Professor Bretherton’s primary teaching interests are theological ethics, Christian political thought, missiology and practices of social, political and economic witness. Before joining the Duke faculty, he was Reader in Theology & Politics and Convener of the Faith & Public Policy Forum at King’s College London. Prior to that he was Director of Studies of the South East Institute for Theological Education (University of Kent), which prepared Methodist, Reformed, and Anglican ministers for ordination. He has worked with a variety of faith-based NGOs, mission agencies and churches around the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.
His first book, Hospitality as Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity (Ashgate, 2006) explores the church’s response to moral pluralism in critical dialogue with Alasdair MacIntyre’s moral philosophy and develops a constructive, theological response to the issues identified using euthanasia and the hospice movement as a case study. As well as academic articles published in journals such as Modern Theology, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and Studies in Christian Ethics, he writes in the media (including The Guardian, The Times and The Huffington Post) on topics related to religion and politics. From 2006-2011 Bretherton was reviews editor for the journal Political Theology. His other previous work has focused on faith-based organizations, the church’s involvement in social welfare provision, the treatment of refugees, and fair trade. This was drawn together in Christianity & Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). When living in the United Kingdom, he was actively involved in politics as part of London Citizens, a broad-based community organization, and had a role advising the Conservative-Liberal government on strengthening civil society.
His current areas of research focus on the intersections between Christianity, grassroots democracy, globalization, responses to poverty, and patterns of inter-faith relations. His book Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship and the Politics of a Common Good (Cambridge University Press, 2015), draws on a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project for which he was principal investigator (2008-2011).
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