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Professor Ian A. McFarland

Professor Ian  A. McFarland

Regius Professor of Divinity

Fellow, Selwyn College

Christian Theology subject specialist

Ian McFarland is accepting applications for PhD students.

Office Phone: 01223 763036


Prof. McFarland took up his current appointment at Cambridge in 2015.  He received his first degree in Classics from Trinity College (Hartford) before going on to study theology at the Union Theological Seminary (New York), the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Yale University, where he earned his doctorate under the direction of Kathryn Tanner.  He has previously taught at the University of Aberdeen (1998-2005) and Emory’s University’s Candler School of Theology (2005-2015), where he was the inaugural holder of the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Chair in Theology.

Research Interests

Prof. McFarland’s scholarship focuses on contemporary articulations of Christian doctrine that attend both to the concerns of the catholic tradition, broadly conceived, and to the voices of Christians not consistently represented in that tradition.  His current research centres on Christology, with particular focus on the merits of the Chalcedonian definition over against post-Enlightenment alternatives.  Other areas of interest include the doctrine of creation, theological anthropology, the use of the Bible in theology, and the theology of Maximus the Confessor.

Prof. McFarland is open to supervising doctoral research in any of the traditional loci of Christian dogmatics, most especially with candidates interested in bringing traditional sources into dialogue with contemporary ecclesial concerns.

Key Publications


  • From Nothing: A Theology of Creation. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2014
  • In Adam’s Fall: A Meditation on the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
  • The Divine Image: Envisioning the Invisible God. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005
  • Difference and Identity: A Theological Anthropology. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2001
  • Listening to the Least: Doing Theology from the Outside In. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1998

 Edited Volumes

  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011 (with David Fergusson, Karen Kilby, and Iain Torrance)
  • Creation and Humanity.  Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2009

 Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Theology of the Will,” in The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor.  Ed. Pauline Allen and Bronwen Neil. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 516-532.
  • “The Saving God,” in Sanctified by Grace.  Ed. Kent Eilers and Kyle Strobel.  London: Bloomsbury, 2014, 61-74.
  • “Spirit and Incarnation: Toward a Pneumatic Chalcedonianism,” in International Journal of Systematic Theology, 16:2 (April 2014), 143-158.
  • “Theodore the Studite,” in Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians.  Ed. Don Compier, Kwok Pui Lan, and Joerg Rieger.  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007, 111-122.
  • “Conflict and Compatibility: Some Thoughts on the Relationship between Science and Religion,” in Modern Theology, 19:2 (April 2003), 181-202.


Subject area and speciality

Christian Theology specialists:

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