Lecturer in Practical Theology
My main research interests lie in surveillance and in digital technologies more generally - all from a practical theological perspective.
In a nutshell, I am curious about the faith which our societies place in technologies as supposed solutions to relationship challenges across a whole host of levels and in a multitude of contexts.
This integrates my explorations of citizenship, ecclesial communities and gadgets.
By developing an inter-disciplinary research network I am keen to facilitate critical enquiry into the surveillance of religious groups and those groups use of surveillance to monitor and orchestrate the behaviour of their own members.
I am open to enquiries for PhD supervision in practical theological investigations of digital technologies and, most specifically, of mechanisms of surveillance.
I am a member of the International Academy of Practical Theology (IAPT).
New Book: Theological Perspectives on a Surveillance Society: Watching and Being Watched
Published 18 May 2010 by Ashgate.
This book looks at contemporary surveillance practices and ideologies from a Christian theological perspective. Surveillance studies is an emerging, inter-disciplinary field that brings together scholars from sociology, criminology, political studies, computing and information studies, cultural studies and other disciplines.
Although surveillance has been a feature of all societies since humans first co-operated to watch over one another whilst hunting and gathering it is the convergence of information technologies within both commerce and the state that has ushered in a 'surveillance society'.
There has been little, if any, theological consideration of this important dimension of social organisation; this book fills the gap and offers a contribution to surveillance studies from a theological perspective, broadening the horizon against which surveillance might be interpreted and evaluated.
This book is also an exercise in consciousness-raising with respect to the Christian community in order that they may critically engage with a surveillance society by drawing on biblical and theological resources. Being the first major theological treatment in the field it sets the agenda for more detailed considerations.
Published by Ashgate.
Education and career
- B.D. University of Aberdeen
- Ph.D. University of Aberdeen
- Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of St Andrews, 2005-
- Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of Aberdeen, 2003-2004
- Programmes Director, Scottish Churches Open College, 2000-2003
- Research Student, University of Aberdeen, 1996-2000
- Associate Minister in a Scottish Baptist Church, 1985-1996
Other professional activities
- Editor of Practical Theology (2011- )
- Co-chair of The British & Irish Association of Practical Theology (BIAPT) (2006-2009).
- An Associate Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion & Politics (CSRP), University of St Andrews.
- A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
- External Examiner, on behalf of Bangor University, of BTh Bible and Theology, MTh in Practical Theology, MA in Mission and MA in Missional Leadership at Mattersey Hall Bible College (2008-2011).
- External Examiner, on behalf of the University of Manchester, of BA (Hons) Contextual Theology programme at the Partnership for Theological Education, Manchester (2002 - 2007).
- External Examiner, on behalf of the University of Paisley, of BD in Theology and Pastoral Studies programme at the Scottish Baptist College (2006 - ).
- Accreditation Consultant to The Scottish Baptist College, the University of Paisley (Spring 2005).
- Accreditation Consultant to The Open College Counselling Training Trust, Edinburgh (Spring 2005).
University Administrative Roles
- Director of Operations, School of Divinity (2010- )
- Distance Learning Officer, School of Divinity (2005- )
- Undergraduate Admissions Officer, School of Divinity (2006-2009)
- Acting Postgraduate Officer, School of Divinity (semester 2, 2007-2008)
- Webmaster, School of Divinity (2005- )
- Co-ordinator of interdisciplinary schools placement module for the Faculties of Arts and Divinity: 'Communication in the Arts and Humanities' ID4002 (2010- ).
- Co-ordinator of 'Living Faith' our first year undergraduate practical theology module DI1012 (2011- ).
- Co-ordinator of 'Theology, Spirituality and Pastoral Care' DI4800 (2006- ).
- Co-ordinator of 'Citizenship: A Practical Theological Exploration' DI4822 (2005-2009).
- Co-ordinator of 'Digital Faith' - a module within our MLitt / PGDip Distance Learning postgraduate programme 'Bible and the Contemporary World' (2011- ).
- Undergraduate honours dissertation, MLitt dissertation and PhD candidate supervision.