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Professor Gerard Loughlin


Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion+44 (0) 191 33 43960


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


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Doctoral Thesis

Edited book

Journal Article

Supervision students