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Professor Gerard Loughlin


BA MA (Wales) PhD PGCE (Cambridge)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor in the Department of Theology and ReligionAbbey House B06a+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

  • Loughlin, Gerard (2016). Review of Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown, edited by Robert MacSwain and Taylor Worley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Journal of Theological Studies 67(1): 410-416.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2015). Review of Catherine Pickstock, Repetition and Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). Reviews in Religion and Theology 22(3): 260-265.

Chapter in book

Doctoral Thesis

  • Loughlin, Gerard (1987). Mirroring God’s World: A Critique of John Hick’s Speculative Theology. PhD.

Edited book

  • Loughlin, Gerard (2007). Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Loughlin, Gerard & Jon Davies. (1997). Sex These Days: Essays on Theology, Sexuality and Society. Studies in Theology and Sexuality. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Journal Article

  • Loughlin, Gerard (2022). "Them and Us: A Reply to Teofilo Pugeda". Theology 125(2): 97-100.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2019). "Silent Witness: On Listening but not Hearing in the Church of England". ABC Religion & Ethics
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "Being Creature, Becoming Human: Contesting Oliver O'Donovan on Transgender, Identity and the Body". ABC Religion & Ethics
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "Gender Ideology: For a ‘Third Sex’ Without Reserve". Studies in Christian Ethics 31(4): 471-482.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "Visible and Invisible: George Tyrrell and Christ's Bodies". New Blackfriars 99(1084): 729-739.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2018). "Catholic Homophobia". Theology 121(3): 188-196.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2017). "Coming Alongside" Syndicate
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2014). "God is Not Everything". Syndicate: A New Forum for Theology 1(4): 164-170.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2014). "God is Not Everything" and "God is Not Everything II". Syndicate
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2012). "Bible and Film: Suffering and Special Effects". Modern Believing 53(2): 122-130.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2011). "The Wonder of Newman's Education". New Blackfriars 92(1038): 224-242.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2010). "Newman and the Question of University Theology". The Pastoral Review 6(6): 20-25.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2009). "The Long Take: Messianic Time in Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia". Journal for Cultural Research 13 (3-4): 365-379.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2008). "What is Queer? Theology after Identity". Theology and Sexuality 14(2): 143-152.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2007). "Found in Translation Ovid, David Malouf and the Werewolf". Literature and Theology 21(2): 113-130.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2007). "Rhetoric and Rhapsody: A Response to David Bentley Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite". New Blackfriars 88(1017): 600-609.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2005). "Biblical Bodies". Theology and Sexuality 12(1): 9-27.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Gathered at the Altar: Homosexuals and Human Rights". Theology and Sexuality 10(2): 73-82.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Pauline Conversations: Re-reading Romans 1 in Christ". Theology and sexuality 11(1): 72-102.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2003). "Sex After Natural Law". Studies in Christian Ethics 16(1): 14-28.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (2002). "Breezes: Religious Images in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". Louvain Studies 27: 265-279.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1998). "Baptismal Fluid". Scottish Journal of Theology 51(3): 261-270.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1998). "Sexing the Trinity". New Blackfriars 79: 18-25.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1996). "Jean Baudrillard". Leading Light 3(1): 15,18.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1995). "Following to the Letter: The Literal Use of Scripture". Literature and Theology 9: 370-382.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1995). "Holy texts of deception: Christian Gnosticism and the Writings of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh". New Blackfriars 76: 293-305.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1995). "Jacques Derrida". Leading Light 2(1): 22,24.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1994). "Writing the Trinity". Theology 97: 82-89.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1994). "Other Discourses". New Blackfriars 75: 18-31.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1993). "Michel Foucault". Leading Light 1(2): 15-16.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1992). "Making a Better World: Revisiting David Hume with Ian Markham". Modern Theology 8: 297-303.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1992). "Over the Ashes". New Blackfriars 73: 605-613.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1992). "Christianity at the End of the Story or the Return of the Master Narrative". Modern Theology 8: 365-384.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1991). "Thinking of that than which Nothing Greater can be Thought". New Blackfriars 72: 387-391.
  • Loughlin, Gerard (1990). "Prefacing Pluralism: John Hick and the Mastery of Religion". Modern Theology 7: 29-55.

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

  • Loughlin, Gerard (2022). 'The Centurion's Servant'.

Supervision students