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Prof Anthony Towey

Director - Centre for Catholic Education, Research and Religious Literacy

Prof Anthony Towey

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 4381


Currently Director of the Aquinas Centre for Theological Literacy here at St. Mary’s, Anthony is active in research and resourcing across a wide range of topic areas encompassing Catholic education, theology, philosophy, ethics and ministry.

Married to Káren and father to Bethany Rosarii, Anthony is a native of South Yorkshire taking his first degree in International Development at the London School of Economics. He then studied Philosophy, Theology and post-graduate Biblical Studies at the Gregorian University in Rome before completing a PhD there on the Eucharistic thought of Thomas Aquinas. He has served as Academic Tutor at the Venerable English College, Head of RE at Loreto College, Manchester and Head of Theology, Philosophy and History here at St. Mary’s University.

His monumental 560 page Introduction to Christian Theology had 5 reprints before the issue of a web-supported 2nd edn in 2018. Anthony was directly involved with the DfE and ecclesial stakeholders during the 2016 A-Level and GCSE reforms, developing a new curriculum for AQA, providing resources for Eduqas and anchoring national CPD initiatives for teachers. A member of the RE Commission convened by the Religious Education Council 2018, Anthony is an Ofqual subject expert and regular participant in the All Party Parliamentary Group for RE.

Likewise engaged in ecclesial circles, he acts as a consultant for the Bishops’ Conference on Inter-Faith & Humanist Dialogue and is part of an academic group advising on the new Religious Education Curriculum Directory. A regular speaker at conferences and retreats, he is also editor of the Pastoral Review a quarterly journal for those engaged in ministry and education.


Research profile

Fully committed to interdisciplinarity and to both analytical and empirical approaches, Anthony has successfully supervised a number of research students at St. Mary’s on a variety of topics such as ‘Napro-technology and Natural Law‘ (L. Paasche); An Arendtian Analysis of H. Shipman’ (S. Hyer); ‘Orality as Casualty: Bible, Colonialism & the Bemba Language’ (T. Mukuka); ‘Efficacy of Catholic Political Lobbying in 20th Century’ (W. White); The Faith Disposition of Head Teachers’ (C. Richardson);Towards a Feminist Pedagogy of Desire’ (P. Cullen); ‘John Paul II and the Hebrew Scriptures’ (M. Tower); ‘Ecclesial Understanding of the Permanent Diaconate’ (B. Stringer);. ‘Origins & Theology of Faith Movement’ (J. Mersey); ‘Newman and Certainty’ (P. McHugh). Ongoing projects include Ezekiel and Fuzzy Epistemology (P. Pullicino); Laurentin on Mary and the Spirit (C. Jones); Kristevan and Non-faith Spirituality (K. O’Donnell); Controversial topics in RE (A. Maguire). Suffice to say, if you are researching an unusual topic and looking for an experienced supervisor, Anthony may well be the right scholar to approach!

Recent Research and Resourcing


  • Towey, A. (2018) Introduction to Christian Theology: Biblical, Classical, Contemporary (2nd edn). London, UK: T & T Clark-Bloomsbury (see online)
  • Towey, A & P. Robinson (eds) (2016) The New AQA GCSE Religious Studies Course for Catholic Schools (see online)
  • Towey, A & P. Robinson (eds) (2017) The New Eduqas GCSE Religious Studies Course for Catholic Schools (see online


  • Towey, A & P. McGrail (2020) ‘Reconciling Catholic Responses to Religious Education Reform in England – Empirical and Analytical Reflections’ in International Studies in Catholic Education 12:2, 236-255 (see online).
  • Towey, A. (2020). Faith and character formation in Catholic schools: A view from England & Wales. In The Mission of Catholic Schools’- Education Catholica VI (1-2), 205-214 (see online).
  • Towey A, (2020) ‘Grammar of Dissent? The Language of Theology in R.E’ in New Blackfriars 101 pp.135-152 (see online).
  • McGrail, P. & Towey, A. (2019) ‘Partners in progress? An impact study of the 2016 Reforms’, International Journal of Christianity and Education (see online).
  • Towey, A. (2019) ‘Catholic Religious Education: Lessons in Liberation – a thought experiment’ in Pastoral Review, 15 (5) 6-12 (see online).
  • Towey, A (2018) ‘The Good the Bad and the Risky: Clarke-Woodhead on Religious Education’ in Pastoral Review 14 (5): 6-12 (see online).
  • Towey, A. & P. Robinson (2018). “Religious Education Reform in the Catholic Schools of England and Wales.” In Contemporary Catholic Education, ed. J. Lydon, Leominster: Gracewing, 43-57 (see online).
  • Towey, A. (2017) ‘From fear of freedom to freedom from fear – toleration theology in Dignitatis Humanae’ in Pastoral Review 13 (2 & 3) (see online).
  • Towey, A. (2016). “RE Reform: Big Questions for Catholic schools” In Pastoral Review 12 (5): 18–24 (see online).

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