Dr. David Bennett

Research Interests: 

  • Theology of Love, Desire and Asceticism
  • Analytic and Philosophical Theology
  • Augustinian Ethics
  • Constructive Trinitarian Systematics
  • Political Theology and Theory
  • Ethics of the Body, Sexuality, and Gender
  • Anglican Moral and Pastoral Theology
  • Contemporary Queer Theory and LGBTQI+ Studies



I research at the intersection of patristics, systematic theology, and ethics with a particular interest questions of revelation, desire, theological anthropology and love. With a background in Writing, Cultural and French Studies, I came to Oxford University to read theology from 2013, now holding a Certificate in Pastoral and Theological Studies and PGDip in Theology and Religion. In 2018, I completed an MLitt in Divinity (Analytic and Exegetical Theology) at the University of St Andrews receiving the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. My masters research was a reconstructive critique of Sarah Coakley’s new asceticism. Continuing this research at Oxford, my doctoral thesis, Queering the Queer: An exploration of how gay celibate asceticism can renew and inform the role of desire in contemporary Anglican theology, posited a reconstructive critique of queer theology and contemporary Anglican theology through a distinctly Hookerian, Augustinian ethics of desire. I have worked to found and establish the project, the Public Legitimacy of the Church of England with Prof. Joshua Hordern through a knowledge exchange TORCH fellowship with the Centre for Cultural Witness at Lambeth Palace. As the author of a bestselling book, I was appointed as a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s College of Evangelists and work as a speaker and writer serving and seeking to connect the academy, Church and world.


Research Centres and Projects:

  • Augustinian Resemblances
  • The Public Legitimacy of the Church of England Project


External Engagement:

  • Preacher, Oriel College Chapel, October 29th.

  • Advisor for the Church of England’s Prayers of Love and Faith, Pastoral Guidance Group by invitation of the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, 2023.

  • Sermon on Augustine and Home, Westminster School at Westminster Abbey, 19th May, 2023.

  • BBC One panellist Sunday Morning Live on the Church of England and sexuality, 5 September, 2022.

  • BBC One, ‘Young, Gay and Christian’ documentary, 2019.

  • Participant and Presenter for Shared Conversations, General Synod, Church of England, 2017.

  • Extensive speaking and consulting for churches, Christian communities, especially in USA, UK, and Europe.






  • Bennett, David. ‘Created Order and the Beauty of Love: A Theodicean and Eschatological Approach to Gender and Sexuality from Isaiah 56 and New Testament Texts on Chastity’ in Keener, Karen. Pierce, Ron. Christlike Acceptance and the Church's LGBTQ Children (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2024).
  • Bennett, David. ‘Retrieving Augustine’s ‘way in’: knowing Trinitarian ontology through the beauty of God in the deformed Christ’ in eds. Fielder E. Haecker, R. Trinitarian Ontologies: Towards a Trinitarian Transformation of Philosophy - Studies on Triadic Ontology and Trinitarian Philosophy (Baden Baden: Verlag Karl Alber, 2024).
  • ‘A Christological Theodicy of Cruciform Friendship for Today’ a review of Why the Cross? Divine Friendship and the Power of Justice by Litiga Riliskyte (Cambridge University Press: November, 2022), Heythrop Journal (Forthcoming Book Review, November 2023).
  • Bennett, David. ‘Sexuality and Gender’ in Encyclopaedia of Christian Theology, T&T Clark, Ed. McKirkland, Christa, Publication in November, 2023.



  • Bennett DAC. Returning to Spiritual Sense: Cruciform Power and Queer Identities in Analytic Theology. Religions. 2023; 14(12):1445. 
  • Bennett, David. & Moyse, Ashley. ‘Learning Personhood Again: The Importance of the Trinity in Understanding Personal Humanity’, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, 34.4, 2021, 50-61.