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My current research is concerned with the defintion of religion debate and the applicability of Buddhist philosophy – in particular Nāgārjuna’s philosophy of emptiness – to this area. 
Jack Graham

I choose to do my PhD at the University of Chester for two reasons: first, the Department of Theology and Religious Studies fosters a learning environment which supports, challenges and inspires, helping students – at whatever level – to reach their academic potential. Second, the University offers invaluable support which is certainly needed from time to time during intense study.  


My research is concerned with how to define religion, or whether it is possible to define religion – inquiries which have characterised the study of religion since its beginning. While all answers have been contentious, what has remained true is that scholars of religion cannot escape definitional questions. A definition not only casts a semantic range to tell others about one’s object of study – allowing it to become an object of study in the first place; they also ground that object of study within a metaphysical framework. Definitions are theories in microcosm. Indeed, it is the debate over the metaphysical location of definitions of religion which has caused the principal divisions within the study of religion. Despite this, the examination of metaphysics in relation to the category of religion remains underwhelming. My work aims to resolve these issues by bringing in Buddhist philosopher, Nāgārjuna, as an equal dialectic partner – supporting a paraconsistent reading of his philosophy in order to offer a new, empty (śūnyatā) defintion of religion.  



·       2014-2017:  University of Chester

                         BA Religious Studies, First Class

·       2017-2018: University of Oxford

                         MSt Study of Religions, Distinction