Specific research interests:
The foci of my research are Christian doctrine, apophatic theology, kenotic Christology and existentialist philosophy, particularly the work of the Danish thinker Kierkegaard and the German philosophers Heidegger and Jaspers. Apophatic theology and Kierkegaard were the subjects of my doctoral research at the University of Oxford and led to the publication of my monograph Kierkegaard as Negative Theologian (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993). I have also published extensively on Kierkegaard in a variety of publications, notably the International Kierkegaard Commentary.
My interest in Christian doctrine has led me to work on the doctrine of inspiration and more recently on Christology. My book Inspiration (London: Continuum, 2001) considers the grounds theologians have advanced for claiming that the Bible is capable of mediating the presence of God in some way. After a detailed examination of the history of biblical inspiration, I develop a theory of inspiration which combines impulses from reader-response theory and from Jaspers' philosophy of ciphers.
Current research projects:
My current research centres on Christology, i.e. the branch of Christian theology concerned with the meaning and significance of Jesus of Nazareth. I am currently working on on the doctrine of kenosis, which is a theory, or rather group of theories, which attempts to explain what sense can be made of the claim that Christ is both truly divine and truly human. Kenotic Christologies are theories which hold that Christ renounced certain aspects or attributes of his divine nature in order to live a truly human life.
My interest in kenosis led to my monograph Kierkegaard's Kenotic Christology (2013), which examines Kierkegaard's creative reworking of the kenosis doctrine.
My current project, which is provisionally entitled 'Lutheran and Anglican Kenotic Christologies in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,' examines the rise and fall of kenotic theologies in Germany and Britain. I am particularly concerned to examine the grounds for the rise of kenotic Christology in Britain at precisely the time when it was being abandoned in Germany.