Professor Philip Ziegler

Professor Philip Ziegler
Professor Philip Ziegler

Professor Philip Ziegler

BA (Hons.), MA, STL, MDiv, ThD; SFHEA

Personal Chair


Rev'd Professor Philip G. Ziegler

Chair of Christian Dogmatics

School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History

University of Aberdeen

Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UB


Room KCF 17, King's College


Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History


Previously educated at the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Toronto, I earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto / Victoria University, where I studied systematic and historical theology, ecumenics, and the philosophy of religion at several member colleges of the Toronto School of Theology; during my final year I was also a Junior Fellow of Massey College. After holding a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion, I taught for several years at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Canada as Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology. I joined the faculty of the University of Aberdeen as Lecturer in Systematic Theology in January 2006. In 2016 I was appointed to a personal chair as Professor in Christian Dogmatics. 

Ordained to the Order of Ministry of the United Church of Canada since 1996, I am an elder of the cathedral Church of St Machar, in Old Aberdeen.

I am a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Undergraduate Admissions Selector for Divinity (2006-8, 2018-)
  • Member of the Hay of Seaton Lectureship Committee (2014-)
  • Acting Master of Christ's College (2019-20)
  • Chair of the Gifford Lecture Committee of the University (2009-2020) 
  • Previously, Director of Undergraduate Programmes (Divinity) (2009-10), Deputy Head of School (2007-09), Head of the School (2009-12), School Director of Research (2014-17) and most recently School Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes (2018-19; 2020) as well as an elected member of the University Senate (2014-18).
External Memberships
  • Society for the Study of Theology (UK)
    • Member of the Executive Committee (2012-15)
  • Society for the Study of Christian Ethics (UK)
  • American Academy of Religion
    • Steering Committee, Bonhoeffer, Theology and Social Analysis Group (2013-18)
    • Steering Committee, Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic (Additional Meeting)
  • Karl Barth Society of North America
    • General Secretary (2001-)
  • International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society
    • Member of the Board of Directors, English Language Section (2013-)
  • Assembly Trustee, Church of Scotland
  • Council of Christians and Jews (UK)

Research Overview

My research interests include Christian dogmatics with particular interest in Christology; the doctrines of justification, election and revelation; the Christian life and the theological bases of Christian ethics and politics; as well as the history of modern Protestant theology generally, and within it particularly the theologies of Søren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth. I am also active in exploring the significance of recent work on New Testament apocalyptic for contemporary Christian theology. 


Research Areas

Current Research

I am currently writing on topics including: the construal of the Christian life within an apocalyptic theological vision; the relation of the doctrine of scripture and the practice of Sachkritik; the motif of the 'victory of Christ' in the history of soteriology; trajectories in theology in Western Europe in the latter half of the 20th century; the contemporary significance of Bonhoeffer's Ethics; and, continuing to think together with colleagues about a project on the fate of the devil in modern theology, both Protestant and Catholic.

At the moment I am also editing the volume of the Edinburgh Critical History of Christian Theology treating the 20th century; working with R. David Nelson to oversee a substantive new Handbook of Modern Theology for T&T Clark, and editing, together with Kait Dugan, a volume of papers exploring eschatological aspects of Karl Barth's Theology under the title The Finality of the Gospel .

Past Research

My research publications to date include the following:


 Edited Books

Guest Edited Journal Issues

  • ed., Remembering Markus Barth—A Biblical-Theological Existence, special theme issue of the Journal of Reformed Theology, 14:3 (2020).
  • ed., with Nancy Duff, special 'Theology and Apocalyptic' theme issue of Theology Today 75:1 (April 2018)
  • ed., special issue of Studies in Christian Ethics on Critical Directions and Developments in Reformed Theological Ethics, 28:2 (May 2015).
  • ed., with Nancy Duff, special Bonhoeffer theme issue of Theology Today 71:1 (April 2014).
  • ed., ‘To yield some place to the Word of God:  Essays in Honour of David E. Demson”, special issue of the Toronto Journal of Theology. 17:1 (2001).

