Professor Philip Ziegler

Professor Philip Ziegler
BA (Hons.), University of Toronto
MA (Theology), University of St Michael's College
STL, Regis College
M.Div, Victoria University / University of Toronto
ThD, Victoria University / University of Toronto

Personal Chair

Professor Philip Ziegler
Professor Philip Ziegler

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272378
The University of Aberdeen

Office: KCF 17, King's College Quadrangle
Telephone: (01224) 272 378
Postal Address: School of Divinity History and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UB, United Kingdom
Web Links

My Personal Webpage


I hold 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. I was ordained to the Order of Ministry of the United Church of Canada in 1996. During 2000/1 I was a Junior Fellow of Massey College in the University of Toronto. After holding a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion, I taught 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 in Christian Dogmatics.

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


Research Interests

My research interests include contemporary 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. The latter two are interests shared with a number of my colleagues here in Aberdeen. I am also much involved in explorations of the significance of New Testament apocalyptic for contemporary Christian theology. 

I welcome inquires from potential PhD research students, particularly those looking to pursue their studies on-campus here in Aberdeen. For general information about PhD study with us in Divinity here at the Unviersity of Aberdeen follow this link.

Current Research

At the moment I am involved (together with Mike Mawson) in editing the Oxford Handbook of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as editing the volume of the Edinburgh Critical History of Christian Theology treating the 20th century.

Upcoming speaking engagements include:

  • I will be contributing a paper on the theme of Christian - Jewish Relations to the Markus Barth Centenary Symposium to be hosted by the Karl Barth Center at Princeton Theological Seminary in September 2018.
  • I will be presenting a paper to the Karl Barth Society of North America when it meetings during the upcoming annual meeting of the AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado in November 2018. The working title is 'The Cartography of Christian Freedom amidst Created Order in Barth and Bonhoeffer'.
  • I will be taking part in a panel discussion of my recent book, Militant Grace, during a session of the Working Group on Theology and Apocalyptic during the upcoming annual meeting of the AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado in November 2018. Details of this are here
  • I will be one of the plenary speakers at the 2019 SST Annual Meeting on the theme of the doctrine of grace.
  • I will speak as part of a conference on Karl Barth’s Römerbrief 100 years later: Retrospect and Prospect, hosted by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Geneva, 5-7 June, 2019. 
  • I am coordinating the 2019 Annual Karl Barth Conference, hosted at Princeton Theological Seminary by the Centre for Barth Studies. More details to follow. . . .

Some other recent papers and presentations include:

  • I presented a paper entitled 'Insomnolent Ananthemas: E.M. Cioran's Unbelieving Gift to Theology' at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Theology at the University of Nottingham, 9-11 April 2018.
  • I presented a plenary paper entitled 'Spheres, Circles, Orders and Mandates' as part of the 2018 Dutch 'Barth Tagung' on the theme of 'Bonhoeffer as a Challenge to Barth's Theology', March 5-7, 2018, Amersfoort.
  • I delivered the first annual Logos Theology Lecture at the Logos Institute at the University of St Andrews on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
  • I taught and lectured during a week-long visit to the Department of Religion of Baylor University, Waco, TX from November 6-10, 2017.
  • I delivered a paper to the 2nd London Bonhoeffer Colloquium, St. Mary’s University, Twinckenham on Saturday, October 28th, 2017.
  • I participated in a symposium entitled, ‘Deification and Creaturehood in an Age of Biotechnological Enhancement’, 17-19 July 2017 at Kellogg College, Oxford, UK.
  • I served as a respondent to Eleanore Stump at the conference, ‘God, History, and the Incarnation’, June 1-3, 2017 at the University of St Andrews.
  • ‘Bound Over to the Devil’s Tyranny? Sin and Satan in Contemporary Reformed Hamartiology’, Reformed Theology and History Group, American Academy of Religion annual meeting, November 19 – 23, 2016, San Antonio, TX, USA.
  • ‘Kierkegaard on the Christian Life’, at a symposium on ‘Kant and Public Theology’, hosted by the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, November 9-12, 2016.
  • ‘Listening to Discipleship‘s “B-Side”‘, Reading Bonhoeffer for the Life of the Church, Durham University, September 20-22, 2016.


I am Editor-in-Chief of Brill Research Perspectives in Theological Traditions.

Together with Ian MacFarland and Ivor Davidson, I edit the T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology 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. Once again this year we will be hosting several sessions during the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL in November.

Research Grants

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:

  • 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
  • Readings in Systematic Theology
  • The Christian Doctrine of God
Further Info

Admin Responsibilities

  • Acting Head of Discipline, Divinity and Religious Studies (July 2018 - January 2019)
  • Chair of the Gifford Lecture Committee of the University (2009-) 
  • Member of the Hay of Seaton Lectureship Committee (2014-)
  • Previously, Head of the School (2009-12) and then Director of Research for the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy (2014-17) as well as an elected member of the University Senate (2014-18).

