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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Philip McCosker

Dr Philip McCosker

Director of the Von Hügel Institute

Fellow of St Edmund's College

Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Director of Studies in Theology, Religion, and the Philosophy of Religion, St Edmund's, Magdalene, and Murray Edwards Colleges

Editor, Reviews in Religion and Theology (Wiley-Blackwell)


Dr Philip McCosker is an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge. In 2015 he was appointed director of the Von Hügel Institute and Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge.

Philip took a first in Theology at Oxford. After working as a lay-chaplain at the University of Rouen in France he was awarded a MTS in Systematic Theology from Harvard Divinity School. He went on to do his PhD thesis on models of paradoxicality in mystical christologies at the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge under Denys Turner, completing much of the research while a Visiting Assistant in Research at the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. He has been a Lecturer in Theology at Jesus and Trinity Colleges and Deputy Master of St Benet's Hall in Oxford until 2012, and a Departmental Lecturer in Modern Theology in the University of Oxford until 2017.

He is the editor of the journal Reviews in Religion and Theology published by Wiley-Blackwell in association with the Von Hügel Institute at Edmund’s College.

Research Interests

All systematic theology loci but especially christologies; theological epistemologies; apophaticisms; ressourcement theologies; mystical theologies; paradox; sacrifice; desire; prayer; sexuality; Catholic social theologies

Key Publications


  • [Forthcoming] Christ the Paradox: Expanding Ressourcement Theology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Co-editor (with Denys Turner), Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Editor, What is it that the Scripture says? Essays in Biblical Interpretation, Translation, and Reception in Honour of Henry Wansbrough OSB, London: T&T Clark, 2006.


  • ‘Living Trinity’, in Edward Howells and Mark McIntosh (eds), The Oxford Handbook to Mystical Theology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • ‘Grace’, in McCosker and Turner (eds), The Cambridge Companion to the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 205-21.
  • ‘From the Joy of the Gospel to the Joy of Christ: Situating and Expanding the Christology of Evangelii Gaudium’, Ecclesiology 12 (2016), 34-53.
  • Sitit Sitiri: Apophatic Christologics of Desire’, in Eric Bugyis and David Newheiser (eds), Desire, Faith, and the Darkness of God, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015, 391-413.
  • ‘Sacrifice in Recent Catholic Theology: From Paradox to Polarity, and Back Again?’, in Johannes Zachhuber and Julia Meszaros (eds), Sacrifice and Modern Thought, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 132-46.
  • Enhypostasia Mystica: Insights from Mystical Theology for an Old Debate’, in Louise Nelstrop and Simon Podmore (eds), Immanence and Transcendence: Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013, 69-92.
  • ‘Ephrem the Syrian (c. (c.306–73)’, in Ian Markham (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Theologians, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, 97-115.
  • ‘Bonaventure (c.1217–74)’, in Ian Markham (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Theologians, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, 268-83.
  • ‘On Emptying Kenosis’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 14/3 (2007), 380-8.
  • ‘Middle Muddle?’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 13 (2006), 362-70.
  • ‘The Christology of Pierre de Bérulle’, Downside Review , 124/435 (2006), 111-34.
  • ‘Stirring Christianity’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 13 (2006), 8-11.
  • ‘“Blessed Tension”: Barth and von Balthasar on the Music of Mozart’, The Way, 44/4 (2005), 81-95.
  • ‘Joined-up Thomism and the ‘Second Quest’ for Trinitarian Renewal’, Reviews in Religion and Theology, 12 (2005), 331-7.

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