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Professor Murray Rae

Photo of Murray Rae
B.Arch (Auckland) BD (Otago) BA (Otago) PhD (London)

Room: 4S7, Arts Building
Tel 64 3 479 5393

Murray Rae trained first as an architect, then studied theology and philosophy at Otago. He completed his PhD at King's College, London, on the incarnation in the thought of Søren Kierkegaard.

He is the chair of an International Colloquium on Theology and the Built Environment and has continuing research interests in the work of Søren Kierkegaard, Biblical Hermeneutics, Christian Doctrine, and the development of Christian faith amongst Maori.


God and Ethics in the Modern World


The Person and Work of Christ

Christianity, War and Violence

The Theology of Søren Kierkegaard

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Preferred Areas of Supervision

  • Theology and Architecture
  • Søren Kierkegaard
  • Theology and Scripture
  • General Areas of Christian Doctrine

Current Research

Current areas of research include:

  • Theology and Architecture. See details of this research at
  • The theological themes of Kierkegaard's work and his impact upon theological scholarship in the twentieth century
  • Chair of 'Te Whakapapa O Te Whakapono' (Lineages of Faith), a research group investigating the engagement between the Maori people of New Zealand and Christian faith.
  • Theological interpretation of Scripture

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Current Postgraduate Students

  • Peter Crothall (MTheol) Colin McCahon and the Land
  • Olataga Elu (PhD) A Theological and postcolonial Critique of the Mission-Oriented Theology in Samoan Methodist Hymnody: Implications of Colonial Mission-Oriented Theology on the Mission of the Church in Contemporary Context’
  • Edmund Fong (PhD) Obedience that Saves: The Obedience of Jesus Christ in the
    Atonement Theology of Karl Barth as shown in His Church Dogmatics
  • Michael Frost (PhD) A Pentecostal theological framework for social engagement with a particular focus on Māori
  • Richard Goodwin (PhD) Seeing is Believing: A Theology of Film Images
  • Josh Hurd (PhD) Kierkegaard on Revelation
  • Selota Maliko (PhD) Pastoral Care and Banishment in Samoan Society
  • Jo Osborne (PhD) Between theology and contemporary art: locating theological inroads and reading visual art
  • Andrew Picard (PhD) For the Healing of the Nations: A Critical Study of Colin Gunton’s Trinitarian Ecclesiology for the Healing of Liquid Modernity
  • Carolyn Robertson (MTheol) Christian Responses to Consumer Culture
  • Jeremy Sievers (PhD) The impact of understandings of the atonement on personal well-being and mental health
  • Maja Whitaker (PhD) Personal Identity and Bodily Integrity in the Resurrection

Recent Postgraduate Students

  • Andrew Callander (PhD) Exploring a Christian Conception of Economic Life from within Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Creation
  • Elizabeth Callender (PhD) A Theology of Spatiality: The Divine Perfection of Omnipresence in the Theology of Karl Barth
  • Graham Cameron (MTheol) “That you might stand here on the roof of the clouds.”: The development of Pirirākau theology from encounter to the end of conflict, 1839-1881
  • Adam Dodds (PhD) The Mission of the Triune God: Trinitarian Missiology in the Tradition of Lesslie Newbigin
  • Mark Gingerich (PhD) Moral Clarity in Light of the Suffering Servant: The Incarnation and the Moral Life in Reinhold Niebuhr and Søren Kierkegaard
  • Jonathan Hicks (PhD) Trinity, Economy and Scripture: A Theologically Motivated Recovery of Didymus the Blind
  • John Lewis (PhD) The Influence on Medieval Church Architecture of Love for God: a Theological Approach
  • Andrew Nicol (PhD) The God of Israel in the Theology of Robert Jenson
  • Tom Noakes-Duncan (PhD) Communities of Restoration: Ecclesial Ethics and Restorative Justice
  • Lucy Peppiatt (PhD) Spirit Christology and Mission
  • Jacky Sewell (PhD) From Sight to Insight: God, Art and the Spiritual Well-Being of Young People
  • Andrew Shepherd (PhD) Establishing Theological Foundations for an Ethic of Hospitality
  • Andrew Torrance (PhD) The Freedom to Become a Christian: Søren Kierkegaard and Karl Barth on the Transformative Relationship with God
  • Selwyn Yeoman (PhD) A Christological Exploration of the Idea of Human Dominion


Christian Theology: The Basics (London: Routledge, 2015)

Murray Rae, Peter Matheson and Brett Knowles (eds) Calvin: The Man and the Legacy (Adelaide: ATF Press, 2014)

‘The Dissident Tradition of Christian Pacifism’ in Takashi Shogimen and Vicki Spencer
(eds) Visions of Peace, Asia and the West (Farnham: Ashgate Press, 2014) 29-46

‘Building from the Rubble: Architecture, Memory, and Hope’ in ‘Tikkun Olam’ — To Mend the World: A Confluence of Theology and the Arts, Jason Goroncy (ed) (Eugene, OR.: Pickwick Publications, 2014) 136-51

Mana Māori and Christianity, Hugh Morrison, Lachy Paterson, Brett Knowles and Murray Rae (eds) (Wellington: Huia Publishers, 2012)

Critical Conversations: Michael Polanyi and Christian Theology, Murray A. Rae (ed) (Eugene, OR.: Wipf and Stock, 2012)

God of Salvation: Soteriology in Theological Perspective, Ivor J. Davidson and Murray A. Rae (eds), (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2011)

Kierkegaard and Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2010)

The SCM Reader in Christian Doctrine, Lindsey Hall, Stephen R. Holmes and Murray A. Rae (eds) (London: SCM Press, 2010)

‘Salvation in Community: The Tentative Universalism of Friedrich Schleiermacher’ in ‘All Shall be Well’: Universalism and Christian Theology from Origen to Moltmann, ed. Gregory MacDonald (Eugene, OR.: Cascade Books, 2010) 167-93

‘The War on Terror in Ruatoki’ in International Journal of Public Theology 2.3 (2008) 277-91

‘Texts and Context: Scripture and the Divine Economy’ in Journal of Theological Interpretation (1.1, 2007) 23-45.

History and Hermeneutics (London: T&T Clark, 2005)

The Practice of Theology: A Reader, Colin E, Gunton, Stephen R. Holmes and Murray A. Rae (eds) (London: SCM Press, 2001)

Kierkegaard's Vision of the Incarnation: By Faith Transformed (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997)

More Publications...