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Dr Jacob Phillips

Director of ​Institute of Theology

About Research Media


Jacob Phillips is Director of the Institute of Theology. He joined St Mary’s as a lecturer in theology in 2016, before becoming Programme Director of the MA Theology, then the BA in Theology, Religion, and Ethics, and has headed-up the Institute of Theology since its inception in August 2018.

Jacob holds a first-class degree in Theology from Heythrop College, where he was awarded the Marcus Ward Prize for New Testament studies, and a distinction in his MA from King’s College London, where he was awarded the Relton Prize for Christian Doctrine. He completed his PhD at King’s College on Human Subjectivity in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


Jacob works across a diverse range of sub-disciplinary areas, mostly within systematic and philosophical theology. He is particularly concerned with issues of human self-understanding, subjectivity, conscience and obedience, with particular reference to the work of Erich Pryzwara, Joseph Ratzinger, John Henry Newman and others.

Selected Publications:


  • Distant Scene: John Henry Newman and the English Sensibility, London: T&T Clark Studies in English Theology, (Under Contract, forthcoming 2021)  
  • Simplicity and Wisdom: Human Subjectivity in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, London: T&T Clark Series in Systematic Theology, forthcoming 2019 
  • Mary, Star of Evangelization: Tilling the Soil and Sowing the Seed, Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2018 
  • Translation: Benedict XVI and Peter Seewald, Last Testament: In His Own Words, London; Bloomsbury, 2016 

Articles and Chapters:  

  • ‘Heteronomy and Conscience in the Third Reich in Joseph Ratzinger and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’ in Joseph Ratzinger and the Healing of the Reformation-Era Divisions, edited by Matthew Levering and Emery de Gaal, Steubenville:Emmaus Academic, forthcoming 2019 
  • ‘Theological Dynamics for Understanding the Roman Catholic Episcopate in Britain’ in Episkope: the theory and practice of translocal leadership, edited by Roger Standing and Paul Goodliff, London: SCM Press, forthcoming 2020
  • ‘Confirmation in the Spirit by Con-formation to Mary: The Gifts of the Spirit in Marian Perspective’ in Marian Studies 2017 issue, forthcoming 
  • ‘Dietrich Bonhoeffer the Londoner: A Discussion of the London Period 1933-1935’, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Jahrbuch Volume 6, forthcoming 2019 
  • ‘Having to be thus: On Bonhoeffer’s Reading of Goethe’s Iphegenia in TaurisOxford Journal of Literature and Theology, Volume 32, Issue 3, 1 September 2018, Pages 357–370 
  • ‘My Enemy’s Enemy is my Friend: Martin Luther and Joseph Ratzinger on the Bi-Dimensionality of Conscience’, Heythrop Journal, 2017  
  • ‘A Bride Bedecked with her Jewels: Inculturation and Popular Piety as a “locus theologicus” in Evangelii Gaudium’ in Pope Francis and the Renewal of the Church, edited by Alana Harris and Duncan DormorMahwah:Paulist Press, 2017 
  • ‘Interreligious Reading After Vatican II with John Henry Newman’s Two Habits of Mind’, Journal of Scriptural Reasoning: SR and Vatican II issue, November 2016  
  • The Cup of Suffering: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship and German Expressionism’ in Christianity, Modernism and Apocalypse, (Studies in Religion and the Arts Series), edited by: Erik Tonning, Brill Publications, 2014 
  • ‘Pierced Side Hermeneutics: Reading the Scriptures in the Spirit of Luther' in The Bible: Culture, Community and Society, edited by: Angus Paddison and Neil Messer, T&T Clark, 2013 
  • ‘Dispossessed Science, Dispossessed Self: Wilhelm Dilthey and Bonhoeffer’s Christology Lectures of 1933’ in Ontology and Ethics: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Contemporary Scholarship edited by: Mike Mawson and Adam Clark, Pickwick Publications, 2013 
  • Being Scorned by One’s Own is Perfect Joy: the Strange Case of Dorothy Day’, Journal of Religious History, Issue 37: 528–540, December 2013 

In the news

St Mary’s Academic Features in BBC Documentary

Interim Head of the Institute of the Theology Dr Jacob Phillips at St Mary’s University, Twickenham appeared in the new BBC Documentary My Faith and Me. Find out more...

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