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The Centre for Philosophy of Religion

The Centre for Philosophy of Religion (CPR) aims to expand the philosophy of religion beyond the confines of a narrow specialist discipline by re-establishing the links between religion as a set of theoretical claims and its moral, psychological and spiritual aspects, and by exploring how it is related to contemporary secular and scientific thought. It approaches philosophy of religion in a way that is sensitive to the beliefs and practices of the great religions, and it encourages interaction with other branches of philosophy, as well as broader interdisciplinary collaboration. The CPR hosts regular events, conferences and seminar series each academic term. Previously it has explored topics like ‘does God have a sense of humour?’, the decline of theism in Europe and God and morality.

As a winner of the John Templeton/Fordham University Varieties of Understanding grant, Fiona Ellis (Project Director), John Cottingham, and Keith Ward will be working on a project entitled New Models of Religious Understanding from August 2014 to August 2015. Further details regarding the project are available on the Varieties of Understanding website. The Capstone Conference for this project takes place on Saturday 13th June 2015.

Recent publications


How to Believe, Professor John Cottingham, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading; Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford; Professorial Fellow, Heythrop College.

Christ and the Cosmos, Professior Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity (Emeritus),Oxford; Professorial Fellow, Heythrop College



Seminar series

The Centre for Philosophy of Religion holds regular seminars during term time.

Seminar series, Lent 2016

Wednesday 6 January:  David McPherson, Creighton University, US, 'The aim of philosophy: satisfying curiosity or attaining salvation?'

Wednesday 27 January: Edward Kanterian, Kent, 'Life's affirmation and denial: Nietzsche and Christianity' CPR (start earlier!)

Wednesday 3 February, 16.30–18.00: Fiona Ellis: Desire and the Spiritual Life

Wednesday 2 March, 16.30–18.00: Stephen Priest, Oxford, 'Is physics fundamental?'

Wednesday 16 March, 16.30–18.00: Silvia Jonas, 'Self-acquaintance: the inexpressible aspect of religious experiences'

Conference Saturday June 11th, 2016

Our conference this year will be on the philosophy and theology of love and desire. Speakers include Dr Fiona Ellis, Dr Simon May (KCL), Dr David McPherson (Creighton). It is open to the public. More details to follow in due course.

Get in touch

For further information on the Centre for Philosophy and Religion, please contact the director:

Fiona Ellis
Centre for Philosophy and Religion
Heythrop College, Kensington Square
London W8 5HQ 

Other Staff

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