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About Dr Ben Fulford

My initial training was in history, at the University of Cambridge, where I was awarded the Alan Coulson Prize (for dissertations on Commonwealth History). A historical sensibility still informs my outlook and interests. I returned to Cambridge in 2001 to study theology at postgraduate level, and in 2007 I completed a doctoral thesis on the theology of Scripture, drawing on the theologies Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei. Bringing ancient and modern texts and ideas into conversation remains a strong area of interest for me in relation to a variety of topics in contemporary theology.

After completing the thesis, I was appointed to the post of Tutor in Theology at St John’s College, Nottingham. There I taught broad spectrum of topics in Christian doctrine and historical theology to people preparing for ministry. I joined the staff at the University of Chester in January 2012 where I teach subjects in systematic and historical theology, seeking to enable others to explore Christian thought for themselves and to enthuse them to engage its challenges and its potential.

I am an active member of the Society for the Study of Theology and a past member of its Executive Committee (2014-17). I was the Assistant Secretary from 2018-2020, leading the Society’s work on Theology and Race.



  • TH4060 Contemporary Challenges to Christian Thinking
  • TH5059 God in Christian theology and philosophy
  • TH6041 Great Theological Thinkers



  • TH7074 Christian Theology: Texts and Contexts


Research Interests

  • Hans Frei and postliberal theologies
  • Gregory of Nazianzus and the Cappadocian Fathers
  • Human vulnerability, fragile goods and the Christian life
  • The theology of marriage and human sexuality
  • The theological interpretation of Scripture
  • Trinitarian theology and Christology
  • Patristic exegesis
  • Sensitive Heritage and Sacred Space

PhD (and DProf) supervision

  • I welcome inquiries and proposals for doctoral work in any of the areas above, and on other topics and figures in systematic and historical theology.

Current Doctoral Students:

  • Chriswin Raj. 'The role of Christology in John Cobb’s engagement with Whiteheadian process theology'
  • David Searight. 'John Cotton’s Theology of Participation and the New England Free-Grace Controversy of 1636-38'
  • Matthew Fisher, ‘The Evangelical Preaching and High Church Practice of Victorian slum priest Ritualists’
  • Nathan Jones, ‘God and Eldritch Horror: “Thinking Theology” Through Lovecraft'
  • Ruth Newton, ‘Individual narratives surrounding theological motivations for environmental activism amongst Church of England laity’

External funding

  • AHRC doctoral award (2004)

Published Work


Forthcoming  God’s Patience and our Work: Hans Frei, Generous Orthodoxy and the Ethics of Hope. SCM Press.

2013              Divine Eloquence and Human Transformation: Rethinking Scripture and History through Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei. Fortress Press.


Book chapters

2020             Hans Frei: beyond liberal and conservative. In Peterson, P. S. (ed.) Generous Orthodoxies: Essays on the History and Future of Ecumenical Theology. Wipf and Stock.

2020             Barth and Hans W. Frei. In Hunsinger, G. & Johnson, K. L. (eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Karl Barth (vol. 2). Wiley Blackwell, 645-656.

2016             Thinking about marriage with Scripture. In J. Bradbury & S. Cornwall (eds.), Thinking again about marriage: key theological questions. SCM Press, 44-61.

2012             Gregory of Nazianzus and Biblical Interpretation. In C. Beeley (ed.), Re-Reading Gregory of Nazianzus: Essays on History, Theology, and Culture. Catholic University of America Press, 31-48.

2010             Feeding and Forming the People of God: the Lord, his Supper and the Church in Calvin and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. In T. Greggs (ed.), New Perspectives for Evangelical Theology: Engaging with God, Scripture and the World. Routledge, 93-107.



2018             Light and Darkness - IV. Christianity. In C. Helmer, S.L. McKenzie, T. Romer, J. Schroter, B.D. Walfish, E. Ziolkowski (eds.), The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception vol. 16. Lectionary - Lots. Cols. 584-587. Berlin: De Gruyter

2017             Moderating Religious Identity and the Eclipse of Religious Wisdoms: Lessons from Hans Frei. The Review of Faith and International Affairs 15:2, 24-33, DOI: 10.1080/15570274.2017.1329394

2011 .           Divine Names and the Embodied Intellect: Imagination and Sanctification in Gregory of Nazianzus’ account of Theological Language. Studia Patristica 50, 217-231.

2009             ‘One Commixture of Light’: Rethinking some Modern Uses and Critiques of Gregory of Nazianzus on the Unity and Equality of the Divine Persons. International Journal of Systematic Theology 11:2, 172-189.


MA (Cantab); DipThRS (Cantab); MPhil (Cantab); PhD (Cantab): FHEA.