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Faculty of Divinity

religious language
the annunciation


PhD in Theology and Religious Studies, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (2016) MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, (2010). Distinction. MA (Cantab) Theology and Religious Studies, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge (2006-2009). 1st Class.


Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft hails from Bury in Greater Manchester. She studied Theology and Religious Studies as an undergraduate here at Sidney Sussex, before moving to Corpus Christi College Cambridge for her doctoral research. In 2015, she took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at CRASSH, on the ERC-funded project ‘Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture’. In the 2016-2017 academic year, she was Director of Studies for Theology at Corpus Christi College. 

Ruth’s research sits at the intersection of theology, philosophy, literature, and intellectual history, and has focussed on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century thought in particular. Her first monograph, The Veiled God, reappraises the early work of the German theologian and philosopher, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834). Her research interests include hermeneutics, religious language, gender and epistemology. 

You can read more about The Veiled God, here.

She is also involved in two collaborative research projects. 

With Dr Hanna Weibye, 'Theology and Politics in the German Imagination 1789-1848', a project which began with a conference in summer 2017, and will culminate in a workshop in 2018 and a special issue of the journal Global Intellectual History. This project has been hosted by CRASSH and funded by the DAAD-University of Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies, with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO). 

With Dr Simone Kotva and Dr Laura Kilbride, Theologies of Reading, a CRASSH Research Group running fortnightly seminars in the academic year 2017-2018. The project continues in 2019 with a professional training opportunity for primary and secondary school teachers, hosted in the Faculty of Divinity. The aim of the training opportunity will be to bring together academic researchers and classroom teachers through knowledge exchange, and to encourage educators to explore the varying relationships and dynamics operating between reader and text. (Click here to find out about our teacher's days).  


Key publications: 

— The Veiled God : Friedrich Schleiermacher's Theology of Finitude (Leiden: Brill, May 2019) 

— [As Editor] Special Issue of the Journal Global Intellectual History, entitled Theology & Politics in the German Imagination, 1789-1848. Volume 5, Issue 1 (2020).  My editorial Introduction: pp. 1-8.

— 'Anonymity as a Strategy in Friedrich Schleiermacher's Early Work, and its Theological and Social Implications', Publications of the English Goethe Society [PEGS] 88, no. 3 (November 2019): 184-201.

— ‘On Gender and Theology in the Mode of Retrieval’. In Theologies of Retrieval, edited by Darren Sarisky (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).

— ‘The Doctrine of Creation and the Problem of the Miraculous in the Modern Theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher’. In Creation from Nothing and Modern Theology, edited by Gary Anderson (Notre Dame, IN :University of Notre Dame Press, 2017).

— ‘Photography, Finitude, and the Human Self through Time’, Telos 179 (Summer 2017). 

— ‘Creation, Temporality and the Lord’s Supper in Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Dogmatic Theology’, Theology 116 (September/October 2013) : 332–340. 

— ‘The Gospel According to Johannes de Silentio, Noesis: Theology, Philosophy, Poetics 3 (June 2016) . 

Other publications: 

Popular Writing 

— 'A Conversation about The Veiled God: Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude, by Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft'. An interview conducted by Paul Dafydd Jones, for the Religion and Its Publics Project, at the University of Virginia []

— 'Humans are more than their bodies'. A feature article for The Church Times, July 23rd 2019. []

 with Simon Ravenscroft, Rotten Riches, A Commentary on James 4:13 — 5:15, for the Visual Commentary on Scripture [] (June 2019).

— 'Race, Difference, and Religion: Is There a Universal Humanity?', A review of Theodore Vial's Modern Religion, Modern Race, Marginalia Review of Books (March 2018) 

— with Hanna Weibye, 'Can Reason Make Room for Religion in Public Life?', Aeon Magazine, (September 2017)

— 'Disturbing Faith', in John Hughes, Alison Milbank, and Arabella Milbank, eds. Preaching a Radical Orthodoxy: Sermons for the Christian Year SCM Press, 2017. 

— with Gareth Atkins, Brian Murray and Kate Nichols, Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture, an online exhibition in partnership with the Fitzwilliam Museum. (April 2017)


Study Guides for Undergraduates 

— A Macat Analysis of Friedrich Schleiermacher's On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (London: Routledge, 2018). 

— with Brittany Pheiffer Noble, A Macat Analysis of C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man (London: Routledge, 2017).


Resources for Schoolteachers

— with Kathryn Wright, Theologies of Reading. New perspectives on pupil engagement with texts: An Introduction []  

Teaching and Supervisions


Undergraduate Supervision: Ruth supervises the following Tripos papers:

A8 (Philosophy and Ethics) – a paper designed to give first year undergraduates an introduction to the major themes and questions about language, knowledge, and being, which arise at the intersection between philosophy and theology. 

B8 (Great Christian Theologians) – a core course in Christian Theology for second-year undergraduates, which includes texts from Gregory Nazianzus, Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Luther, Barth and Catherine Keller.

B13 (Theology and Literature)

D1d (The Holy Spirit in Christian Experience).    

She also enjoys supervising undergraduate dissertations, particularly those dealing with topics within Christian Theology which are inflected by questions about gender and religious language.

MPhil Exercise:  Ruth convenes an MPhil course entitled 'Gender and Christian Theology'. This runs over the Michaelmas and Lent Terms and is examined as an Exercise, which means it can be taken alongside two coursework modules and the MPhil dissertation.  

Fellow and Tutor, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Director of Studies, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Director of Studies, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge
Director of Studies and Bye-Fellow, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Dr Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft
Not available for consultancy