Research Associates

KLICE appoints Research Associates who are normally advanced doctoral students or post-doctoral researchers. Research Associates have included:

Paul Billingham is assisting Jonathan Chaplin in researching and writing a chapter on ‘law and public reason’. He completed a DPhil (PhD) in political philosophy at the University of Oxford in 2015, and is currently a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. His research focuses on the relationship between the actions of the state and the beliefs and values of citizens, especially their religious beliefs. He considers both the ways in which citizens’ beliefs might constrain state action and the ways in which the state might permissibly seek to influence citizens’ values. More information about his research can be found on his personal website. Paul lives in Oxford with his wife, Helen.

Simeon Burke is working on his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, on the early reception of Jesus’s ‘render unto Caesar’ saying among early Christian authors (the Synoptic Gospels, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen and others). His interests lie in the intersection of political theology and the New Testament (and particularly the Gospels) and its early reception and interpretation. He will be writing Ethics in Brief articles on these themes over the next year. Simeon remains fascinated with how ancient Jews and Christians negotiated the Roman Empire in the pre-Constantine period. He is also interested in observing and discussing how religious, and non-religious, groups read and interpret their foundational documents and philosophical frameworks and how faith groups relate to the institutions of government. As a result, he is involved with interfaith dialogue, participating in Muslim-Christian Scriptural Reasoning groups in Edinburgh and previously in St Andrews. He currently attends St Paul’s and St George’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.

Emily Hill is a Ph.D. candidate in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen, researching at the intersection of theology and economics. She is passionate about helping the church experience freedom in Christ in the midst of capitalism. With prior education in economics and social justice, and a past career in market research, she is particularly interested in the areas of marketing and consumption. Her current research focuses on how the practices of marketing form us and shape how we understand what it means to be human in order to contrast that with Christian formation. She is assisting KLICE on environmental and economic ethics. 

Kirsty Jones is working towards her MPhil in Old Testament at the University of Cambridge, with a research interest in Disability in the Old Testament and Biblical Ethics of Disability. Her thesis, 'Inclusion in the Prophetic Utopian Visions', investigates the role of inclusion of individuals with disabilities within Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the implication of healing/non-healing tropes within the wider biblical text. She has also investigated multi-sensory language in the Psalter and its impact on understanding cognitive-emotive approaches to worship and revelation, within the text of the Bible and practice of the Church.

Matthew Rowley is a PhD Candidate in early modern religious and political history at the University of Leicester, and holds an MDiv and ThM from Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. He is also a Graduate Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies (Clare College, Cambridge). His thesis title is ‘Godly Killing: Military Providentialism in the British Atlantic World, 1620–1680’. This traces Puritan interpretations of providence in military victory over enemies in England, Ireland, Scotland and colonial America. His focus is on how beliefs about violence are created, sustained, contested, and occasionally dismantled, and his work also touches on issues of identity, race, slavery, law, and the communal memory. His publications include ‘What Causes Religious Violence?: Three Hundred Claimed Contributing Causes’ (Journal of Religion and Violence); ‘How Should We Respond to Religious Violence?: Fifteen Ways to Critique our Own Thoughts’ (Ethics in Brief) and ‘All Pretend an Holy War: Radical Beliefs and the Rejection of Persecution in the Mind of Roger Williams’ (The Review of Faith & International Affairs). He has coedited a special edition of the journal Transformation devoted to religion, hermeneutics and violence. As KLICE Research Associate, Matthew will be presenting a paper based on his research at a KLICE Research Seminar and writing another Ethics in Brief.

David Torrance is training for ordination at Ridley Hall, and a final year PhD-student in Theological Ethics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. In his doctoral research, supervised by Michael Banner, he is investigating kinship theologically. His research responds to the facts that ideas of kinship are enormously powerful in structuring everyday life, second, that they vary from culture to culture, and that throughout its history the Church has often taken a critical pose towards the kinship norms of the culture it inhabits. His research borrows investigative tools from social anthropology to work out how the internal logic of the Christian faith might bear upon the understanding and practice of kinship. The aim is to resource the Christian response to contemporary matters relating to kinship, with applications ranging from assisted reproductive technologies and adoption, to the management and distribution of property. David is married to Christine and divides his times between Cambridge and The Gambia, where his wife’s fieldwork is based. He is helping organise a special KLICE Research Seminar around Michael Banner’s latest book, Everyday Ethics, and preparing a conference paper on theology and kinship at the Ethics and Social Theology Group of Tyndale Fellowship.

