Dr Elizabeth Phillips

Dr Elizabeth Phillips

Research Associate

Elizabeth Phillips joins the Institute as the 2020 Research Fellow. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University. She taught Christian ethics and political theology in the Cambridge Theological Federation and the Faculty of Divinity for nine years before one year as a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Criminology (University of Cambridge) as part of her collaboration with Learning Together.  As part of a British Academy funded Learning Together action research project led by Drs Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow, she has co-convened and ethnographically researched a course on ‘The Good Life and the Good Society’ in which Cambridge students learn alongside students resident in a high-security prison. 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 an international leader in the fields of Political Theology and Christian Ethics. She is author and editor of books and articles used widely in teaching 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 has participated in the Building Bridges Seminar for the past three years.


Current Projects:

Funded by the Plater Trust and based at MBIT with Director of Research, Dr Férdia Stone-Davis, Flourishing Inside is a participatory action research project aiming to develop rich, targeted theological and ethical resources for pastoral work in prisons which is informed by and contributes to Catholic social thought.

Funded by the British Academy, the Learning Together action research project seeks to assess and describe the experiences of participants in Learning Together courses. As a member of this team, Dr Phillips has co-convened and is ethnographically researching ‘The Good Life and the Good Society’, a course in theological and philosophical ethics taught inside a high security prison as part of Learning Together,


Political Theology

Just War, Pacifism, Peacemaking and Conflict Transformation

Eschatology and Politics

Christian Zionism

Christian Virtue Ethics


Select Publications

T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology (forthcoming from T&T Clark).

The Cambridge Companion to Political Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2012).

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

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

‘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.

‘Adopt a Settlement: Christian Zionists and the West Bank’. The Christian Century (27 December 2011): 31-33.