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Faculty of Divinity


Professor Davison was appointed to the Starbridge position in Theology and Natural Sciences in 2014, becoming a professor in 2023. Before he moved into theology, he was a scientist (a chemist, then a biochemist), going on to teach Christian doctrine at Oxford and Cambridge. He holds undergraduate degrees and doctorates in both natural science and theology. He is a fellow of Corpus Christi College, where is he also Dean of Chapel, having been ordained in 2003.

Since 2021, Andrew has been collaborating with a group of scientists from the University and beyond on the origins of life. The resulting Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe was established in 2022. An ongoing collaboration on climate change with Professor Julian Allwood in the University's Faculty of Engineering saw him appointed as a fellow of the UK FIRES initiative in 2022. From 2015-21, he held the position of Canon Philosopher at St Albans Cathedral, the first such position in the Church of England. He is now a canon emeritus. He served for nine years on the English and Welsh Anglican – Roman Catholic dialogue, and on the Church of England's commission on marriage and sexuality.

For the academic years of 2022–23 and 2023–24, Andrew is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Science and Theology at the Center of Theological Inquiry, perhaps the world's most significant interdisciplinary theological research centre. His projects there include books on the theological significance of biological accounts of the origins of life, the relation of doctrines, and mediation as a topic in Christian theology, alongside papers on machine learning. He is editor of the Cambridge University Press series Cambridge Elements in Christianity and Science, and one of three editors for the journal Theology, Philosophy, and the Sciences. He is a regular contributor to Church Times and the Times Literary Supplement. His first translation, of the Belgian and Canadian philosopher Charles De Koninck on mediation, will be published in October 2023.



BA in Chemistry with Biochemistry and Biophysics (Oxford, 1996; MA in 1999)

DPhil in Biochemistry (Oxford, 2000)

BA in Theology and Religious Studies (Cambridge, 2002; MA in 2009)

PhD in Theology (Cambridge, 2013)


Research Interests

Professor Davison works at the intersection of theology, science and philosophy. His recent work has addressed astrobiology, inter-species cooperation (or mutualism) in biology, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. His current work has turned from putative intelligent life elsewhere in the universe to the origins of life, alongside a series of papers bringing the tools of scholastic philosophy to bear on topics in artificial intelligence or machine learning. He is also know for his work on Thomism and Christian Platonism (not least in relation to natural science and the environment). His highly acclaimed monograph Participation in God: A Study in Christian Doctrine and Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 2019) explores the idea of participation – sharing in, or sharing from – as a structuring principle in Christian thought that is both Biblical and Platonic.

In the 2016-17 academic year, he was a fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, on a NASA-sponsored programme to consider the implications for human society and self-understanding of life elsewhere in the universe. This lead to his monograph Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine: Exploring the Implications of Life in the Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2023). 

Professor Davison is open to supervising doctoral research in Christian theology as it bears upon the natural sciences, or other areas of interest.  


Key Publications

Recent Journal Articles

'The Roots of Gratitude in Non-Human Cooperation'. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 9, no. 1 (2022): 79-94.

‘Machine Learning and Theological Traditions of Analogy’. Modern Theology 37, no. 2 (April 2021): 254–74. 

‘All Creatures That on Earth Do Make a Dwelling: Ecological Niche Construction and the Ubiquity of Creaturely Making’. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 7, no. 2 (2020): 181–204.

‘Christian Doctrine and Biological Mutualism: Some Explorations in Systematic and Philosophical Theology’, Theology and Science, 17.3. June 2020.

'Christian Systematic Theology and Life Elsewhere in the Universe: A Study in Suitability'. Theology and Science, 16.4.

‘"He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change", but "who knows how?":
Evolution and Divine Exemplarity.' Nova et Vetera, 16.4. 2018.

‘"Not to escape the world but to join it": responding to climate change with imagination not fantasy'. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375. 2017. (20160365)


Edited Editions of Journals

Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 7. 2 (2020) - on theology, philosophy and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

Theology and Science, 17.3 (2020) - on theology and biological mutualism


Recent Chapters 

‘Participation and Nature in Christian Theology’ in The Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment, edited by Alexander Hampton and Douglas Hedley. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

‘Prayer and Science’ in The T&T Clark Companion to Christian Prayer, edited by John C. McDowell and Ashley Cocksworth. London: T & T Clark, 2021.

New or revised entries – including ‘Dualism’, ‘Eternal Life’, ‘Form’, ‘Hylomorphism’, ‘Participation’, ‘Thomism’, and ‘Science and Religion’ – in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by F. L. Cross, E. A. Livingstone, and A Louth. Fourth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022.

‘More History, More Theology, More Philosophy, More Science: The State of Theological Engagement with Science’, in New Directions in Theology and Science: Beyond Dialogue, edited by eter Harrison and Paul Tyson. London: Bloomsbury, 2022.

‘Science and Religion’ in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion, edited by Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliaferro. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 2021. [15,000 words]

‘Science and Christian Platonism’, with Jacob Holsinger Sherman, in Christian Platonism: A History, edited by Alexander Hampton and John P. Kenney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

‘All Creatures That on Earth Do Make a Dwelling: Ecological Niche Construction and the Ubiquity of Creaturely Making’. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 7, no. 2 (2020): 181–204.

‘Christian Doctrine and Biological Mutualism: Some Explorations in Systematic and Philosophical Theology’. Theology and Science 18, no. 2 (24 May 2020): 258–78.

'Scientific Cosmology as Creation ex Nihilo Considered "from the Inside"'. In Creatio ex nihilo: Origins and Contemporary Significance, edited by Markus Bockmuehl and Gary Anderson. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2017.

‘“He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change”, but “who knows how?”: Evolution and Divine Exemplarity’, Nova et Vetera, 16.4 (November 2018)



Astrobiology and Christian Doctrine: Exploring the Implications of Life in the Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Participation in God: A Study in Christian Doctrine and Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Blessing. London: Canterbury Press, 2014.

Care for the Dying: A Practical and Pastoral Guide, with the physician Sioned Evans. London: Canterbury Press, 2014.

The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy for Theologians. London: SCM Press, 2013

Why Sacraments? London: SPCK, 2013

For the Parish: A Critique of Fresh Expressions, with Alison Milbank. London: SCM Press, 2010. 


Edited Volumes

Amazing Love. London: DLT, 2016.

Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition. London: SCM Press, 2011. 


Theology and the Natural Sciences
Christian Doctrine and Philosophical Theology
Thomism and Christian Platonism
Origins of Life
Starbridge Professor of Theology and Natural Sciences
Fellow in Theology and Dean of Chapel, Corpus Christi College
Dr Andrew  Davison

Contact Details

Email address: 
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy