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Dr Simeon Zahl

Dr Simeon Zahl

University Lecturer in Christian Theology

Christian Theology subject specialist

Simeon Zahl is accepting applications for PhD students.


Dr Zahl is University Lecturer in Christian Theology. He received his first degree in German History and Literature from Harvard, and his doctorate in Theology from Cambridge. Following his doctorate, Simeon held a post-doc in Cambridge followed by a research fellowship at St John’s College, Oxford. Prior to his current appointment he was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Nottingham.

Subject area and speciality

Christian Theology specialists:

Research Interests

Dr Zahl is an historical and constructive theologian whose work spans the period from 1500 to the present. He recently completed a major monograph on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which proposes a new account of the work of the Spirit in salvation through the lens of affect and embodiment (Oxford University Press, 2020). Dr Zahl also works on the theology of the Reformation era, especially Martin Luther, and its modern legacy. Further research interests include Augustine, nineteenth-century theology, and the contributions to theology of affect theory and cognitive science.

Dr Zahl is Principal Investigator on the project Affect and Knowledge-Production in Theology and Religious Studies, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The project is a collaboration with Prof. Donovan Schaefer at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Zahl is open to supervising doctoral research in most major areas of Christian theology. Topics of particular interest include the Holy Spirit, salvation, affect and emotion, the intellectual history of Protestantism, Martin Luther, the doctrine of sin, and the impact of embodiment in theological discourse.

Key Publications


Zahl, S. (2020). The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience. Oxford University Press. [link]

Zahl, S. (2010). Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt. T&T Clark/Continuum.


Journal Articles 

Zahl, S. (2021). ‘Beyond the Critique of Soteriological Individualism: Relationality and Social Cognition’, Modern Theology [in press]

Zahl, S. (2020). ‘Sin and Bodily Illness in the Psalms’, Horizons in Biblical Theology 42: 186-207 [link]

Zahl, S. (2020). ‘Incongruous Grace as Pattern of Experience’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 22(1): 60-76. [link

Zahl, S. (2019). ‘Non-Competitive Agency and Luther’s Experiential Argument Against Virtue’, Modern Theology 35(2): 199-222. [link]

Zahl, S. (2019). ‘Engineering Desire: Biotechnological Enhancement as Theological Problem’, Studies in Christian Ethics 32(2): 216-228. [link

Zahl, S. (2018). ‘Tradition and its “Use”: The Ethics of Theological Retrieval’, Scottish Journal of Theology 71(3): 308-323. [link]

Zahl, S. (2018). ‘Revisiting the “Nature of Protestantism”: Justification by Faith Five Hundred Years On’, New Blackfriars 99(1080): 129-146.

Zahl, S. (2015). ‘On the Affective Salience of Doctrines’, Modern Theology 31(3): 428-44. [link]

Zahl, S. (2010). 'Rethinking “Enthusiasm”: Christoph Blumhardt on the Discernment of the Spirit’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 12(3): 341-363. [link]


Book Chapters

Zahl, S. (2017). ‘Experience’, in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century Christian Thought. Oxford University Press. [link]

Zahl, S. (2016). ‘The Bondage of the Affections: Willing, Feeling, and Desiring in Luther’s Theology, 1513-25’ in The Spirit, Affectivity, and the Christian Tradition. University of Notre Dame Press.

Zahl, S. (2014). ‘The Drama of Agency: Affective Augustinianism and Galatians’ in Galatians and Christian Theology. Baker Academic.

Zahl, S. (2013). ‘Atonement’ in The Oxford Handbook of Theology and Modern European Thought. Oxford University Press. [link]


Edited Volumes

Muers, R., Greggs, T., and Zahl, S. (2013). The Vocation of Theology Today. Cascade.

Ford, D.F., Higton, M., and Zahl, S. (2011). The Modern Theologians Reader. Wiley-Blackwell.



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