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Faculty of Divinity


Elizabeth Phillips the Director of Studies at Westcott House. She teaches Christian ethics and political theology in the Cambridge Theological Federation. During the academic year 2018-1019 she was Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Criminology (University of Cambridge), co-convening and ethnographically researching a course on ‘The Good Life and the Good Society’ in which Cambridge students learned alongside students resident in a high-security prison. She was then the 2020 Research Fellow at the Margaret Beaufort Institute, working on the Flourishing Inside project on Catholic Social Teaching and ministry in prisons. Her doctoral thesis for the University of Cambridge was a theological ethnography of an American Christian Zionist congregation and their adopted settlement in the West Bank, examining the relationship between eschatology and politics.

Dr Phillips is author and editor of books and articles used widely in teaching Christian ethics and political theology in both the UK and the US. She is a Steering Committee Member of the Political Theology Seminar of the American Academy of Religion and former Honorary Secretary of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics. She is trained in interpersonal mediation and enjoys teaching conflict transformation. She is active in interfaith engagement and participated in the Building Bridges Seminar for four years.


  • Christian Virtue Ethics
  • Conflict, Violence, Pacifism, War, and Peacemaking
  • Political Theology
  • Eschatology and Politics
  • Christian Zionism
  • Theological Ethnography
  • Race and Anti-racism


Key publications: 
  • Apocalyptic Theopolitics: Essays and Sermons on Eschatology, Ethics, and Politics (forthcoming in the Theopolitical Visions series).
  • Editor with Anna Rowlands and Amy Daughton, T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology (T&T Clark, 2021).
  • Editor with Craig Hovey, The Cambridge Companion to Christian Political Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (T&T Clark, 2012).
Other publications: 

‘Politics and Political Theology’, in The T & T Clark Companion to Christian Ethics, edited by Tobias Winright (T&T Clark, 2020).

‘The Problem of Race in Christianity’ in A World of Inequalities: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, edited by Lucinda Mosher (Georgetown University Press, 2021).

‘“It’s not Just an Idea”: Practicing the Good Life in a High Security Prison’. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 42.4 (2020): 311-330.

‘Cultivating the Common Good at the Margins of the Commons: An Ethnographic Portrait of Transformative Pluralism in a High Security Prison’. Political Theology 21.4 (2020): 339-357.

‘Narrating Catastrophe, Cultivating Hope: Apocalyptic Practices and Theological Virtue’. Studies in Christian Ethics 31:1 (1 February 2018): 17-33.

‘Anabaptist Theologies’, in The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, second edition, edited by Peter Scott and William Cavanaugh (forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell, 2018).

‘The Church and the Elusive “Public”’, in Grace, Governance and Globalization: Theology and Public Life, edited by Lieven Boeve, Stephan van Erp, and Martin Poulsom (T&T Clark, 2017).

‘Virtue Ethics and Social Justice’, in Christian Faith and Social Justice: Five Views, edited by Victor McCracken (Bloomsbury, 2014).

‘Saying “Peace” When There is No Peace: An American Christian Zionist Congregation on Peace, Militarism and Settlements’, in Comprehending Christian Zionism: Perspectives in Comparison, edited by Göran Gunner and Robert Smith (Fortress Press, 2014).

‘Charting the “Ethnographic Turn”: Theologians and the Study of Christian Congregations’, in Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography, edited by Pete Ward (Eerdmans, 2012).

‘Teaching Political Theology’, four-part blog series. Political Theology Today (August-December 2012).

‘Teaching Political Theology’, special journal section to mark the publication of Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, in Political Theology 13.6 (December 2012): 670-716.

Director of Studies, Westcott House
Research Associate, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
Honorary Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University
Elizabeth Phillips black and white photo

Contact Details

Email address: 
Available for consultancy




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