St Mellitus College is delighted to announce that Luke Bretherton will be working with St Mellitus College from September 2022.
Luke Bretherton is Robert E. Cushman Distinguished Professor of Moral and Political Theology and senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University where he will continue to be primarily based, teaching there each year from January to May. As Visiting Professor at St Mellitus College, he will be delivering in-person teaching sessions across the national college as well as offering Leadership input for ordinands training at the college. Professor Bretherton will also work closely with the Academic Dean and Head of Research on the PhD provision offered by the college and further developing and enhancing its research culture.
Revd Russell Winfield, Dean: “I am delighted that Professor Luke Bretherton is to join our team at St Mellitus College as Visiting Professor, and in a way that allows him to continue his important and significant work at Duke University. Our students are going to have access to another world class theologian who will help shape their thinking and reflections on what it means to be a Christian in all spheres of society. For a number of years I have greatly admired the teaching and writing of Professor Bretherton, and I am very grateful our wonderful students will be able to engage directly with his work and thinking.”
Luke Bretherton was born and grew up in London. His experiences working with a variety of faith-based NGOs, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, and involvement in political initiatives raised questions that led him to study theology and eventually become an academic. Before joining Duke, he taught at King's College London, where he was Reader in Theology & Politics and Convener of the Faith & Public Policy Forum. Author of a number of books and numerous academic articles, he also writes in the media (including The Guardian, The Times, The Washington Post, and ABC Religion and Ethics) on topics related to faith and politics. Working with St Mellitus College is part of a wider transatlantic project he is developing entitled “Christianity and Democracy in the Atlantic world.” This initiative seeks to resource theologically and build links between churches and Christian organisations around the Atlantic basin working to strengthen democratic politics, reweave social trust, and foster a just and generous common life at a time when these are under threat on multiple fronts.
Professor Luke Bretherton: “I am honoured and excited to be joining the St Mellitus College team and contributing to the vital work of theological education it does so well. These are challenging times and the opportunity to work closely with the students and faculty of St Mellitus College, discerning with them what faithful, hopeful, and loving witness entails today is one I cherish.”
His latest book, Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy (Eerdmans, 2019) provides an introduction to the history of and contemporary reflection on the relationship between Christianity and politics. And through addressing questions about poverty and injustice, forming a common life with strangers, and handling power, it develops an innovative political theology of democracy. His other books include Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship and the Politics of a Common Life (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which was based on a four-year ethnographic study of broad-based community organizing initiatives in London and elsewhere; Christianity & Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), winner of the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing; and Hospitality as Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity (Routledge, 2006), which develops constructive, theological responses to pluralism in dialogue with broader debates in moral philosophy. Alongside his scholarly work and media engagements, Luke has worked with a variety of churches around the world, and has been actively involved over many years in forms of grassroots democratic politics, both in the UK and the US.
Dr Sara Schumacher, Academic Dean: “We are so delighted that Professor Bretherton will be joining us at St Mellitus College next year. We look forward to the invaluable contribution he will make to our theological life and cultural witness.”