Dr. Jonathan Chaplin - Director

Dr. Jonathan Chaplin is the first Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, a position he took up in September 2006. He is Member of the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University, and was Visiting Lecturer at the VU University, Amsterdam from 2007-2011.

He is a specialist in Christian political thought, and has authored or edited nine books and reports, and many articles, in this field. His most recent publication is God and the EU: Faith in the European Project, co-editor (Routledge, 2016). 

From 1999-2006 he served as Associate Professor of Political Theory at the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, holding the Dooyeweerd Chair in Social and Political Philosophy from 2004-6, and acting as Academic Dean from 2005-6. From 1990-1997 he was Tutor in Politics at Plater College in Oxford, and from 1997-8, Fellow in Christian Political Thought at Sarum College, Salisbury. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) based at Clare College. In 2006 he was appointed Senior Fellow of the think-tank Cardus in Hamilton, Ontario, and writes regularly for Cardus’s online journal, Comment. He is a consultant researcher for the UK think-tank Theos and has written for Guardian CiF Belief. He read PPE at Pembroke College, Oxford, received an MPhil in Political Theory from ICS and a PhD from London School of Economics and Political Science. He has served on the board or advisory councils of several organisations working on the relationship between Christian faith and public life, including the Movement for Christian Democracy, Citizens for Public Justice (Canada), the Social Action Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the theology committee of the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Committee, and the Civitas Program of the Center for Public Justice (USA). In the 1990s has was a regular contributor to Third Way magazine and served a term on the Editorial Advisory Board. He was a member of the UK Evangelical Alliance’s Theology and Public Policy Advisory Council from 2007-2011. He is a member of the Advisory Council of Philosophia Reformata and of the Advisory Panel of the International Journal of Public Theology. He appeared in the list of 100 Top UK Christians 2014 on the Archbishop Cranmer website, nominated for 'beavering away on the intersection between theology and politics'.

He is married to Dr. Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, a specialist in Christian aesthetics, and they have two children, Paul, who works for CAFOD and Lucia, a junior doctor. He attends St. Paul's Anglican Church, Hills Road, Cambridge.

Herman Dooyeweerd

Christian Philosopher of State and Civil Society

Selected Publications


Co-editor with Gary Wilton, God and the EU: Faith in the European Project (Routledge, 2016).

Co-editor with Colin Bell and Robert White, Living Lightly, Living Faithfully: Religious faiths and the future of sustainability (Faraday Institute/KLICE, 2013).

Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher of State and Civil Society (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011).

Multiculturalism: A Christian Retrieval (Theos, 2011).

Editor, with Robert Joustra, God and Global Order: The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy (Baylor University Press, 2010).

Co-editor with Nick Spencer, God and Government (SPCK, 2009).

Talking God: The Legitimacy of Religious Public Reasoning (Theos, 2009).

Co-editor with Craig Bartholomew, Al Wolters, & Robert Song, A Royal Priesthood: Using the Bible Ethically and Politically. A Dialogue with Oliver O’Donovan (Paternoster/Zondervan, 2002). Vol. 3 of ‘Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar’ series.

Co-editor with Paul Marshall, Political Theory and Christian Vision: Essays in Memory of Bernard Zylstra (University Press of America, 1994).

Editor, Politics and the Parties (When Christians Disagree) (Intervarsity Press, 1992).

Recent articles and chapters (see also Ethics in Brief and KLICE Comment)

Guest editor, issue of Crucible on Evangelical Social Ethics (April 2017).

Liberté, Laïcité, Pluralité: Towards a Theology of Principled Pluralism’, International Journal of Public Theology 10 (2016), 354-380.

The Global Greening of Religion’, Palgrave Communications Comment 2 art. no 19047 (July 2016).

‘Creation, Judgment and the State in Christianity and Islam’, The Muslim World 106.2 (June 2016), 306-312 (Special Issue on ‘New Conversations in Christian and Islamic Political Thought’).

‘Towards a Monotheistic Democratic Constitutionalism: Convergent Themes in Oliver O’Donovan, Sajjad Rizvi and Paul Heck’, Studies in Christian Ethics (Special Issue on ‘New Conversations in Christian and Islamic Political Thought’) 29.2 (May 2016), 169-176.

'Evangelicalism and the Language(s) of the Common Good,' in Peter McGrail and Nicholas Sagovsky eds., Together for the Common Good: Towards a National Conversation (SCM 2015).

‘Governing Diversity: Public Judgment and Religious Plurality’, in The Authority of the Gospel: Essays in Honour of Oliver O’Donovan, edited by Robert Song and Brent Waters (Eerdmans, 2015).

'Evangelical Contributions to the Future of Anglican Social Theology', in Malcom Brown, ed., Anglican Social Theology: Renewing the Vision Today (Church House Publishing, 2014), 102-132.

'Subsidiarity and Social Pluralism', in Global Perspectives on Subsidiarity, edited by Michelle Evans and Augusto Zimmermann (Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice 37) (Springer, 2014), 65-84.


    Jonathan Chaplin (Director)

    Genevieve Wedgbury
    (Development Officer)

    Colin Bell (Administrator)

Advisory Council


Honorary Research Fellows

    Rev Dr Andrew Goddard

    Prof Oliver O'Donovan

    Prof John Wyatt

    Tom Miller


Research Associates