Participants

Oliver Davies, the professor of Christian doctrine at King’s College London, is a theologian whose research and writing has focused on the language of Christian texts, classical problems of metaphysical theology, and, for the past decade, on new alliances between academics and practitioners and between theology and the churches. His work has ranged from studies of medieval mysticism inspired by phenomenology to more systematic theology influenced by contemporary thinking in rabbinics and hermeneutics as well as on a recognition of the need to take into account developments in modern science. Educated at Merton College, Oxford, where he read German and Russian as an undergraduate, he went on to Wolfson College, where he specialized in contemporary German religious literature, taking his D.Phil. in theology at Oxford in 1986. He spent two years teaching at the University of Cologne before returning to his native Wales to teach, first, at the University of Wales at Bangor and, then, at Lampeter, where he was appointed a lecturer in theology and religious studies in 1993. Named a senior lecturer two years later, he became a reader in 1997, a post he held until accepting his present professorship at King’s in 2004. He headed its Department of Theology and Religious Studies for three years, and he also has served as president of the (UK) Society for the Study of Theology. Dr. Davies has been McCarthy Visiting Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a visiting professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing and at the University of Virginia, as well as holding visiting fellowships at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and Clare Hall, Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park and a life member of both Wolfson College and Clare Hall, as well as a trustee of the Spalding Trust. Formerly general editor of the New City series on The Spirituality of the Fathers and (with Gavin Flood) the University of Wales Press series on Religion, Culture and Society, he is currently an editor of the Contemporary Theological Explorations in Christian Mysticism series for Ashgate. Dr. Davies has contributed numerous articles to academic journals and essays to volumes of collected works. He has translated ten classic works in spirituality from Celtic languages or German into English, including Celtic Spirituality (2000), for which he received an award from the Catholic Press Association of North America. Most recent of the eight volumes he has edited or co-edited is (with Denys Turner) Silence and the Word: Negative Theology and Incarnation (2002). Dr. Davies is also the author of seven books, reflecting his progression from metaphysics to hermeneutics to philosophies and theologies of the act: God Within: The Mystical Tradition of Northern Europe (1988), which has been translated into Dutch and Italian, Meister Eckhart: Mystical Theologian (1991), Celtic Christianity in Early Medieval Wales: The Origins of the Welsh Spiritual Tradition (1996), A Theology of Compassion: Metaphysics of Difference and the Renewal of Tradition (2003), The Creativity of God: World, Eucharist, Reason (2004), (with Paul Janz and Clemens Sedmak) Transformation Theology: Church in the World (2007), and, most recently, Theology of Transformation: Faith, Freedom and the Christian Act, a volume published by Oxford University Press in 2013 in which the author argues that the age of ‘modern’ theology, with its deep-seated dualistic presuppositions, is coming to an end and that we need to negotiate a new theological orientation, which while scriptural and traditional, also reflects the non-reductive physicalism of contemporary science. He is currently preparing a study of Catholic theology with the working title “The Presence of Christ in the World: Church, Science, and Theology.”