London: T. & T. Clark. 267-286.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Not the Marrying Kind: Notes on an Ecclesial Comedy". In The God of Love and Human Dignity: Essays in Honour of George Newlands. Paul Middleton. London: T. & T. Clark. 139-153.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2007). "Omphalos". In Queer Theology Rethinking the Western Body. Loughlin, Gerard Oxford: Blackwell. 115-127.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Video Divina: Viewing Tarkovsky". In Reconfigurations: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Religion in a Post-Secuar Society. Stefanie Knauss and Alexander D. Ornella. Berlin: LIT. 179-195.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Within the image: Film as Icon". In Reframing Theology and Film: New Focus for an Emerging Discipline. Robert K. Johnston. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 287-303.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2006). "Bildens svindel som kroppens djup". In Postmodern Teologi. Ola Sigurdeson & Jayne Svenungsson Stockholm: Verbum. 222-236.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2006). "Postmodern Scripture". In Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction. Holcomb, Justin S. New York: New York University Press. 300-322.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2006). "The Body". In The Blackwell Companion to the Bible and Culture. Sawyer, John F. A. Oxford: Blackwell. 381-395.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2005). "Cinéma Divinité A Theological Introduction". In Cinéma divinité Theology and the Bible in Film. Christianson, Eric S., Peter Francis & William R. Telford London: SCM Press. 1-12.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Sex after Natural Law". In The Sexual Theologian: Essays on Sex, God and Politics. Althaus-Reid, Marcella & Lisa Isherwood London: Continuum. 86-98.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "The body in the Text: Realism and Non-realism, Revelation and Writing-experience". In New Directions in Philosophical Theology Essays in Honour of Don Cupitt. Hyman, Gavin Aldershot: Ashgate. 147-160.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2004). "The University Without Question: John Henry Newman and Jacques Derrida on Faith in the University". In The Idea of a Christian University: Essays on Theology and Higher Education. Astley, Jeff, Leslie Francis, John Sullivan & Andrew Walker Carlisle: Paternoster Press. 113-131, 302-307.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2000). "Time". In The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Hastings, Adrian. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 707b-709a.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1999). "Erotics: God's Sex". In Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology. Milbank, John, Pickstock, Catherine & Ward, Graham London: Routledge. 143-162.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1998). "Refiguring Masculinity in Christ". In Religion and Sexuality. Edited by Michael A. Hayes, Wendy Porter and David Tombs. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. 405-414.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1997). "Ending Sex". In Sex These Days: Essays on Theology, Sexuality and Society. Davies, Jon. & Loughlin, Gerard. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. 205-218.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1997). "René Girard (b.1923): Introduction". In The Postmodern God: A Theological Reader. Ward, Graham. Oxford: Blackwell. 96-104.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1997). "The Basis and Authority of Christian Doctrine". In The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine. Gunton, Colin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 41-64.

Edited book

Journal Article

  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2017). "Coming Alongside". Syndicate
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2014). "God is Not Everything". Syndicate: A New Forum for Theology 1(4): 164-170.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2014). "God is Not Everything" and "God is Not Everything II". Syndicate
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2012). "Bible and Film: Suffering and Special Effects". Modern Believing 53(2): 122-130.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2011). "The Wonder of Newman's Education". New Blackfriars 92(1038): 224-242.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2010). "Newman and the Question of University Theology". The Pastoral Review 6(6): 20-25.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2009). "The Long Take: Messianic Time in Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia". Journal for Cultural Research 13 (3-4): 365-379.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2008). "What is Queer? Theology after Identity". Theology and Sexuality 14(2): 143-152.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Found in Translation Ovid, David Malouf and the Werewolf". Literature and Theology 21(2): 113-130.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2007). "Rhetoric and rhapsody: a response to David Bentley Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite". New Blackfriars 88(1017): 600-609.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2005). "Biblical Bodies". Theology and Sexuality 12(1): 9-27.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Gathered at the Altar: Homosexuals and Human Rights". Theology and Sexuality 10(2): 73-82.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Pauline Conversations: Re-reading Romans 1 in Christ". Theology and sexuality 11(1): 72-102.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2003). "Sex After Natural Law". Studies in Christian Ethics 16(1): 14-28.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (2002). "Breezes: Religious Images in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". Louvain Studies 27: 265-279.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1998). "Baptismal Fluid". Scottish Journal of Theology 51(3): 261-270.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1998). "Sexing the Trinity". New Blackfriars 79: 18-25.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1996). "Jean Baudrillard". Leading Light 3(1): 15,18.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1995). "Following to the Letter: The Literal Use of Scripture". Literature and Theology 9: 370-382.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1995). "Holy texts of deception: Christian Gnosticism and the Writings of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh". New Blackfriars 76: 293-305.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1995). "Jacques Derrida". Leading Light 2(1): 22,24.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1994). "Other Discourses". New Blackfriars 75: 18-31.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1994). "Writing the Trinity". Theology 97: 82-89.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1993). "Michel Foucault". Leading Light 1(2): 15-16.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1992). "Christianity at the End of the Story or the Return of the Master Narrative". Modern Theology 8: 365-384.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1992). "Making a Better World: Revisiting David Hume with Ian Markham". Modern Theology 8: 297-303.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1992). "Over the Ashes". New Blackfriars 73: 605-613.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1991). "Thinking of that than which Nothing Greater can be Thought". New Blackfriars 72: 387-391.
  • Loughlin, Gerard. (1990). "Prefacing Pluralism: John Hick and the Mastery of Religion". Modern Theology 7: 29-55.

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Teaching Areas

  • THEO2241 Christian Theology: Essential Questions II

  • THEO3441 Religion and Film

  • THEO41030 Christian Gender