Edward Epsen is the Lord Gifford Fellow in Natural Theology at the University of Aberdeen. Prior to this appointment he was the Teaching Fellow in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at King's College London. He has also served as a research fellow with the project 'God and the Book of Nature: Building a Science-Engaged Theology', a £2.44 million international project based at the University of Edinburgh and funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Ed's main publications include the book From Laws to Liturgy: An Idealist Theology of Creation (Brill, 2020), and the journal articles 'The Idealist View of Divine Action in Nature' (Zygon, 2020), 'Why God Had to Have an Immaculate Mother' (New Blackfriars, 2016), and 'Eternity is a Present, Time is Its Unwrapping' (Heythrop Journal, 2010).
Born in the desert highlands of Arizona, Ed studied mathematics and philosophy at Arizona State University, then completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania as a William Penn Fellow. He has served as a lecturer in philosophy for the University of Pennsylvania and Champlain College. From 2010-2014 Ed worked as a social entrepreneur, founding and managing Henwyn Farm. Before joining King’s in 2017, he completed his doctorate in systematic theology at Durham University, supported by a scholarship from the Centre for Catholic Studies.
- Divinity View Research Area
- Mental Philosophy
My main area of research is constructive philosophical theology, especially on creation, providence, and Christology.
I am also interested in the theology-science dialogue and its history, particular as it relates to philosophical issues of naturalism and physicalism and the theological issues surrounding divine action in nature.
Another area of active interest is Christian Platonism and its history, especially in the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley and early modern philosophy of religion.
In the past I have supervised research on such different topics as providence in the theology of Karl Barth and homiletics of the Transfiguration.
As the Gifford Fellow, I am conducting research into the early modern British tradition of natural religion in thinkers such as Cudworth, Clarke, Berkeley, and Butler, in order to assess its theological value. This is a tradition that has been much maligned and misunderstood. The research is part of a larger project to investigate the elements of natural religion, in certain biblical and historical contexts, to discover what can be learned for dogmatic purposes, particularly regarding Christian doctrines such as election, providence, righteousness, sin, and church. I am especially interested in texts in Scripture and and the Christian philosophical tradition that treat the subject of conscience in its moral and religious function. What moral psychology and epistemology might we develop from these texts? How might such developments furnish us with resources for an insightful characterization of the redeemed life of grace?
I am currently co-supervising (with Prof Tom Greggs) the following PhD candidates:
Marty Phillips, 'John Wesley's Doctrines of Sin and Sanctification'
Andy Nelson, 'Sola Gratia & Hyper-Grace'