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Dr L. Philip Barnes

Dr L. Philip Barnes

  • Emeritus staff

Emeritus Reader in Religious and Theological Education

Contact details


From 2009 -14 Dr Barnes was Reader in Religious and Theological Education, King’s College, London; before that he was Senior Lecturer in Religious Education at King's.

Dr Barnes has been Chair of the Postgraduate and Research Committee; a member of the Executive Committee of the Department; Programme Director of the Doctorate in Theology and Ministry, of the MA in Religious Education and of the MA in Jewish Education.

He studied theology and philosophy at Queen's University, Belfast, the University of Hull and Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a student of Professor John Gaskin (Philosophy) and a scholarship holder.

Research interests

  • The theory and philosophy of religious education
  • The history and politics of religious education in England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • The relationship of religious studies and theology to religious education
  • The Northern Ireland Conflict
  • Christian theology, particularly the subject of forgiveness (including political forgiveness)
  • Practical theology

Selected academic publications


Barnes, L. P. (2019) Crisis, Controversy and the Future of Religious Education. London: Routledge, 240 pp.

Barnes, L. P. (ed.) (2017) Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School, 3rd edition. London: Routledge, 240 pp.

Barnes, L. P., and Arthur, C. (eds.) (2016) Education and Religion: Routledge Major Works Collection: Vol. I: Aims and Purpose of Religious Education; Vol. II: Religion in Education; Vol. III: Religion, Diversity and Education; and Vol. IV Debates in Religious Education. London: Routledge, 1736 pp.

Barnes, L. P., Davis, A. and Halstead, J. M. (2015) Religious Education: Educating for diversity (Key Debates in Educational Policy Series, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain). London: Bloomsbury, 146 pp.

Barnes, L. P. (2014) Education, Religion and Diversity: Developing a new model of religious education. London: Routledge, 280 pp.

Barnes, L. P., Baumfield, V., Bourque, N., Conroy, J., Davis, R., Gallagher, A., Lowden, K., Lundie, D. and Wenell, K. (2013) Does Religious Education Work? A Multi-Dimensional Investigation. London, Bloomsbury, 264 pp. (This book was awarded second prize by the Society for Educational Studies for books published on Educational Research in 2014.)

Chapters in edited volumes

Barnes, L. P. (2018) ‘Public theology or religious studies? Deliberations on the basis of multi-faith religious education,’ (118-132 pp.), in Public Theology Perspectives on Religion and Education (eds. Manfred L. Pirner, Johannes Lahnemann, Werner Haussmann, Susanne Schwarz). London: Routledge.

Barnes, L. P. (2018) ‘Values, Human Rights and Religious Education: A critical analysis,’ (69-89 pp.), in Values, Human Rights and Religious Education: Contested grounds (eds. Jeff Astley, Leslie J. Francis, David W. Lankshear). Bern: Peter Lang.

Barnes, L. P. (2018) ‘Religious education in Northern Ireland: Conflict, curriculum and criticism,’ (273-288 pp.), in Religion and Education: Comparative and International Perspectives (Oxford Studies in Comparative Education) (eds. Malini Sivasubramaniam and Ruth Hayhoe). Oxford: Oxford: Symposium Books.

Barnes, L. P., and Astley, J. (2018) ‘The Role of Language in Religious Education,’ (73-88 pp.), in Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School: A companion to school experience (ed. L.P. Barnes). London: Routledge.

Barnes, L.P. (2017) ‘Democracy, Political Salvation and the Future of Religious Education,’ (169-183 pp.), in Does Religious Education Matter? (ed. Mary Shanahan). London: Routledge.


Barnes, L. P. (2019) ‘Cult books revisited: John Hick’s God and the Universe of Faiths,’ Theology 122 (2): 111-118.

Barnes, L.P. (2018) ‘Universal, Unconditional Forgiveness: A critical response to Professor Giannini,’ Journal of Religious Ethics 46 (4): 784-792.

Barnes, L. P. (2018) ‘English Religious Education: Developments, identity and diversity,’ Changing Societies & Personalities 2 (3): 232-241.

Barnes, L. P. (2016) ‘Humanism, Religious Education and the former Archbishop of Canterbury,’ Theology 118 (1): 18-25.

Barnes, L. P. (2015) ‘Humanism, worldviews and the future of Religious Education, Journal of Beliefs and Values 36 (2): 79-91.

Barnes, L. P. (2015) ‘Religious Studies, Religious Education and the aims of Education,’ British Journal of Religious Education 37 (2): 195-206.

A full list of Dr Barnes’s publications is available from the author.