Prof. Mark Harris

External Engagements and Editorships:

  • President, European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT)

  • Previous Chair of the Science and Religion Forum (2018-2021)

  • Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR))

  • International Advisor, Center for the Study of the Relationship between Science and Religion, University of Zagreb

  • Co-Editor (with Dr Michael Burdett, University of Nottingham) of the Routledge Science and Religion monograph series

  • Convenor of the Theology and Science seminar at the Society for the Study of Theology

  • Editorial Board Member: Science, Religion, and Culture; Social Science Protocols; Toronto Journal of Theology

Research Interests:

  • Theology of the quantum world: theological implications of quantum physics and quantum foundations

  • The interpretation of quantum mechanics

  • 'Theology of science' as a research discipline within the science-and-religion field

  • Theological questions arising from the 'unity/disunity of science' debate

  • The shape of condensed matter physics - and of earth science - as areas of special theological interests

  • Theology of nature and theology of miracle

  • Ecotheology and ecological hermeneutics

  • The relationship between biblical scholarship and the natural sciences

  • In condensed matter physics: frustrated magnetism, spin ice, and neutron scattering


As a physicist working in a theological environment I think of myself as a theologian of science, interested in the complex ways that the natural sciences and religious beliefs relate to each other.

Active in physics for many years, I'm known (with Steve Bramwell of University College London) as the discoverer of 'spin ice', currently a major research area in the physics of magnetism. By the end of 2020, more than 6,000 journal articles had been published on the topic since our original discovery in 1997. A little after this original breakthrough, I also discovered theology, and began to broaden my interests beyond magnetism. After ordination as an Anglican priest, and spells in university chaplaincy and cathedral ministry, I moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2012 to establish its Science and Religion programme. In 2023 I moved to Oxford to take up the Andreas Idreos Chair in Science and Religion, and to direct the Ian Ramsey Centre

My research interests include the relationship between the physical sciences (especially physics) and theology, and the impact of science on modern views of the Bible, especially in thinking on miracles and divine action. I am currently working on a critical study of the theological reception of quantum mechanics.

I recently led the Theology of the Quantum World project, along with the God and the Book of Nature research network, funded by the Issachar Fund and the John Templeton Foundation, respectively. Beyond my work in the University, I also serve as President of the European Society for the Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT), and am a past Chair of the Science and Religion Forum (SRF).

Academic Summary:

  • MA, Ripon College Cuddesdon, University of Oxford, 2005
  • MA, St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, 1992
  • PhD, (‘Phase transitions in related ionic nitrates and carbonates’), 1991

Recent Publications