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Professor Elaine Graham, Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology, has been appointed to the Theology and Religious Studies sub-panel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 ( The REF will be responsible for undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of higher education research activity in the UK.

Professor Graham was appointed after a wide-ranging nominations process involving major scholarly subject societies. She said: “I am delighted that the University of Chester will be represented on the body that has a key influence on future research funding and policy.”

Professor Paul Middleton, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, has won a place at the world-leading Center of Theological Inquiry, based in Princeton, in America. He will join eight other international scholars for an intensive period of collaborative study around the theme of ‘Religion and Violence’ in spring 2019.

Professor Middleton will be working on a new book entitled Divine Violence in the New Testament and Early Christianity. It follows the recent publication of his third monograph, The Violence of the Lamb: Martyrs as Agents of Divine Judgement in the Book of Revelation (Bloomsbury).

Commenting on these announcements, Professor Wayne Morris, Director of the School of Humanities, said: “We are delighted to share in our colleagues’ success. Their respective appointments to these prestigious bodies are testament to their international reputations within their fields, and serves to consolidate the Department’s profile as one of the leading centres in Theology and Religious Studies.”

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