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Dr Michael Banner


Michael Banner has been Dean, Fellow and Director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies at Trinity College since 2006. He was previously the Director of ESRC Genomics Forum and Professor of Ethics and Public Policy in Life Sciences in the School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, and from 1994 to 2004 F.D. Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology, King’s College, London. He was the Peden Visiting Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at Rice University in 2012, and gave the 2013 Bampton Lectures in Oxford.

The Bampton Lectures were published in 2014 by Oxford University Press as The Ethics of Everyday Life: Moral Theology, Social Anthropology and the Imagination of the Human. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology will publish a collection of papers responding to the book in its second issue in 2015, and the McDonald Centre in the University of Oxford is hosting a conference around the book in May 2016.

His other publications include Christian Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (CUP, 1999), and Christian Ethics: A Brief History (Blackwells, 2009).

He is currently a member of the Ministry of Defence's Advisory Committee on Less Lethal Weapons. Amongst his previous committee experience, he chaired a Committee of Enquiry for the Ministry of Agriculture from 1993 to 1995, the CJD Incidents Panel at the Department of Health, the Home Office’s Animal Procedures Committee from 1998 to 2006, and the Shell Panel on Animal Testing from 2002 to 2009. He also served as a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and recently completed a nine-year term on the board of the Human Tissue Authority.

He has a particular interest in matters to do with ethical investment and good business, and has served for eight years on advisory boards for F&C Asset Management and Friend’s Life, in the City of London.

At Trinity College he has recently taken on a new responsibility as Fellow for Development, working with the Alumni Relations and Development Office in advancing various initiatives to support students and research.

Michael is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day on the Today programme.

Subject area and speciality

Philosophy of Religion specialists:


Trinity College:
Director of Studies

Research Interests

Current Principal Research Interests

  • Christian Ethics
  • The Anthropology of Morality
  • The Nature of Moral Theology and its Relationships to Moral Philosophy and Social Anthropology
  • The Ethics of Everyday Life


Key Publications

  • The Justification of Science and the Rationality of Religious Belief (OUP, 1990)
  • Christian Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (CUP, 1999)
  • Ethics and the Doctrine of God, ed. with A.T. Torrance (T&T Clark, 2004)
  • Christian Ethics: A Brief History (Blackwells, 2009)
  • Ethics of Everyday Life: Moral Theology, Social Anthropology, and the Imagination of the Human (OUP, 2014)

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Faculty of Divinity Moodle

Sep 26, 2016

Moodle has now replaced CamTools in the Faculty of Divinity.

Dr Jesse Zink Awarded Audrey Richards Prize

Sep 23, 2016

The Rev Dr Jesse Zink has been awarded the Audrey Richards Prize by the African Studies Association of the UK for his dissertation, “Christianity and Catastrophe: Sudan’s Civil Wars and Religious Change among the Dinka.” The prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in African studies examined in the UK in 2014 or 2015.

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Sep 16, 2016

On 28 September 2016, iDiscover - the new resource discovery system - will replace LibrarySearch. Please export saved items or lists from My Discoveries before the switch off of LibrarySearch.

Divinity Library changes to borrowing for non-current members of the University/external researchers

Sep 06, 2016

Since 1 September 2016, the policy for borrowing for non-current members of the University/external researchers has changed: unless you have a blue University card you will not be able to borrow from Divinity Library any more.

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