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
> Robots vs Loneliness?
> 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.


The New Visibility of Religion

New Publication!

The New Visibility of Religion: Studies in Religion and Cultural Hermeneutics is the latest in the Continuum Studies in Religion and Political Culture series edited by Graham Ward and Michael Hoelzl and will be published in early October.


This is a unique collection of essays that brings together contributions from theology, aesthetics, social and political science, philosophy and cultural theory to examine the surge in the public visibility of religion.Since the late 1980s, sociologists have been drawing our attention to an international surge in the public visibility of religion. This has increasingly challenged two central aspects of modern western European culture: first, the assumption that as we became more modern we would become more secularised and religion would disappear; and secondly, that religion and politics should occupy radically differentiated spheres in which private conviction did not exert itself within the public realm. The new visibility of religion is not simply a matter of what Keppel famously called 'The Revenge of God', that is, the resurgence of Christian, Islamic and Jewish fundamentalism. Religion is permeating western culture in many different forms from contemporary continental philosophy, the arts and the media, to the rhetoric of international politicians.This collection of essays brings together a unique collection of voices from theology, aesthetics, social and political science, philosophy and cultural theory in an exploration of four major aspects of this new visibility of religion: the revision of the secularisation thesis, the relationship between religion and violence, the new re-enchantment of reality and the return of metaphysics.

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The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts (CIDRA) is hosting a series of seminars for postgraduate students at the University of Manchester on interdisciplinary in the arts and humanities.  Professor Graham Ward will be speaking on theology and the sciences on Tuesday, 7 October, 4-6 pm in Mansfield Cooper 2.04 along with James Thompson (SAHC Director of Research/Drama), Amelia Jones (Art History/Visual Studies), and Janet Wolff, the Director of CIDRA. Further details on future events will be available on the CIDRA website linked above.


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.

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