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PhD Scholarships: Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies

PhD Scholarships Wednesday 24 June 2015

Liverpool Hope had launched a series of PhD Scholarships and welcomes applications from outstanding individuals of a high calibre to pursue PhD research at Liverpool Hope University in selected areas. We are seeking confident, innovative postgraduates with a record of achievement to undertake a broad range of thematic and inter-disciplinary projects. This call is open to both UK/EU and international applicants.

You can find full details about the Scholarships (link) or you can also contact Research Officer Mr Chris Lowry quoting '2015 Vice-Chancellor's PhD Scholarships' for more information, by emailing

The Scholarships available will be selected from a range of specific project. Over the coming weeks, will profile the details of these areas of research.

Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies

The sense(s) of scripture in William Tyndale’s Works

Principal Investigator: Dr Gergely Juhász

William Tyndale is well-known for his emphasis on the true literal meaning of Scriptures (“Thou shalt understonde therefore yat the scrypture hath but one sence which is yat the literal sence” The obedience of a Christen man, Antwerp, 1528, fol. Cxxix v).  His insistence on the literal sense is manifested not only in his reading aids to the Bible (in the prefaces and epilogues) but also in his controversies both with Catholics (e.g. Thomas More) and with fellow Reformers (e.g. George Joye).  Yet his own biblical exegesis is far from a simplistic reductionist reading of the Bible, as Tyndale does apply a range of hermeneutical approaches to the text, a fact that is mostly overlooked in secondary literature.

By looking at Tyndale’s own exegesis in line with his avowed interpretative methods and by investigating his stand vis-à-vis questions such as the permissibility of a plurality of differing translations of the same biblical text, this project will analyse how Tyndale’s understanding of the ‘literal sense’ reacts against some of the excesses of the contemporary practices in biblical exegesis without relapsing into literalist interpretative practices. Thus the project will analyse how Tyndale’s own interpretative methods inform us about his own understanding of the question of how the true ‘literal sense’ of the Scripture can be discerned.


The Concept of Love and the Use of Greek Love Terminology in Ancient Christian Interpretation of the Bible

Principal Investigator:  Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz

Love is one of the central concepts in Christian theology, yet the study of its significance in the Bible has often been hampered by certain prejudices based on modern theological constructs, without sufficient foundation in ancient sources. Among the most influential of such constructs has been the idea that different Greek terms for love are used in the New Testament in reference to distinct types of love, and that agape in particular is the most special kind of love, fundamentally different from all the others. While this view has been widely criticised, it still persists in popular understanding.

In this project the focus will be not on biblical writings as such, but on how ancient Greek speaking Christian writers interpreted and used select biblical texts about love, contributing thus to the on-going process of the shaping of the Christian tradition. Special attention will be paid to love terminology, as well as the way in which love is understood, and in particular, whether it involves what we could consider an emotional component.

This research will thus contribute to our understanding of how early Christian notion of love developed with reference to the foundational texts of Christianity, but also in interaction with the wider cultural discourse in which Christians participated. 


Kierkegaard and the Posthuman PhD Scholarship

Principal Investigator: Dr Steven Shakespeare

Søren Kierkegaard’s analysis of the human subject as a singular individual before God has often been interpreted as a kind of individualism, in which the self is radically isolated from others. Recent studies have challenged this, emphasising the politically situated and relational or even mystical character of the self in Kierkegaard’s work. This has also entailed a re-evaluation of Kierkegaard’s relationship with Hegel and Idealism more generally.

This project aims to take forward this work by bringing Kierkegaard into critical dialogue with philosophical attempts to move beyond a certain kind of secular humanism. These innovative philosophies think the subject as plural, in process, and potentially subversive of essentialised accounts of human nature.

Kierkegaard offers a dynamic account of selfhood, artfully indirect forms of communication and a stress on the passionate encounter of the individual with what cannot be assimilated by thought. This represents a huge untapped potential for relating his work to the posthuman turn in contemporary continental philosophy, as represented by thinkers such as Deleuze, Badiou and Braidotti. This project would

  • critically position Kierkegaard’s work in relation to posthumanist trends in current philosophy
  • assess the potential of Kierkegaard’s work to construct a philosophical or theological alternative to secular humanist models of selfhood
  • inform and challenge contemporary continental thought about the nature of the subject and its political significance, especially in relation to the post-secular and religious dimension of the self before God.

The supervisory team would consist of Dr Simon Podmore (theology) and Dr Steven Shakespeare (philosophy), whose own scholarship on Kierkegaard is internationally recognised. The successful applicant would be able to draw on Liverpool Hope’s significant investment in Kierkegaard research resources, and would join a department in which dialogue between continental philosophy and theology is central.


Exploring Asian Christianity and Mission in South Asia

Principal Investigator: Professor Daniel Jeyaraj

One of the key research areas of the Andrew Walls Centre deals with Christianity in Asia, particularly with histories and expressions of Asian Christians. Their experiences as minorities and their contributions to intercultural theology and interreligious living give us deeper insights. Their services to human flourishing and their inner strength to maintaining hope in the midst of sufferings deserve special attention. Their engagement with western forms of Christianity has been long and diverse. Their songs, art, architecture and other cultural symbols illustrate their Asianness. The Andrew Walls Centre looks for a doctoral researcher who has the necessary academic, theological, linguistic and cultural competencies to explore the story of Christian minority communities in any region of Asia. This researcher can examine any of the following issues: the translation of the Bible into Asian languages, indigenous Asian theologies, Christian impact on Asian peoples, languages, religions, education, health care, social improvements, gender issues and ecology, ‘Western’ missionary interactions with Asian peoples, Asian Christian missionaries in cross-cultural contexts, Asian Christian diaspora communities. 

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