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Mr. Christopher de Stigter

PhD student & Teaching Assistant

BA, M.T.S.

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PhD student & Teaching Assistant in the Department of Theology and Religion  


I began my academic career at Covenant College where I double majored in Psychology and Philosophy (magna cum laude). My thesis explored the relationship between psychopharmacology, economics, and philosophy of mind. This time was incredibly formative as this training in psychology and philosophy shaped my interdisciplinary interests. Covenant also began in me a passion for further study of the New Testament, particularly through the wonderful teaching of Dr. J. de Waal Dryden.

In 2017 I made my way to Durham (US), where I received a Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) at Duke Divinity School (summa cum laude). There I studied with a concentration in New Testament, and had the privilege of working with an excellent New Testament faculty: Dr. Douglas Campbell, Dr. Kavin Rowe, Dr. Susan Eastman, and Dr. Ross Wagner. While at Duke I specialised in Pauline Theology, hermeneutics, and narrative critical approaches to the Biblical text. My master’s thesis was supervised by Dr. Susan Eastman and explored the relationship between human speech, cosmology, and eschatology in Romans 8.

In 2021 I was delighted to continue my research into Paul’s thought at Durham under the supervision of Prof. John Barclay and Dr. Jane Heath. I am fully funded through the Durham Doctoral Studentship for which I am most thankful.

Research Description

Tentative Title: The Corinthian Mind: Paul’s Cognitive Grammar

My research explores the depth and breadth of Paul’s cognitive language in 1 and 2 Corinthians, with particular attention to Paul’s theology of knowledge. Moreover, much of the research on Paul has been largely restricted by internalist and individualist readings of human cognition. My research, therefore, seeks to broaden our understanding of Paul’s cognitive language through an interdisciplinary analysis of phenomenology and cognitive science. Insights from these fields will help explore the way cognition, for Paul, is not primarily an ‘in the head’ event, but one that is constituted and extended through our social embodiment.

Research interests

  • Pauline Theology
  • Biblical Hermeneutics
  • NT Theology
  • Narrative Criticism
  • Modern Theology
  • Early Christian & Jewish Anthropology
  • Early Christian & Jewish Theology
  • Phenomenology
  • Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophical Psychology