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
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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.

Michael Hoelzl


Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at The University of Manchester. He is the co-director of the Centre for Religion and Political Culture.

Samuel Alexander Building-WG8
Tel: 44 (0) 161.306.1663


The following is a short description of Dr. Hoelzl's research interests:

Contrary to the understanding of philosophy of religion in terms of analytical philosophy I conceive 'philosophy of religion' as a critical reflection on religion. This theoretical examination of religion, in the widest sense of its meaning, is critical in so far as it takes into account the context of religious phenomena and theological ideas.

In my earlier work I concentrated on the two different forms of critical theory represented by Michel Foucault and Juergen Habermas with respect to their later work and the Frankfurter Schule which led to a co-edited publication in German, Gottes und des Menschen Tod.

In 2004, I became the Co-investigator (Principal Investigator, Professor Graham Ward) for a research network which was established on the basis of a successful bid to the British Academy for four years' funding (£18,500) aimed at examining the new visibility of religion and its impact on the various forms of European democratic culture, the outcome of which was the recent book, The New Visibility of Religion, published with Continuum in 2008.

My current research is on the work of Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) and the theologico-political background of the concept of sovereignty in particular. I recently translated Schmitt's Political Theology II (with Professor Graham Ward), and am in the process of translating his Dictatorship: From the Beginning of the Modern Concept of Sovereignty to the Proletarian Class-Struggle, forthcoming with Polity Press. My interest in political theory and theology, understood as a specific history of ideas, is also reflected in the research-led MA course at the CRPC as well as my recent publication Religion and Political Thought.