Graham Ward (theologian)

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Graham Ward
Graham John Ward

(1955-10-25) 25 October 1955 (age 67)
Manchester, England[1]
TitleRegius Professor of Divinity (since 2012)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Anglican)
ChurchChurch of England
  • 1990 (deacon)
  • 1991 (priest)
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
School or tradition
InfluencedSimon Oliver[3]

Graham John Ward (born 25 October 1955) is an English theologian and Anglican priest who has been Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford since 2012. As Regius Professor, he is ex officio a member of the College of Canons and Cathedral chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. He is a priest of the Church of England and was formerly the Samuel Ferguson Professor of Philosophical Theology and Ethics and the Head of the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at the University of Manchester. Previous to that he was the Professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics (1998–2009) and Senior Fellow in Religion and Gender (1997–98) at the university.

Prior to this he was, successively, a chaplain and fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, a part-time lecturer at the University of Birmingham and the Dean and Director of Studies for Theology at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was ordained deacon in 1990 and priest in 1991,[4] having originally studied English and French at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and then studied theology at Selwyn College while training for ordination at Westcott House.[5]

Ward has engaged in different fields of theology, especially postmodern theology, and other disciplines such as philosophy, psychoanalysis, gender studies, and queer theory.[6] He has written on the theology of language, postmodernism, cultural analysis, and christology. His contemporary research focuses on Christian social ethics, political theory and cultural hermeneutics. He is editor of three book series: Radical Orthodoxy (Routledge), Christian Theology in Context[7] (OUP) and Illuminations: Religion & Theory (Blackwell).


In Cities of God, Ward declared his support for 'same-sex unions':[2]

For me, something of that standpoint is composed of the fact that I am a male, Christian theologian who openly advocates same-sex unions, who has friends dying or living with the fear of AIDS, and a family who lives the shadows, embarrassments and sufferings of a genetic disorder But each of us moves out from where we are placed and place ourselves, and in doing so understands that we are also elsewhere.[8]

Books and edited volumes[edit]

  • Another Kind of Normal: Ethical Life II (Oxford University Press, 2022), ISBN 9780192843012
  • Theology and Religion: Why is Matters (Polity, 2019), ISBN 9781509529698
  • Unimaginable: What We Imagine and What We Can't (I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2018) ISBN 9781784537579
  • How the Light Gets In: Ethical Life I (Oxford University Press, 2016), ISBN 9780199297658
  • Unbelievable: Why We Believe and Why We Don't (I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2014), ISBN 9781780767352
  • The Politics of Discipleship: Becoming Postmaterial Citizens (SCM Press, 2009), ISBN 9780334043508
  • Christ and Culture (Blackwell, 2005), ISBN 9781405121408
  • Cultural Transformation and Religious Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2004), ISBN 9780521540742
  • True Religion (Blackwell, 2002), ISBN 9780631221746
  • Cities of God (Routledge, 2000), ISBN 9780415202565
  • Theology and Contemporary Critical Theory (Macmillan, 1996, 2nd edition 2000), ISBN 9781596930223
  • Barth, Derrida and the language of theology (Cambridge University Press, 1995), ISBN 9780521657082
  • (Edited, with Michael Hoelzl) Religion and Political Thought (Continuum, 2006), ISBN 9780826480057
  • (Edited) The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology (Blackwell, 2004), ISBN 9781405127196
  • (Edited) The Certeau Reader (2000), ISBN 9780631212799
  • (Edited) Theology and Masculinity (The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 7, 1999)
  • (Edited, with John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock) Radical Orthodoxy: a New Theology (Routledge, 1998), ISBN 9780415196994
  • (Edited) The Postmodern God: a Theological Reader (Blackwell, 1997), ISBN 9780631201410

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wisse, Maarten (2010). "Introduction to the Thinking of Graham Ward". In Boeve, Lieven; Brabant, Christophe (eds.). Between Philosophy and Theology: Contemporary Interpretations of Christianity. Farnham, England: Ashgate. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-4094-8129-4.
  2. ^ a b c d Wisse, Maarten (2010). "Graham Ward's Poststructuralist Christian Nominalism". Sophia. 49 (3): 359. doi:10.1007/s11841-010-0192-6. ISSN 1873-930X.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "The Queen has approved that Professor Graham Ward be appointed Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  5. ^ "News - Christ Church, Oxford University". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  6. ^ Graham Ward Religion and Political Thought, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006, p. 252.
  7. ^ "Christian Theology in Context - Oxford University Press". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  8. ^ Cities of God, Psychology Press, 2000, page 96,
  9. ^ Graham Ward (2016). How the Light Gets In: Ethical Life I. p. 313. ISBN 978-0199297658. Attention to Christ and the Spirit delivers us from pantheism, pandeism, and process theology.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by Regius Professor of Divinity
at the University of Oxford