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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I read Modern and Medieval Languages (Part I) and Theology (Part II) at Cambridge (2001-2005), before embarking on a teaching career in secondary education.  I have taught Religious Studies at Stonyhurst College (2006-11) and St. Benedict’s, Ealing (2011-2015), and completed an MRes degree at Heythrop College in Christianity and Interreligious Relations (2011-2013).

My PhD research will be focused around Christian attempts to understand the problem of relation between God and the world, and the constant (mis)accusation of pantheism.  My approach will be comparative in nature, as an examination of the theological structure of a Hindu advaitin like Sankara could shed new light on this issue, given that Sankara deals with a similar dialectic between infinite and finite ‘from the other end’.  In both cases, the problem is one of explaining the nature of the relation between the One and the many, for while the world is different from God ‘in a sense’, it remains a standing theological problem to explicate this ‘in a sense’.

Other academic interests

  • Philosophical Theology and Comparative Theology – especially 20th century figures like Richard de Smet, Sara Grant, Jacques Dupuis, Raimundo Panikkar, Michael Barnes, and Gavin D’Costa
  • Atheism and concepts of God
  • The nature and aims of a Catholic school and faith-based education
Department: Divinity
Supervisors: Dr Douglas Hedley and Dr Ankur Barua
College: Clare
AHRC Subject Area: Theology and Religious Studies
Title of Thesis: The nature of the relation between God and world in Christianity and Vedantic Hinduism
 Daniel John Soars