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PhD student in the Department of Theology and Religion


I come from Aotearoa New Zealand as a pākehā person, descended from Scottish and English settler-colonists, including some from Durham. I currently live in Wallsend with my partner Hilary and our toddler Ishmael. I am proudly autistic, which means I appreciate clear and direct communication, am motivated by justice, and have many special interests. I teach Christian ethics and political theology at Lindisfarne College of Theology while I complete my PhD in Durham's Theology and Religion department. My education includes a Master's degree in theological ethics from the University of Notre Dame and sociology degrees from NZ universities. Equally important for forming my thinking has been my time in Christian churches and intentional communities in Aotearoa (Stillwaters Community, Catholic Worker, Urban Vision). I am passionate about social justice, particularly in relation to working conditions, economic inequality, disability and accessibility, and LGBT+ inclusion.

PhD research

Tentative title: "Word and Flesh: Evangelical ethical arguments on LGBT+ relationships"

The evangelical churches continue to cause serious harm to God's LGBTIQ+ children. There is both considerable division and significant development among evangelicals and other Christians on the question of whether erotic relationships between couples who are not binary-gendered, cisgender, and heterosexual can be accepted and blessed by churches.

For my PhD in theological ethics, I am analysing and evaluating arguments and theological-ethical methods by evangelical Christians talking about LGBT+ relationships: arguing for or against the inherited prohibition of LGBT+ relationships and/or providing other ethical contributions in light of acceptance or rejection of the inherited prohibition. I am looking at people who identify as evangelicals, inside and outside academia, from both affirming and non-affirming perspectives, who have written or spoken at some length in English, and whose views are currently influential.

This research involves examining arguments and explicit and implicit methods in Christian ethics as well as surveying and analysing evangelical understandings of gender, sex, and marriage. It brings together my interest in ethical methods with my evangelical background and my passions for equity, inclusion, and wellbeing—particularly for LGBTIQ+ people. I hope my work can help improve understanding of evangelical and other Christian perspectives. I also hope it can help evangelicals and other Christians in our reflection on our God-given revelation and mission, and to find a place in that picture for LGBTIQ+ people and their relationships to thrive in our communities.

I am supervised by Prof Robert Song and secondarily by Prof Gerard Loughlin.

Research interests

  • Christian theological ethics
  • Autism
  • Mental health
  • Methods in Christian ethics
  • Natural law
  • Divine command ethics
  • Evangelicalism
  • Gender
  • LGBT+
  • Sexuality
  • Sexual ethics
  • Decolonisation
  • Political theologies
  • Violence
  • Pacifism
  • Structural sin
  • Social sciences


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Journal Article