 Essays and Articles

  • ‘The Theology of the Confessing Church’, The Oxford History of Modern German Theology, edited by David Lincicum, Judith Wolfe, and Johannes Zachhuber, volume 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022), forthcoming.
  • 'The First and Final "No": The Finality of the Gospel and the Old Enemy', in The Finality of the Gospel: Karl Barth and the Tasks of Eschatology, edited by Kaitlyn Dugan and Philip G. Ziegler, Studies in Reformed Theology (Leiden: Brill, 2022), forthcoming.
  • '‘Ethics and the Catastrophe of Grace: Faith’s Obedience in the Ruins of Religion’, in Karl Barth’s Epistle to the Romans – Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Christophe Chalamet, Andreas Dettwiler and Sarah Stewart-Kroeker.  Theologische Bibliothek Töpelmann (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2021), forthcoming.
  • ‘Listening to Discipleship’s B-side’, in Reading Bonhoeffer for the Life of the Church, edited by Jennifer Moberly, International Bonhoeffer Interpretations (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2021), forthcoming.
  • ‘Parabolic Life—Toward an Ethics of God’s Apocalypse’, Studies in Christian Ethics 34:4 (2021), forthcoming. (on open access)
  • '"Peace Through the Cross": The Salvation of Jews and Gentiles', Journal of Reformed Theology 14:3 (2020), 229-245.
  • 'Reformed Ethics', in The Oxford Handbook of Reformed Theology, edited by Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), pp. 577-591.
  • ‘“While We Were Yet Enemies”—Some Particularly Protestant Reflections on Grace’, Journal of Reformed Theology 14:1-2 (2020), 35-51.
  • 'God' in The Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, edited by Michael Mawson and Philip G. Ziegler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 137-149.
  • ‘The Theological Self in Kierkegaard’s Sickness unto Death.’ Participatio Supplemental Volume 5, Søren Kierkegaard as a Christian, Incarnational Theologian (2019), 128-143.
  • ‘The Devil’s Work—Divine Providence and its Antithesis’, in Divine Action and Providence, edited by F. Sanders and O. Crisp (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019), 173-186.
  • ‘The Christian Life: A Humble Striving Born of Gratitude’, in The T&T Clark Companion to the Theology of Kierkegaard, edited by A. Edwards and D. Gouwens (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2019), 391-402.
  • ‘“Tempted for Our Sake”—Bonhoeffer on Christ’s Temptation’, in Polyphonie der Theologie: Verantwortung und Widerstand in Kirche und Politik, edited by Matthias Grebe (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2019), 259-276.
  • ‘Order, Spheres and Mandates—Barth and Bonhoeffer as Cartographers of Christian Freedom and Responsibility’, Zeitschrift für Dialektische Theologie, 69:1 (2019), 31-50.
  • ‘Those He also Glorified’—Reformed perspectives on human nature and destiny’, Studies in Christian Ethics 32:2 (2019), 165-176.
  • ‘Insomnolent Anathemas—E.M. Cioran’s Unbelieving Gift to Theology’, Theology Today 75:3 (2018), 391-98.
  • ‘Graciously Commanded—Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth on the Decalogue’, Scottish Journal of Theology 71:2 (2018), 127-141.
  • '"Bound Over to Satan’s Tyranny”—Sin and Satan in Contemporary Reformed Hamartiology', Theology Today 75:1 (2018), 89-100.
  • ‘Toward an Evangelical Ars Morendi’, in Practicing with Paul, edited by Presian R. Burroughs (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018), 231-244.
  • ‘Getting the Reformation in America—The Making of Paul L. Lehmann as a Public Theologian’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 31:1 (2018), 79-107.
  • ‘To Pray, To Testify, To Revolt': An Introduction to Karl Barth’s The Christian Life’, in Karl Barth, The Christian Life. Cornerstones of Theology (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2017), 1-16.
  • 'Veniat Regnum Tuum! Christology, Eschatology and the Christian Life’, in Game Over?  Reconsidering Eschatology, edited by Christophe Chalamet et al. Theologische Bibliothek Töpelmann (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017), 407-423. 
  • 'A Very Short Theology of Reconciliation', Touchstone 34:3 (2016), 7-13.
  • 'The Enmity of Death and Judgment Unto Life', in Eternal God, Eternal Life: Theological Investigations into the Concept of Immortality, edited by Philip G. Ziegler (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2016), 131-148.
  • 'God, Christ, and Church in the DDR—Wolf Krötke as an Interpreter of Bonhoeffer’s Theology', in Engaging Bonhoeffer: The Influence and Impact of Bonhoeffer’s Life and Thought, edited by Matthew Kirkpatrick (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016), 201-220.
  • ‘Some Remarks on Apocalyptic in Modern Christian Theology’, in Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination, edited by B. Blackwell, J. Maston and J. Goodrich (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016), 199-216.
  • '"Completely within God's Doing": Soteriology as Metaethics in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer', in Christ, Church, and World: New Studies in Bonhoeffer’s Theology and Ethics, edited by M. Mawson and P. Ziegler (London: T&T Clark/ Bloomsbury, 2016), 101-117.
  • 'The Adventitious Origins of the Calvinist Moral Subject', Studies in Christian Ethics, 28:2 (2015), 213-223. doi:10.1177/0953946815570598
  • 'The Historical Jesus and Christology from Strauss to Kaesemann', The Oxford Handbook of Christology, edited by F.A. Murphy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 328-344.
