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Dr Philip McCosker

Dr Philip McCosker

Research Associate to the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity

Affiliated Lecturer

Departmental Lecturer in Modern Theology (University of Oxford)

Director of Studies in Theology, Magdalene College ; Murray Edwards College ; St. Edmund's College

Office Phone: 01223 767901


Dr Philip McCosker took a first in Theology at Oxford. After working as a lay-chaplain at the University of Rouen in France he was awarded a MTS in Systematic Theology from Harvard Divinity School.

He went on to do his PhD thesis on models of paradoxicality in mystical christologies at the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge under Denys Turner, completing much of the research while a Visiting Assistant in Research at the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University.

Until 2012 he was Deputy Master of St Benet's Hall, Oxford. He is the editor of What is it that the Scripture Says? Essays in Biblical Interpretation, Translation, and Reception in Honour of Henry Wansbrough OSB (T&T Clark, 2006); co-editor (with Denys Turner) of The Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He is currently completing Christ the Paradox: Expanding Ressourcement Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Subject area and speciality

Christian Theology specialists:
Philosophy of Religion specialists:
  • varieties of apophaticism
  • christology
  • the doctrine of God
  • theological epistemology
  • intersections of theory and practise in Christian spiritualities


St Edmund's College:
Director, Von Hügel Institute; Fellow
Magdalene College:
Director of Studies
Murray Edwards College:
Director of Studies

Research Interests

  • varieties of apophaticism;
  • christology;
  • the doctrine of God;
  • theological epistemology; and
  • intersections of theory and practise in Christian spiritualities.

Other Professional Activities

  • Editor of the journal Reviews in Religion and Theology published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Key Publications


  • Christ the Paradox: Expandinging Ressourcement Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2017) 
  • The Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae (Cambridge University Press, 2016)


  • ‘Grace’, in McCosker and Turner (eds), The Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 205-21.
  • ‘From the Joy of the Gospel to the Joy of Christ: Situating and Expanding the Christology of Evangelii Gaudium’, Ecclesiology 12 (2016), 34-53
  • Sitit Sitiri: Apophatic Christologics of Desire’, in Eric Bugyis and David Newheiser (eds), Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), 391-413.
  • ‘Sacrifice in Recent Catholic Theology: From Paradox to Polarity, and Back Again?’, in Johannes Zachhuber and Julia Meszaros (eds), Sacrifice and Modern Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 132-46.
  • Enhypostasia Mystica: Insights from Mystical Theology for an Old Debate’, in Louise Nelstrop and Simon Podmore (eds), Immanence and Transcendence: Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013), 69-92.
  • ‘Ephrem the Syrian (c. (c.306–73)’, in Ian Markham (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Theologians (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 97-115.
  • ‘Bonaventure (c.1217–74)’, in Ian Markham (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Theologians (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 268-83.
  • ‘On Emptying Kenosis’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 14/3 (2007), 380-8.
  • ‘Middle Muddle?’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 13 (2006), 362-70.
  • ‘The Christology of Pierre de Bérulle’, Downside Review , 124/435 (2006), 111-34.
  • ‘Stirring Christianity’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 13 (2006), 8-11.
  • ‘“Blessed Tension”: Barth and von Balthasar on the Music of Mozart’, The Way, 44/4 (2005), 81-95.
  • ‘Joined-up Thomism and the ‘Second Quest’ for Trinitarian Renewal’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 12 (2005), 331-7.


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