Simon Podmore

Dr Simon Podmore

Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies
0151 291 3573
Arts and Humanities

I am a systematic and philosophical theologian committed to the integration of constructive theology and spirituality. I hold an M.A. (Hons.) in Theological Studies from the University of St. Andrews, where I was awarded the prestigious Miller Prize in Arts, and a PhD from King’s College, University of London (AHRC funded). My first book, Kierkegaard and the Self Before God: Anatomy of the Abyss (Indiana University Press, 2011), explores the difficult relationship between consciousness of self and consciousness of God with reference to the problem of the “infinite qualitative difference” between the human and the divine. I develop related themes in Christian spirituality further in my current monograph, Struggling with God: Kierkegaard & theTemptation of Spiritual Trial (James Clarke & co., 2013). This book provides both a reconstruction and a contemporary constructive account of the category of spiritual struggle (Anfechtung) in relation to mystical, Lutheran, and existential theology; the nature of evil and the secret of suffering; kenosis-in-ekstasis; the desire of Spirit; and the darkness of God.

I tend to be drawn to the darker, and hence often under-examined, aspects of theology and their relationships with issues in philosophy, spirituality, and mental health (click here to listen to my contribution to BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Belief on the topic of ‘Religion and Fear’: My main interests are in philosophical and systematic theology, particularly the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Luther, and Rudolf Otto; Jewish and Christian mysticism; religious experience; continental philosophy of religion; forgiveness and the problems of suffering and evil; and the relationships between theology, the arts, and psychotherapy. I am keen to hear from potential research students interested in working in such areas. I am co-founder of The Mystical Theology Network ( and Secretary of the Søren Kierkegaard Society of the United Kingdom ( I was previously the Gordon Milburn Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. Prior to this I held positions at the Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, USA, and at the University of Edinburgh. 


click here for more information and details of research and publications on my academic profile