  • 'The Humanity of Divinity', Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 65:1&2 (2014), 171-180.
  • 'Nisi per Spiritum Sanctum—The Holy Spirit and the Confession of Faith', Journal of Reformed Theology, 8:4 (2014), 247-56. doi:10.1163/15697312-00804002  
  • 'Transcendence in the Midst of Life?', a review essay of Ward Balanton, A Materialism for the Masses: Saint Paul and the Philosophy of Undying Life (Columbia University Press, 2014),  Syndicate 1:4 (2014), 52-57 and Syndicate online. 
  • 'Foreword', in Eberhard Jüngel, Christ, Justice and Peace: Toward a Theology of the State (London: T&T Clark/Bloombury, 2014).
  • 'Some Remarks on Christian Freedom', in Indicative of Grace - Imperative of Freedom. Essays in honour of Eberhard Jüngel in his 80th Year, edited by R. David Nelson (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2014), 255-266.
  • 'Discipleship', in Sanctified by Grace: A Theology of the Christian Life, edited by Kent Eilers and Kyle Strobel (London: T&T Clark/ Continuum, 2014), 173-186.
  • 'Witness to Christ's Dominion: the political service of the Church', Theology 116:5 (2013), 323-331. doi: 10.1177/0040571X13493582
  • 'Love is a Sovereign Thing: The Witness of Romans 8:31-39 and the Royal Office of Jesus Christ', in  Apocalyptic Paul:  Cosmos and Anthropos in Romans 5-8, edited by B. Gaventa (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2013), 111-130.
  • ‘Dietrich Bonhoeffer—Theologian of the Word of God’, in Bonhoeffer, Christ and Culture, edited by K. Johnson & T. Larsen (Downers Grove, IN: IVP Academic, 2013), 17-38.
  • 'Christ For Us Today: Promeity in the Christologies of Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard’, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 15:1 (2013), 25-41. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2400.2012.00656.x
  • '"Christ Must Reign": Ernst Kaesemann and Soteriology in an Apocalyptic Key', Apocalyptic and the Future of Theology, edited by D. Harink and J. Davis (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012), 202-220
  • ‘Christ's Lordship and Politics: Visser 't Hooft and Bonhoeffer', in Bonhoeffer, Religion and Politics, International Bonhoeffer Interpretations 4, Hrsg. von C. Tietz and J. Zimmerman (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012), 55-80.
  • ‘Eschatological Dogmatics: To What End?’, in Eschatologie-Eschatology, hrsg. von H.-J. Eckstein et. al., WUNT (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 348-359.
  • ‘The Fate of Natural Law at the Turning of the Ages’, Theology Today 67:4 (2011), 419-429. doi:10.1177/004057361106700404
  • ‘Review Essay—Christopher Morse, The Difference Heaven Makes (Continuum, 2010)’ Word & World 31:1 2011), 75-83.
  • '"Not to Abolish, but to Fulfil"—The Person of the Preacher and the Claim of the Sermon,' Studies in Christian Ethics 22:3 (2009), 275-289. doi:10.1177/0953946809106233
  • 'Secularity and Eschatology in Bonhoeffer's Late Work,' in Dietrich Bonhoeffers Theologie heute Ein Weg zwischen Fundamentalismus und Säkularismus?, edited by J. De Gruchy, S. Plant and C. Tietz (Guetersloh: Guetersloher Verlaghaus, 2009), 124-138.
  • 'The Uses of Providence in Public Theology,' in The Doctrine of Providence, edited by Philip G. Ziegler and Francesca Murphy (London: T&T Clark/Continuum, 2009), 307-325.
  • 'Creation, Redemption and Law—Toward a Protestant Perspective on the Question of Human Law' in Explorations in Christian Theology and Ethics: Essays in Conversation with Paul L. Lehmann, eds. P. Ziegler and M. Bartel (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 63-78.
  • '‘Voices in the Night’—Human Solidarity and Eschatological Hope,' in Who Am I? Bonhoeffer's Theology Through His Poetry, ed. B. Wannenwetsch (London: T&T Clark/Continuum, 2009), 115-146.
  • 'Taken Out of Context–Freedom and Concreteness in the Theology of Wolf Krötke,' Communio Viatorum, I/2008, 74-92.
  • 'Stumbling Upon Peter? The Question of the Church in Ecumenical Dialogue,' in Ecumenism Today, ed. F.A. Murphy, C. Asprey and E.E. Puosi (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 17-28.
  • 'Dietrich Bonhoeffer—An Ethics of God's Apocalypse?' Modern Theology 23:4 (October 2007), 579-594. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0025.2007.00410.x
  • 'Barth's Criticisms of Kierkegaard—A Striking Out at Phantoms?' International Journal of Systematic Theology 9:4 (October 2007), 434-451. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2400.2007.00266.x
  • 'A Christian Context for Conscience? Reading Kierkegaard's Works of Love Beyond Hegel's Critique of Conscience', European Journal of Theology 15:1 (2007), 25-36.
  • ''To Honour God's "Good Violence"—Some Notes and Queries Relating to Hans Boersma's Violence, Hospitality and the Cross,' Canadian Evangelical Review 30-31 (Fall 2005-Spring 2006), 106-113.
  • 'Christian Theology and Democratic Politics in Conversation with Jeffrey Stout,' Theology Today 63:2 (2006), 227-234. doi:10.1177/004057360606300210
  • 'Justification and Justice-The Promising Problematique of Protestant Ethics in the Work of Paul L. Lehmann,' Berliner Theologische Zeitschift , 2004/1, 140-153.  Also published in Justification: What’s at Stake in the Current Debates, eds. M. Husbands and D. Treier (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 118-133.
  • 'God and Some Recent Public Theologies,' International Journal of Systematic Theology, 4:2 (2002), 137-155. doi:10.1111/1463-1652.00077
  • 'Doing Conscience Over: The Reformulation of the Doctrine of Conscience in Karl Barth and Paul Lehmann,' Toronto Journal of Theology 14:2 (1998), 213-238.


