Catherine Pickstock

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Catherine Pickstock
1970 (age 48–49)
Academic background
Alma materSt Catharine's College, Cambridge
ThesisThe Sacred Polis: Language, Death and Liturgy (1996)
Doctoral advisorJohn Milbank
Academic work
  • Theology
  • philosophy
School or traditionRadical orthodoxy
InstitutionsEmmanuel College, Cambridge
Doctoral studentsSimon Oliver[2]
Main interests

Catherine Pickstock (born 1970) is an English philosophical theologian and academic. Since 2018, she has been Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow and tutor of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. She was previously Professor of Metaphysics and Poetics.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Pickstock was born in 1970 in New York, United States.[6] She was educated at Channing School, an all-girls independent school in Highgate, London, England.[6] Having won a choral scholarship, she studied English literature at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1991.[6][7][8] She then moved to philosophical theology and undertook postgraduate studies in this topic at the University of Cambridge.[7][9] She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1996 with a thesis titled The Sacred Polis: Language, Death and Liturgy.[9] Her doctoral supervisor was John Milbank.[10]

Academic career[edit]

From 1995 to 1998, Pickstock was a research fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[7] From 1998 to 2000, she held a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship in the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.[7] In 2000, she was appointed a lecturer in philosophy of religion in the Faculty of Divinity.[7] In 2006, she was promoted to Reader in Philosophy and Theology.[7] From 2016 to 2017, she is also a Mellon Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.[11] In 2015, she was made Professor of Metaphysics and Poetics.[12]

In March 2018, it was announced that Pickstock would be the next Norris–Hulse Professor of Divinity.[13] She took up the chair on 1 October 2018.[13]

Views and research[edit]

Pickstock is known for her contributions to the radical orthodoxy movement,[14] the foundations of which are often credited to her mentor John Milbank. Her research and writing are based in philosophical theology, Platonic philosophy, and medieval theology. In particular, she has applied linguistics to theories of religious language, analogy, and liturgy, looked at postmodern philosophy in relation to the reinterpretation of pre-modern theology and undertaken a reconsideration of the Platonic tradition in interaction with biblically-based faiths, especially rituals invoking divine intervention and understandings of the soul.[15]

Selected works[edit]

  • After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell. 1997. ISBN 978-0-631-20672-9.
  • Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology. Edited with Milbank, John; Ward, Graham. Radical Orthodoxy. London: Routledge. 1998. ISBN 978-0-415-19699-4.
  • "Liturgy and Modernity". Telos (113): 19–40. 1998. ISSN 1940-459X.
  • "Thomas Aquinas and the Quest for the Eucharist". Modern Theology. 15 (2): 159–180. 1999. doi:10.1111/1468-0025.00092. ISSN 1468-0025.
  • "The Problem of Reported Speech: Friendship and Philosophy in Plato's Lysis and Symposium". New Blackfriars. 82 (969): 525–540. 2001. doi:10.1111/j.1741-2005.2001.tb01783.x. ISSN 1741-2005.
  • Truth in Aquinas. With Milbank, John. Radical Orthodoxy. London: Routledge. 2001. ISBN 978-0-415-23335-4.
  • "Eros and Emergence". Telos (127): 97–118. 2004. ISSN 1940-459X.
  • "A Poetics of the Eucharist". Telos (131): 83–91. 2005. ISSN 1940-459X.
  • "Duns Scotus: His Historical and Contemporary Significance". Modern Theology. 21 (4): 543–574. 2005. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0025.2005.00297.x. ISSN 1468-0025.
  • "The Univocalist Mode of Production". In Davis, Creston; Milbank, John; Žižek, Slavoj. Theology and the Political: The New Debate. Sic. 5. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 2005. pp. 281–325. ISBN 978-0-822-33472-9.
  • "Liturgy and the Senses". In Milbank, John; Žižek, Slavoj; Davis, Creston. Paul's New Moment: Continental Philosophy and the Future of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press. 2010. pp. 125–145. ISBN 978-1-587-43227-9.
  • "The Late Arrival of Language: Word, Nature and the Divine in Plato's Cratylus". Modern Theology. 27 (2): 238–262. 2011. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0025.2011.01674.x. ISSN 1468-0025.
  • Repetition and Identity. The Literary Agenda. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-968361-1.


  1. ^ Levering, Matthew (2005). Sacrifice and Community: Jewish Offering and Christian Eucharist. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4051-3689-1.
  2. ^ a b Shortt, Rupert (2005). God's Advocates: Christian Thinkers in Conversation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8028-3084-5.
  3. ^ Smith, James K. A. (December 17, 2015). "Christmas, 2015: Dr. James K.A. Smith". The Anglican Planet. Interviewed by Careless, Sue. Archived from the original on February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  4. ^ "Faculty of Divinity Webpage". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Emmanuel College Webpage". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Pickstock, Prof. Catherine Jane Crozier". Who's Who 2018. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2018. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U290758. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Spotlights: Professor Catherine Pickstock". Emmanuel College. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  8. ^ Neaum, David (2016). "Chapel and Chaplaincy Report" (PDF). The St Catherine's Magazine. St Catharine's College Society. p. 32. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b Pickstock, Catherine (1996). "The sacred polis: language, death and liturgy". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library Board. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  10. ^ Kennedy, Paul (2007). "On Radical Orthodoxy". Ideas (Podcast). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Event occurs at 0:05:57–0:06:12. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via Centre of Theology and Philosophy.
  11. ^ "Catherine Pickstock". Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  12. ^ "UNIVERSITY OFFICES AND GRANTS OF TITLE". Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge. University of Cambridge. 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Professor Catherine Pickstock has accepted election to the Norris-Hulse Professorship of Divinity". Faculty of Divinity. University of Cambridge. 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  14. ^ Byassee, Jason (21 September 2009). "Bold Apology". The Christian Century. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Biographical Detail: Faith, Rationality, and the Passions conference". Retrieved 1 October 2013.