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Oliver Davies

Professor Oliver Davies

Professor Oliver DaviesEmeritus Professor of Christian Doctrine

Address Theology & Religious Studies
Virginia Woolf Building
King's College London
22 Kingsway,




Oliver Davies grew up in South Wales, before pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford, where he specialised in contemporary German religious literature. He spent two years teaching at the University of Cologne before returning to lecture in theology in the University of Wales. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia in 2002 and 2003, and at the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome in 2006-7. He joined King¹s as Professor of Christian Doctrine in 2004 before becoming Emeritus Professor in 2017. Oliver Davies was President of the Society for the Study of Theology from 2007-8. He was also coordinator of the Transformation Theology project based at King’s College London.

You can view his personal website at

See also

Research interests & PhD supervision
  • transformation theology
  • contemporary theology
  • theology and continental philosophy
  • religion and literature
  • mysticism

Oliver Davies’ early studies were in the area of religious texts, especially in the German tradition. He worked on the German medieval theologian Meister Eckhart before publishing A Theology of Compassion (2001) in which he attempted to rethink Christian tradition in the light of contemporary perspectives concerning phenomenology, language, ethics and the self. In The Creativity of God (2004) he continued this interest in dialogue with Rabbinic sources with respect to creation and world. In Transformation Theology. Church in the World (T&T Clark, 2007), Oliver presented with colleagues at King’s a new theological orientation which recognizes the place of sensibility, space and time and ecclesial commissioning at the centre of Christian revelation. Transformation Theology is a broad-based collaboration which is establishing a new relation between academic theology and the Churches, giving theological voice in new and sometimes unexpected ways to the transformational life of faith. Oliver published Theology of Transformation with OUP in 2013 and currently holds a John Templeton Foundation fellowship in Evolutionary Anthropology and Theology through the University of Notre Dame. His forthcoming article in 'Culture and Brain', entitled 'Niche Construction, Social Cognition and Language: Hypothesizing the Human as the Production of Place', is the first step in the development of a new approach to religion, based on recent advances in the understanding of our inherited, human (‘species-wide’) social embodiment.

Selected publications

Oliver Davies, Clemens Sedmak, Paul D Janz (2007) Transformation Theology London: T&T Clark
[Authored Book in print]

Oliver Davies (2006) 'Reading the Burning Bush: Voice, World and Holiness' MODERN THEOLOGY, 22 (3), pp. 439-447.
[Article in print Journal]

Oliver Davies (2006) 'Violence in Bloomsbury: A Theological Challenge' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 8 (no.3), pp. 252-265.
[Article in print Journal]

Oliver Davies, Nicholas Adams, Ben Quash (2005) 'Fields of Faith: theology and religious studies for the twenty-first century', in Fields of Faith: an experiment in the study of theology and religions pp. 207-221

O Davies (2004) ''The Unspoken Word: Negative Theology in Meister Eckhart's German Sermons', by Bruce Milem' JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, 42 (3), 341
[Book Review (Print)]

Oliver Davies (2004) The Creativity of God. World, Eucharist, Reason Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
[Authored Book in print]

Oliver Davies (2004) 'Theological Aesthetics', in The Cambridge Companion to von Balthasar pp. 131-142

Oliver Davies (2003) 'The Sign Redeemed: A Study In Christian Fundamental Semiotics' MODERN THEOLOGY, 19 (2), pp. 219-241.
[Article in print Journal]


Oliver Davies has previously contributed to the following modules:


  • 6AAT3401 Contemporary Philosophy and Theology


  • 7AATC404 'Modern Doctrine'
  • 7AATC415 'The Christian Text'
  • MA Dissertation
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