  • Wolf Krötke, 'Barth on Evil and Nothingness', in G. Hunsinger and K.L. Johnson eds., Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Karl Barth. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020).
  • Wolf Krötke, 'Sin' in R.Burnett, ed.The Westminster Handbook to Karl Barth (Louisville: WJK, 2013), pp. 202-4.
  • Wolf Krötke, Sin and Nothingness in the Theology of Karl Barth. Edited and translated by P.G. Ziegler and C.-M. Bammel. Studies in Reformed Theology and History , New Series 10, 2005.  The full text of this work is freely available online here.
  • Eberhard Jüngel, 'Theses On the Relation of the Essence, Existence and Attributes of God,' Toronto Journal of Theology. 17:1 (2001), pp. 55-74.
  • Wolf Krötke, ‘Piety in the Church, Gottesvergessenheit in Society: Observations on an Aspect of the Church’s Task in the New Eastern German States,’ Toronto Journal of Theology.  17:1 (Summer 2001), pp. 133-146.
  • Wolf Krötke, ‘Hope in the Last Judgment and Human Dignity,’ International Journal of Systematic Theology.  2:3 (November 2000), pp. 270-282.
  • Wolf Krötke, ‘The Humanity of the Human Person in Karl Barth’s Anthropology,’ in John B. Webster Ed.  The Cambridge Companion to Karl Barth. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 159-176.



I am Editor-in-Chief of Brill's Companions to Modern Theology series.

Together with Ian MacFarland and Ivor Davidson, I edit the T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology series.

Together with Jenny McBride and Michael Mawson, I edit the new T&T Clark New Studies in Bonhoeffer's Theology and Ethics series.

I am an Associate Editor of the Journal of Reformed Theology.

I collaborate with Douglas Harink in the leadership of a working group, 'Explorations in Theology and Apocalyptic' investigating the contemporary relevance of New Testament apocalyptic modes of discourse for the work of Christian dogmatics and ethics.


I welcome enquires from potential PhD research students, particularly those looking to pursue their studies on-campus here in Aberdeen. We have a limited number of places each year for new research students in the Systematic Theology area and admission is necessarily selective.

For general information about PhD study with us in Divinity here at the Unviersity of Aberdeen follow this link.

Funding and Grants

In the autumn of 2018 I was 'Research in Residence' in the Theology Department of the Free University of Amsterdam.

In 2016/17 I held the Alan Richardson Fellowship at Durham University which I used to advance work on a project exploring modern philosophical critiques of Christian faith and theology.

From 2013-2017 I was lead academic on an interdisciplinary research project entitled 'Normativity: Nature, Narrative and Nihilism' supported by the College of Arts and Social Sciences and involving colleagues from theology, theological ethics, philosophy and law exploring the sources and nature of 'Normativity' in our respective fields of study.

From 2014-2106 I was Principal Investigator on a collaborative project entitled 'Eternal God, Eternal Life: Theological Explorations into the Concept of Immortality'  funded by the Templeton Foundation as part of their larger Immortality Project led by John Martin Fischer from the University of California, Riverside.  We hosted a series of workshops and a final conference in Aberdeen on the theme during 2014/15 and have together authored a book on the theme (T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2016), details of which can be found here.


Teaching Responsibilities

I regularly teach, contribute to, and/or co-ordinate the following courses:

  • Topics in Systematic Theology I: God, Christ, Salvation
  • Introduction to Christian Theology 
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
  • Theology and the Practice of Preaching
  • Classic Texts in Philosophy of Religion
  • Reformation, Reason and Revolt: Church and Theology in the 16th century
  • Christian Theology and the Challenge of Modernity
  • The Christian Doctrine of God