The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG16
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 275 3064



The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG8
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 306 1663


What does it mean to exist in complex relationships with machines? What insights can be offered to our understandings of these relationships by the theologically significant theme of ‘love’? What critical assessments can be made of our multiple uses of technologies in shaping our futures, by reflecting on our pasts?

Events and Outputs
> NEW! Robots vs Loneliness?
> NEW! Focus Groups
> Conference: Care and Machines
Useful links 

Disquiet over the prevalence of social and economic individualism has a long history. In a world of mobile Capital and increasingly mobile people, communities of common tradition and locality appear to be under threat from the advent of a fragmented market society. Are these complaints against individualism justified? And crucially, how should Christians respond to them? Digging down into the substance of these questions, this project will consider the theological, liturgical and scriptural resources Christians have for understanding the notion of individualism in relation to issues of education, public life and the formation of democratic citizenship.


Edinburgh Festival 2008

Listen to the Graham Ward, professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics at the University of Manchester, examine shifts in modern religious beliefs and behaviour at the Edinburgh International Festival 2008. Here's an excerpt from the festival brochure:

The Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1947 in the aftermath of a devastating war, as an optimistic expression of what Europe could be. It owes its origins to an imperative to rebuild a sense of community in a continent which had torn itself apart; to restore hope to shattered lives through music, opera, drama, and dance... A festival is an expression of the creative ambition of the community it serves. It's also a place where the personal and collective challenges we face as a society can be explored; explored by artists working across and beyond the very boundaries which often seem so problematic.

Professor Ward's lecture, "The New Visibility of Religion," has been recorded into a three part series of Mp3 files for easy download and can be accessed by  visiting the festival website or clicking on the following links:


Political Theology II

Forthcoming publication with Polity Press, October 2008! Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology by Carl Schmitt, translated and introduced by Michael Hoelzl and Graham Ward.

From the Back Cover

Political theology II is Carl Schmitt’s last book. Part polemic, part self-vindication for his involvement in the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), this is Schmitt’s most theological reflection on Christianity and its concept of sovereignty following the Second Vatican Council. At a time of increasing visibility of religion in public debates and a realization that Schmitt is the major and most controversial political theorist of the twentieth century, this last book sets a new agenda for political theology today. The crisis at the beginning of the twenty-first century  has led to an increased interest in the study of crises in an age of extremes – an age upon which Carl Schmitt left his indelible watermark. In Political Theology II, first published in 1970, a long journey comes to an end which began in 1923 with Political Theology. This translation makes available for the first time to the English speaking world Schmitt’s understanding of Political Theology and what it implies theologically and politically.


LTI Newsletter Summer 2008

Welcome to the Summer 2008 issue of the Institute’s newsletter, with its reports on LTI’s activities during this springtime. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find a report on our May conference “Church, Identity/ies and Postcolonialism”, which was a great success, and was widely reported in the church media. Plans to take this work forward are emerging, and already a decision has been taken to stage a further conference, in partnership with the United Theological College, Bangalore, in January 2010.

Furthermore, the first in LTI’s series of workshops, Future Ethics, was held in June. There is a report on the project in this newsletter and there is much more information on the Institute’s website. Suffice it to say that this was an extraordinary event, bringing together people who do not usually engage in a common conversation. You can access video clips from the day and much more besides from the Institute’s website, too... click here to read more.

LTI Newsletter Download (PDF)


St. Thomas von Aquin Katholische Akademie in Berlin

The photo at left was taken at the St. Thomas Aquinas art exhibit at the Catholic Academy in Berlin. For further images please click here to view them in our gallery. The following provides further description of the exhibition:

Die Photos auf den letzten Seiten zeigen, was zu sehen war in den Wochen nach dem Allerheiligentag 2006 in der Kirche St. Thomas von Aquin in Berlin. Ein Altar, gleichsam aufgehoben vom Boden wie mit sphärischen Kräften, weiße, im Scheinwerferlicht leuchtend strahlende Baumwollfäden, die quer durch den Kirchraum wiesen, die einschlugen in Erde, heraustraten hinter den Säulen, um sich in den Spalten des Altarsteins zu fangen. Ein Spiel mit Symmetrie und dem Eindruck chaotischer Kräfte, die sich an dieser Symmetrie abzuarbeiten haben. Draußen vor der Tür: einige Figuren aus bloßer Erde, menschengroß liegen sie auf dem blanken Boden – die Köpfe zum Altar hingewendet, von dem sie durch eine dicke Kirchenmauer getrennt sind. Nebeneinander aufgereiht wie die Toten auf dem Friedhof hinter der Glasstür, die an schönen Tagen offen steht. Die Gemeinschaft der Lebenden und Toten, ein nicht vergangener Glaube der Christen, gewinnt hier einen Ausdruck – die menschliche Sehnsucht nach Gemeinschaft überschreitet die uns gewohnten Grenzen des Sozialen.

Click to read more ...


LTI Newslettter Winter 2008

Welcome to the Winter 08 issue of the Institute’s newsletter, with its rather different look. This one-off change in the format of the newsletter is, I trust, some indication of the vitality of the Institute as it addresses the issues of religion, identity and the future.

Our May conference ‘Church, Identity/ies and Postcolonialism’ is, we believe, the first of its kind in Britain, and will take place shortly before the Lambeth conference 2008, thus responding to the challenge to make links between postcolonial theory, post- colonial theological scholarship and colonial Anglican history. We are also planning to host a conversation on postcolonial theology at the Lambeth conference itself.

The LTI’s latest research project ‘Future Ethics’, being taken forward most ably by its researcher Stefan Skrimshire, has attracted a great deal of attention in the academy and beyond. Clearly, it taps into an important contemporary concern and yet also clarifies and brings into better focus questions about crisis, change, hope and future. Click here to read more...


Religion and the Welfare State Lecture Series

Four Lectures under the auspices of the Centre for Jewish Studies, the Centre for Religion and Political Culture and the Manchester Reform Synagogue.

The basic question addressed in this series was whether, or to what extent, the secular state has rendered the traditional welfare activities of faith communities redundant, or whether the latter are all the more needed given the increasing (?) weaknesses of the welfare state.

Click here for a PDF poster. As well, the links below will download Mp3 files of the lectures.

Thursday 11 October 2007: Clive Lawton 

Wednesday 24 October 2007: Graham Ward

Thursday 8 November 2007: Imtiaz Husain 

Thursday 22 November 2007: Michael Hoelzl

All lectures commence at 6.00 p.m. in the Arts Lecture Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building, Oxford Road, and will be followed by discussion and a reception.