Selected Publications


 Edited Books

Guest Edited Journal Issues

  • 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 Ethics28:2 (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

  • ‘Order, Spheres and Mandates—Barth and Bonhoeffer as Cartographers of Christian Freedom and Responsibility’, Zeitschrift für Dialektische Theologie, no. 69 (2019), forthcoming.
  • ‘Those He also Glorified’—Some Reformed perspectives on human nature and destiny’, Studies in Christian Ethics (May 2019), forthcoming.
  • 'The Theological Self in Kierkegaard's Sickness unto Death', Participatio 8 (forthcoming)
  • ‘The Christian Life of Discipleship’, in The T&T Clark Companion to Kierkegaard, edited by A. Edwards and D. Gouwens (London: T&T Clark/Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2018).
  • 'Reformed Ethics', in The Oxford Handbook of Reformed Theology, edited by Michael Allen and Scott R. Swain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018).
  • ‘Insomnolent Anathemas—E.M. Cioran’s Unbelieving Gift to Theology’, Theology Today 75:3 (October 2018), 391-98.
  • ‘Graciously Commanded—Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth on the Decalogue’, Scottish Journal of Theology 71:2 (May 2018), 127-141.
  • '"Bound Over to Satan’s Tyranny”—Sin and Satan in Contemporary Reformed Hamartiology', Theology Today 75:1 (April 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 (February 2018), 79-107. 
  • ‘To Pray, To Testify, To Revolt': An Introduction to Karl Barth’s The Christian Life’, in Karl Barth, The Christian LifeCornerstones 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 Ethicsedited 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 (May 2015), pp. 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), pp. 328-344.
  • 'The Humanity of Divinity', Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 65:1&2 (2014), pp. 171-180.
  • 'Nisi per Spiritum Sanctum—The Holy Spirit and the Confession of Faith', Journal of Reformed Theology, 8:4 (2014), pp. 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), pp. 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), pp. 255-266.
  • 'Discipleship', in Sanctified by Grace: A Theology of the Christian Lifeedited by Kent Eilers and Kyle Strobel (London: T&T Clark/ Continuum, 2014), pp. 173-186.
  • 'Witness to Christ's Dominion: the political service of the Church', Theology 116:5 (2013), pp. 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), pp. 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), pp. 17-38.
  • 'Christ For Us Today: Promeity in the Christologies of Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard’, International Journal of Systematic Theology, 15:1 (2013), pp. 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), pp. 202-220
  • ‘Christ's Lordship and Politics: Visser 't Hooft and Bonhoeffer', in Bonhoeffer, Religion and PoliticsInternational Bonhoeffer Interpretations 4, Hrsg. von C. Tietz and J. Zimmerman (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 55-80.
  • ‘Eschatological Dogmatics: To What End?’, in Eschatologie-Eschatology, hrsg. von H.-J. Eckstein et. al., WUNT (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), pp. 348-359.
  • ‘The Fate of Natural Law at the Turning of the Ages’, Theology Today (67:4) January 2011, pp. 419-429. doi:10.1177/004057361106700404
  • ‘Review Essay—Christopher Morse, The Difference Heaven Makes (Continuum, 2010)’ Word & World 31:1 (Jan 2011), pp. 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), pp. 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), pp. 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), p. 115-146.
  • 'Taken Out of Context–Freedom and Concreteness in the Theology of Wolf Krötke,' Communio Viatorum, I/2008, pp. 74-92.
  • 'Stumbling Upon Peter? The Question of the Church in Ecumenical Dialogue,' in Ecumenism Todayed. F.A. Murphy, C. Asprey and E.E. Puosi (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 17-28.
  • 'Dietrich Bonhoeffer—An Ethics of God's Apocalypse?' Modern Theology 23:4 (October 2007), pp. 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), pp. 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), pp. 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), pp. 106-113.
  • 'Christian Theology and Democratic Politics in Conversation with Jeffrey Stout,' Theology Today 63:2 (July 2006), pp. 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, pp. 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), pp. 118-133.
  • 'God and Some Recent Public Theologies,' International Journal of Systematic Theology, 4:2 (2002), pp. 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), pp. 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, 2018), forthcoming.
  • 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.


Membership in Scholarly Societies

I am a member of the following scholarly societies:

  • Society for the Study of Theology
    • Member of the Executive Committee (2012-15)
  • American Academy of Religion
    • Steering Committee, Bonhoeffer, Theology and Social Analysis Group
    • 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-)

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