Senior Lecturer: Theology & Religious Studies
School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
T: 01904 876539
I have worked at York St John University part-time (1988-1994 and 2013 onwards) and full-time (1994-2013). I have at various times been Head of Programme for the MA and also for the BA. Now I work only one day a week but still really enjoy teaching and supporting students in their learning!
I am a believer in God but I can also be critical of religion at times and I am totally accepting of people who do not believe. My passion is for a spirituality that is centred upon the inclusive, universal love and justice of God.
The modules I teach:
- Theology: Action & Reflection (Christian projects on social issues, such as homelessness)
- Religion & Human Diversity (the anthropology of religion)
What do I expect from students?
- An open-minded approach to religion which is always questioning and learning.
- Care and concern for work, study and for their fellow students and staff.
- A sense of humour and the courage to speak out from time to time.
- An awareness that grades, while important, are not everything in life!
My main research area over the last few years - starting with a PhD at the University of Leeds in 1991 - has been popular Catholicism, in particular the apparitions and shrines of Mary; and I have published articles in this area and on Mary in the New Testament. In 2016, I published Our Lady of the Nations: Apparitions of Mary in Twentieth Century Catholic Europe with Oxford University Press. I have recently edited a new Oxford Handbook of Mary, published by Oxford University Press in 2019.
I am the member of the Centre for Marian Studies, which is an academic institute combining a variety of approaches into the cult of Mary, offering certificates, MAs and PhDs in Marian Studies. It also acts as a consultant to the media, makes available a resource library and publishes academic material.
Marian Studies involves the interdisciplinary study of devotion to the Virgin Mary. Marian Studies involves Mariology; church history; art history; gender studies; sociology; anthropology; literature studies. While its major focus is Christian expressions from East to West, Islamic views of Mary are also of great importance.
I have written one monograph: Our Lady of the Nations: Apparitions of Mary in Twentieth Century Catholic Europe (OUP, 2016).
I have also edited three books, which include my own editorials and contributions: Documents of the Christian Church (OUP, 3rd and 4th editions, 1999 and 2011), Origins of the Cult of the Virgin Mary (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2008), and the Oxford Handbook of Mary (OUP, 2019)
Recent published articles:
‘Marian Visionaries in Roman Catholicism as Popular Theologians: the “Lady of All Nations” of Amsterdam’ in The Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol 27.2, May 2012, pp 291-304.
'Mapping the Presence of Mary: Germany's Modern Apparition Shrines' in The Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol 28.1, Jan 2013, pp 79-93.
'The Footprints of Religious Enthusiasm: Great Memorials and Faint Vestiges of Belgiums's Marian Apparition Mania of the 1930s' in The Journal of Religion and Society, Vol 15, pp 1-17.
See also the profiles for 'The Lady of All Nations' and 'Nova Cana', which is managed by the World Religions and Spiritualities Project, Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A.