2023 Cunningham Lectures

Professor Oliver O'Donovan delivers the 2023 Cunningham Lectures

Colour head and shoulders photo of Oliver O'Donovan
Professor Oliver O'Donovan

Series Abstract

'How Can Theology be Political?'

The emergence of "political theology" in the twentieth century was controversial, because the medieval European division of responsibility between secular and ecclesiastical power bequeathed the modern Western university an intellectual boundary between its two constituent foci. The aim of these lectures is to examine what political theology demands, by exploring the concept of law at its centre, what it contributes to the discernment of political situations, and what it promises for the life of social institutions.

Professor Oliver O'Donovan (PhD DPhil FBA)

Oliver O’Donovan, born in 1945 in London, held teaching posts at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Wycliffe College Toronto before becoming Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology and Canon of Christ Church at the University of Oxford in 1982. He was Professor of Christian Ethics & Practical Theology at Edinburgh from 2006 to 2012. Ordained as a priest of the Church of England, he was an active participant in ecumenical dialogue and a past President of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000.


‘The Demands of Political Theology’

Monday 6th February 2023, 5:15pm, Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Theatre

This lecture will be followed by a reception in Rainy Hall.


‘The Discernments of Political Theology’

Tuesday 7th February, 5:15pm, Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Theatre


‘The Promises of Political Theology’

Wednesday 8th February, 5:15pm, Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Theatre