Professor of Philosophical Theology and Ethics Christopher Insole
After teaching at the Universities of London and Cambridge, Chris Insole took up his post at Durham in 2006, becoming Professor of Philosophical Theology and Ethics in 2013, and Head of Department in 2018. He has published extensively on realism and anti-realism, religious epistemology, the relationship between theology, metaphysics, and political philosophy, and on the thought of Immanuel Kant. His books include his major study of Kant’s philosophy of religion (Oxford, 2013). Since 2016, his research has moved into a more contemporary and constructive key, engaging with the category of natural theology. He is exploring the possibility of re-conceiving natural theology as a type of negative theology.
Professor Insole is the Lead Investigator for a major five-year programme, called ‘Redeeming Autonomy: Agency, Vulnerability, and Relationality’, funded and hosted by the Australian Catholic University, with co-investigators Dr David Kirchhoffer (ACU), Professor Jennifer Herdt (Yale), Professor Kristin Heyer (Boston), and Professor Yves De Maeseneer (Leuven). The programme brings together philosophers, theologians, social scientists, historians, anthropologists, policy-makers, political philosophers, lawyers, and literary scholars, in order to investigate the use and misuse of the concept of rational self-government, in contested, urgent, and concrete areas such as end-of-life legislation, disability, immigration, trauma, gender, and political sovereignty. The premise of the programme is that the notion of rational self-government does not belong exclusively within a Kantian and secular framework, but can be found in ancient and medieval sources, as well as in alternative modern frameworks, many of which are more receptive to, and shaped by, religious influences and commitments.
- Natural Theology and Philosophy of Religion
- Thomas Nagel
- Derek Parfit
- Realism and Anti-Realism
- Theology and Political Philosophy
- Insole, Christopher J. (2019). Kant and the Divine: from Contemplation to the Moral Law (forthcoming).
- (2016). The Intolerable God: Kant's Theological Journey. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2013). Kant and the Creation of Freedom: a Theological Problem. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2006). The Realist Hope: a Critique of Anti-Realist Approaches in Contemporary Philosophical Theology. Farnborough: Ashgate.
- Insole, Christopher (2005). The Politics of Human Frailty: a Theological Defence of Political Liberalism. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.
- Insole, Christopher & Dwan, David (2012). The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke. Cambridge University Press.
- Insole, Christopher J & Harris, Harriet (2005). Faith and Philosophical Analysis: the Impact of Analytical Philosophy on the Philosophy of Religion. Farnborough: Ashgate.
Chapter in book
- Insole, Christopher J. (2019). Theology and Politics: the Intellectual History of Liberalism. In T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology. Rowlands, Ann, Daughton, Amy & Phillips, Elizabeth T&T Clark/Bloomsbury.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2017). Realism and Anti-Realism. In Oxford Handbook to the Epistemology of Testimony. Abraham, William J. & Aquino, Frederick D. Oxford University Press.
- Insole, Christopher (2012). Edmund Burke and the Natural Law. In The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke. Insole, Christopher & Dwan, David Cambridge University Press.
- Harris, Harriet & Insole, Christopher J (2005). Political Liberalism, Analytical Philosophy of Religion and the Forgetting of History. In Faith and Philosophical Analysis: the Impact of Analytical Philosophy of Religion on the Philosophy of Religion. Farnborough: Ashgate. 158-170.
- Insole, Christopher (2019). Free Belief: The Medieval Heritage in Kant’s Moral Faith. Journal of the History of Philosophy 57(3): 501-528.
- Insole, C. (2016). Kant on Christianity, Religion and Politics: Three Hopes, Three Limits. Studies in Christian Ethics 29(1): 14-33.
- Insole, C. (2015). A Thomistic Reading of Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Searching for the Unconditioned. Modern Theology 31(2): 111-128.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2014). Kant and the Creation of Freedom: a Response to Terry Godlove. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72(3): 111-128.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2012). A Metaphysical Kant: A Theological Lingua Franca?. Studies in Christian Ethics 25(2): 206-214.
- Insole, Christopher (2011). Intellectualism, Relational Properties and the Divine Mind in Kant's Pre-Critical Philosophy. Kantian Review 16(3): 399-427.
- Insole, Christopher (2011). Kant's Transcendental Idealism and Newton's Divine Sensorium. Journal of the History of Ideas 72(3): 413-436.
- Insole, Christopher (2011). Kant's Transcendental Idealism, Freedom and the Divine Mind. Modern Theology 27(4): 608-638.
- Insole, Christopher J (2008). The Irreducible Importance of Religious Hope in Kant's Conception of the Highest Good. Philosophy 83(325): 333-351.
- Insole, Christopher J (2008). Two Conceptions of Liberalism: Theology, Creation and Politics in the Thought of Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke. Journal of Religious Ethics 36(3): 447-489.
- Insole, Christopher J. (2007). The Truth Behind Practices Wittgenstein, Robinson Crusoe and Ecclesiology. Studies in Christian Ethics 20(3): 364-382.
- Insole, Christopher J (2006). ‘Beyond glass doors. the sun no longer shining' English platonism and the problem of self-love in the literary and philosophical work of Iris Murdoch. Modern theology 22(1): 111-143.
- (2006). Discerning the Theo-Political: a Response to William Cavanaugh's Re-Imagining of Political Space. Political Theology 7(3).
- (2004). Against Radical Orthodoxy: the Dangers of Overcoming Political Liberalism. Modern Theology 22(1): 213-241.
- Insole, Christopher J (2004). The Worship of Freedom: Negative and Positive Notions of Liberty in Philosophy of Religion and Political Philosophy. Heythrop Journal 45(2): 209-226.
- (2002). Ian Markham's Critical Realism. Heythrop Journal 43(3): 318-326.
- (2002). Metaphor and the Impossibility of Failing to Speak About God. International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 52(1): 35-43.
- (2001). Anthropomorphism and the Apophatic God. Modern Theology 17(4): 475-483.
- (2000). Gordon Kaufman and the Kantian Mystery. International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 47(2): 101-119.
- (2000). Seeing off the Local Threat to Irreducible Knowledge by Testimony. Philosophical Quarterly 50(198): 44-56.
- (2000). Why John Hick cannot, and should not, stay out of the Jam Pot. Religious Studies 36(1): 25-33.
- (1998). A Wittgensteinian Philosophy of Religion - or a Philosophy of Wittgensteinian Religion? Heythrop Journal 39(2): 148-157.
- (1998). Kierkegaard: a Reasonable Fideist? Heythrop Journal 39(4): 363-378.