skip to primary navigationskip to content

Niamh Colbrook


I completed my BA (Hons) (2013-2016) and MPhil (2017-2018) degrees in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge. 

My PhD research develops work begun during my MPhil studies, and is concerned with the theological questions and issues that are raised by eating disorders. In particular, I focus on the ways in which eating disorders might pose precise questions concerning the nature of human suffering, particularly related to materiality/embodiment, agency, and habit. I engage constructively with the thought of Augustine of Hippo, particularly his scriptural commentaries, and his use of imagery relating to hunger, food, and eating. I draw on contemporary research into eating disorders from various disciplines including psychology, anthropology, history and feminist studies. 

Subject area and speciality

Christian Theology specialists:

Research Interests

Theological approaches to materiality and embodiment 

Theology and mental health 

Theologies of suffering

Theologies of food



Undergraduate Teaching 

Teaching Assistant for paper D1d, 'The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience', 2019-2020.

Summer Schools and Study Days

Supervisor in Christian Theology for the Corpus Bridging Course - September 2020.

'Theology and Human Suffering' - Seminar delivered as part of the Sutton Trust Summer School at the Faculty of Divinity, August 2019.

'Constructing a Theological Approach to Anorexia in Dialogue with Dietrich Bonhoeffer' - Seminar delivered as part of the Sutton Trust Summer School at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, August 2018.

'The "Anorexic Voice" and the Voice of God: Constructing a Theological Approach to Eating Disorders' - Lecture delivered as part of a year 12 study day at the University of Cambridge, July 2018.


Other Professional Activities

Conference Papers and Seminars

'The Meaningfulness of Suffering: A Theological Foundation for Eating Disorder Care', at the International Academy for Bioethical Inquiry, Maynooth, July 2019.

'The Ambiguities of Practice: Eating Disorders and Theological Formation', at the Society for the Study of Theology Postgraduate Conference, Birmingham, July 2019.

'Christianity, Culture, and the Shrinking Body: The Place of Theology in Eating Disorder Studies', at the Cambridge Body and Food Histories Seminar, Cambridge, February 2019.


Organiser - Cambridge Body and Food Histories Group Conference, '"The Ideal Body": Perceptions of Perfection from Early Modernity to the Present', July 2020 (held online).

Co-convenor of the AHRC-funded Cambridge Body and Food Histories Group, 2019-2020.

Organiser - Society for the Study of Theology Postgraduate Conference, 'Reconciliation', July 2020 (postponed due to COVID-19).


Key Publications

Book Reviews

'Suffering and the Christian Life, edited by Karen Kilby and Rachel Davies (London: T&T Clark, 2020), 212 pp.' in Modern Theology 36.4 (October 2020)

Book Chapters

'The Integrity of Creatureliness: Materiality, Housing, and Flourishing' in Coming Home: A Theology of Housing, edited by Malcolm Brown and Graham Tomlin (London: Church House Press, forthcoming October 2020)

Other Publications

(Not peer-reviewed) 'Care, Liturgy and the Technological Imaginary: An Interview with Jeffrey Bishop', Noesis Review (6), 2019.


Current students and supervisors can access the Faculty’s Moodle page by clicking on the image below.