Nicholas Townsend recently published 'Retail? Mercenary? Degraded? Naming Bad Democratic Politics' in Crucible (Jan 2016). This was revised from a paper given at the Tyndale Fellowship Ethics and Social Theology Study Group and addresses how Western political thought's basic contrast between good and bad government applies in a democracy. He is Reviews Editor for Studies in Christian Ethics and has written extensively on Catholic Social Teaching for the VPlater Project based at Newman University, Birmingham ( He is working to complete a doctorate on Christian understandings of the role of political authority and their relation to the liberal political tradition. As a KLICE Research Associate, his work on the issue of same-sex marriage culminated in a KLICE Comment in the run-up to the 2015 general election looking back at that legislative change. Nick's previous work has included being Head of Office for a Member of Parliament, Director of the Politics and Theology Programme, Sarum College, Salisbury, and Tutor in Christian Doctrine and Ethics at the South-East Institute of Theological Education (SEITE) / University of Kent.

Ian Clausen was a Research Associate from 2013-16. He completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Professor Oliver O’Donovan and Dr. Sara Parvis. His research interests focus on Augustine and the Augustinian moral tradition, and specifically topics of love and agency in moral thought. He is currently under contract with Bloomsbury Academic to publish his first book The Long Surrender: Augustine’s Moral Self. Ian teaches at Villanova University (USA) as an Arthur J. Ennis Fellow, and was previously a Lilly Postdoctoral Fellow at Valparaiso University, Indiana. He is also a British Marshall alumnus. His lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife, Lauren, and young daughters, Ainsley Grace and Emma Elizabeth. 

Lucas Freire was a Research Associate from 2013-16, and assisted Jonathan Chaplin in research and editing work for God and the EU, co-edited with Gary Wilton, on the role of Christianity within the EU. Lucas obtained his PhD in Politics from the University of Exeter and holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship at North-West University. He is co-author of Do Império ao Estado (Lisbon: EdiUAL, 2013) with Luís Moita and José Subtil. He is currently researching the notion of covenants in the intersection of political and religious thought. Lucas writes regularly for Christian Renewal. He lives in South Africa with his wife Emma and daughter Cecilia.

Jeremy Kidwell was RA from 2013-2016. He completed a PhD at New College, University of Edinburgh in 2013, on the moral and theological relationship between human work and worship. His thesis was published as The Theology of Craft and the Craft of Work: From Tabernacle to Eucharist (Routledge 2016). From 2013-2016 he held an AHRC/ESRC postdoctoral fellowship at Edinburgh on the "Ancestral Time" project. As RA he contributed to an interdisciplinary project in partnership with the Ethics and Social Theology Group of Tyndale Fellowship and the Association of Christian Economists. This resulted in the publication of Theology and Economics: A Christian Vision of the Common Good, co-edited with former KLICE award-holder Sean Doherty, and published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. He also hosted a KLICE Research Seminar at Edinburgh in March 2016. In 2016 he took up the post of Lecturer in Theological Ethics at the University of Birmingham. Jeremy continues to conduct research on Christian ecological ethics, the philosophy of technology, and patristic moral thought. Prior to his academic work, Jeremy worked as a corporate trainer and in telecommunications and IT for a variety of firms and he still provides occasional consulting services. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two young sons.

Will Kynes completed his PhD in Old Testament at the Divinity Faculty, Cambridge and then served as Departmental Lecturer in Old Testament Studies, St Peter's College, Oxford. He is now Associate Professor in Old Testament at Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington.

Will worked on developing KLICE's work in biblical ethics with a particular focus on the colloquium on Jonathan Burnside's book God, Justice and Society.  


Christopher Orton is a doctoral student at New College, University of Edinburgh, writing a thesis on the moral theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He has worked as Associate Tutor at the South East Institute for Theological Education. Chris contributed to KLICE's project on Christianity and British Political Parties.


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For the latest newsletter from KLICE - Sibylline Leaves - see here

The latest edition of Ethics in Conversation is also now available. In this issue, Rev. Dr Craig Bartholomew (Director of KLICE) explores the subject of Christian Higher Education - see here