SamSamuel Andrew Shearn

samuel.shearn [at]

Follow @samshearn


Research Interests

20th Century Theology -  Paul Tillich -  Charles Taylor -  Philosophy of Religion


Published Papers

'Moral critique and defence of theodicy', Religious Studies 49/4 (2013), 439-458.

(Forthcoming 2016): 'Charles Taylor, Nietzsche and Theology', in: Florian Zemmin, Colin Jager, Guido Vanheeswijck (eds), Working With a Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor's Master Narrative. Religion and Its Others 3 (Berlin/New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2016).


Conference Papers

'Defence, Doubt and Gracelessness. The theological experience of student Paul Tillich', Oxford-Bonn Exchange Seminar, Oxford, September 2015.

'Paul Tillich's doctrine of God and theory of religious symbols', Oxford-Marburg Graduate Workshop, Oxford, June 2015.

'Is religion good for society? Charles Taylor on the perils and promise of transcendence', Transforming Religion. Conference of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion, Münster, Germany, August 2014.

'Charles Taylor's Nietzsche in A Secular Age', Working with A Secular Age - Interdisciplinary Reflections on Charles Taylor's Conception of the Secular, Bern, Switzerland, March 2014.

          - also presented at the University of Nottingham, May 2014

'Luther on marriage, masculinity, and the male body', SST Postgraduate Conference - Bodies: Bridges and Boundaries, Oxford, January 2014.

'Joseph Ratzinger's personal eschatology: The dialogical immortality of the soul', The Soul Conference, Oxford, June 2013.

'D. Z. Phillips' critique of theodicies', Philosophy of Religion One-Day Workshop, University of Birmingham, May 2012.


Public Engagement

'Helping Germans meet their maker. WW1 chaplain Paul Tillich', Short talk held at the Ashmolean Museum DEAD Friday event, in association with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Oxford, October 2015.



Short CV

1999-2002           B.Sc. Physics at the University of Nottingham

2002-2005           Ministry with students in St Andrews, Vienna, and Germany

2005-2009           B.A. Evangelische Theologie at the Evangelische Hochschule Tabor, Marburg

2009-2011           Pastoral ministry in the Landeskirchliche Gemeinschaft Plettenberg-Holthausen

2011-2012           M.A. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Birmingham

2012-2014           M.Phil. Modern Theology at the University of Oxford

2014-                    D.Phil. Theology at the University of Oxford



Society for the Study of Theology

British Society for the Philosophy of Religion

Deutsche Paul Tillich Gesellschaft



Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship (2014-2016)

Ertegun Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities (2012-2014) -

Religious Studies Postgraduate Essay Prize (2013)