Tim Middleton


Dr Celia Deane-Drummond and Dr Michael Oliver


Lincoln College

Research Overview:

My current research focusses on intersections between ecotheology, trauma studies, and contemporary philosophy. I am especially interested in how the category of trauma, and our theological responses to it, might help us to register the severity of contemporary ecological devastation.

Research Area/s: 

Modern Theology; Science and Religion.


I first trained as a scientist, completing a DPhil (2016) in Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. My scientific work examined earthquakes at the margins of the Ordos Plateau in northern China, and I was previously a stipendiary lecturer in Earth Sciences at St Anne’s College, Oxford. I transitioned into Theology via the faculty’s PGDip programme, before going on to gain a distinction in my MPhil (2019) in Modern Theology.


Academia: https://oxford.academia.edu/TimMiddleton

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Timothy_Middleton

Twitter: https://twitter.com/timmiddleton1

Select Publications:

Middleton, T. A., Giving birth to the impossible: theology and deconstruction in Johannes Climacus’s Philosophical Fragments. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology (in prep.).

Middleton, T. A., ‘Selling our souls: science, sin and lament’ in Malcolm, Hannah (ed.) Words for a Dying World (SCM Press, 2020) (in press).

Middleton, T. A., Objecting to theodicy and the legitimacy of protesting against evil. Science and Christian Belief 29/1 (2017), 3-19.

Book Reviews

Review: Aurica Jax & Saskia Wendel, eds., Envisioning the Cosmic Body of Christ: Embodiment, Plurality and Incarnation (Routledge, 2019), Theology (in press).

Review: Christopher Southgate, Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Modern Believing 61/2 (2020), 173-174.

Review: Bethany N. Sollereder, God, Evolution, and Animal Suffering: Theodicy without a Fall (Routledge, 2019), Science and Christian Belief 32/1 (2020), 96-97.

Review: Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters (Columbia University Press, 2018), Reviews in Science and Religion No. 73 (2019), 30-36.

Review: Catherine Keller & Mary-Jane Rubenstein, eds., Entangled Worlds: Religion, Science, and New Materialisms (Fordham University Press, 2017), Science and Christian Belief 31/1 (2019), 93-6.

Review: Bruno Latour, Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime (Polity, 2017), Reviews in Science and Religion No. 72 (2018), 55-61.


Conference Presentations

Middleton, T. A., 2019, Bearing witness to ecological trauma as ecotheological practice, presented at ‘Thinking as/through practice: Scripture, Liturgy, Spirituality’, Society for the Study of Theology Postgraduate Conference, The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham, UK, July 2019.

Middleton, T. A., 2019, Bearing witness to ecological trauma: a theology from below, presented at ‘Theology from Below’ Conference, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, March 2019.

Academic Interests: 

Ecotheology; Trauma Theology; Science and Religion; Theodicy and Anti-theodicy; Kierkegaard.

Academic Related Activities: 

Within Oxford, I am a member of both the Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall and an interdisciplinary TORCH network that is investigating Climate Crisis Thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences. I also sit on the editorial board of the Journal of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society. Since 2018, I have been the Communications Officer at the William Temple Foundation—a think tank working on the role of religion and belief in public life. I am also an Associate of the Faraday Institute of Science and Religion and regularly lead workshops in schools as part of the God and the Big Bang project.


Clarendon Scholarship (combined with a Sloane Robinson Foundation Graduate Scholarship at Lincoln College).

Areas of Teaching Competence and Experience:

Ecotheology; Modern Systematic Theology; Science and Religion

  • Guest Lecturer at Ripon College Cuddesdon as part of a course on ‘Creation and Creativity’ (2019-2020).
  • Tutor on the UNIQ summer school in Theology (2018).
  • Tutor for Oxford Summer Courses in Theology, Earth Sciences and Geography (2016-2018).
  • Stipendiary Lecturer in Earth Sciences, St. Anne’s College, Oxford (2015-2016).