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Professor David Tombs

Photo of David TombsHoward Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues,
and Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues
MA (Oxford), STM (Union Theological Seminary, NY), MA (London), PhD (London)

Room: 4S8, Arts Building
Tel 64 3 479 8450
Email david.tombs@otago.ac.nz

David Tombs is Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues, and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. David studied theology and philosophy at Oxford University, Union Theological Seminary (New York), and London University.

Previously David taught theology at the University of Roehampton (1992-2001), and then taught conflict resolution and reconciliation in Belfast for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin (2001-2014). His research focuses on public, contextual and liberation theologies, and their engagement with political, social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. He is interested in the interface of faith, values and public life in theology, and how theology can contribute to a common good in a shared society and in a connected world. He especially welcomes proposals for Ph.D. projects in these areas.

The Centre for Theology and Public Issues is a founding member of the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT), which is an academic research partnership that promotes theological contributions on public issues, especially those issues affecting the poor, the marginalized and the environment.

Teaching

Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology

Faith in the Public Square

The Roots of Public Theology

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Publications

Tombs, D. (2017). Public theology and reconciliation. In S. Kim & K. Day (Eds.), A companion to public theology. (pp. 119-149). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Tombs, D. (2017). Lived religion and the intolerance of the cross. In R. R. Ganzevoort & S. Sremac (Eds.), Lived religion and the politics of (in)tolerance. (pp. 63-83). Palgrave Macmillan.

Tombs, D. (2017). [Review of the book Crucifixion in the Mediterranean world]. Bible & Critical Theory, 13(1), 103-107. doi: 10.2104/bct.v13i1.678

Tombs, D. (2015). Towards a public theology of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In J. O'Grady, C. Higgins & J. Lal Fernando (Eds.), Mining truths: Festschrift in honour of Geraldine Smyth OP: Ecumenical theologian and peacebuilder. (pp. 109-129). Sankt Ottilien, Germany: EOS.

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Breaking the silence: The role of churches in responding to sexual violence in South Africa. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, United States.

Chapter in Book - Research

Tombs, D. (2017). Public theology and reconciliation. In S. Kim & K. Day (Eds.), A companion to public theology. (pp. 119-149). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Tombs, D. (2017). Lived religion and the intolerance of the cross. In R. R. Ganzevoort & S. Sremac (Eds.), Lived religion and the politics of (in)tolerance. (pp. 63-83). Palgrave Macmillan.

Tombs, D. (2015). Towards a public theology of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In J. O'Grady, C. Higgins & J. Lal Fernando (Eds.), Mining truths: Festschrift in honour of Geraldine Smyth OP: Ecumenical theologian and peacebuilder. (pp. 109-129). Sankt Ottilien, Germany: EOS.

Morris, N., & Tombs, D. (2014). 'A solid and united phalanx'? Protestant churches and the Ulster Covenant 1912-2012. In J. Wolfe (Ed.), Irish religious conflict in comparative perspective: Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

Tombs, D. (2014). The cross and the reconciliation of enemies. In K. M. Heffelfinger & P. G. McGlinchey (Eds.), Atonement as gift: Re-imagining the cross for the church and the world. (pp. 67-78). Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster.

Tombs, D. (2014). Conflict-related sexual violence, news media and reconciliation in the Balkans. In D. V. Nedeljković, S. Sremac, N. Kneżević & D. Gruhonjić (Eds.), Uloga medija u normalizaciji odnosa na zapadnom Balkanu [The role of media and reconciliation in the post-conflict society: An example of the Balkans]. (pp. 31-46). Novi Sad, Serbia: Novi Sad University Press.

Tombs, D. (2014). Sexual ethics and the scandal of the cross. In A. H. Cole, Jr (Ed.), Theology in service to the church: Global and ecumenical perspectives. (pp. 122-138). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Tombs, D. (2012). Archbishop Romero and reconciliation in El Salvador. In M. Leiner & S. Flämig (Eds.), Latin America between conflict and reconciliation. (pp. 41-56). Bristol, CT: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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Journal - Research Article

Tombs, D. (2014). Silent no more: Sexual violence in conflict as a challenge to the worldwide church. Acta Theologica, 34(2), 147-165. doi: 10.4314/actat.v34i2.9

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Journal - Research Other

Tombs, D. (2017). [Review of the book Crucifixion in the Mediterranean world]. Bible & Critical Theory, 13(1), 103-107. doi: 10.2104/bct.v13i1.678

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Breaking the silence: The role of churches in responding to sexual violence in South Africa. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, United States.

Tombs, D. (2015, August). Truth, forgiveness and reconciliation. Verbal presentation at the The Art of Forgiveness Conference: A Richer Appreciation of the Breadth and Depth of Forgiveness, Auckland, New Zealand.

Tombs, D. (2015, November). Trauma, denial, and memory: Reading crucifixion as sexual violence. Verbal presentation at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Atlanta, USA.

Tombs, D. (2015, October). The massacre at Nanking, crucifixion and public theology. Verbal presentation at the International Symposium on Religion and Social Justice, Shanghai, China.

Tombs, D. (2014, May). The churches and transitional justice in Latin America. Verbal presentation at the Faith Communities and Transitional Justice Conference, Belfast, UK.

Tombs, D. (2013, October). News media, sexualized violence and theology: Regarding the shame of others. Keynote presentation at the Role of Media in Normalizing Relations in the Western Balkans International Conference, Novi Sad, Serbia.

Tombs, D. (2013, October). Torture, crucifixion and eucharist: Sacramental imagination and human flourishing. Verbal presentation at the Irish Theological Association Conference: Theologies of Human Flourishing, Dublin, Ireland.

Tombs, D. (2013, November). Crucifixion as a ritual of power, desecration and sexualized violence. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Baltimore, USA.

Tombs, D. (2013, September). Regarding the shame of others. Verbal presentation at the Global Network for Public Theology, The Word and the World Conference: Public Theology in an Age of Global Media, Chester, UK.

Tombs, D. (2012, September). The Irish churches and the Ulster Covenant 1912-2012. Verbal presentation at the Religious Conflict and Difference Conference, Belfast, UK.

Tombs, D. (2012, November). The cross, the lynching tree, and the silences. Verbal presentation at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

Tombs, D. (2012, April). Conflict transformation, ecumenical imagination and Christian hope. Verbal presentation at the Assisi Gathering: Where We Dwell in Common: Pathways for Dialogue in 21st Century, Assisi, Italy.

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Other Research Output

Tombs, D. (2015, September). Latin American liberation theology and its ongoing legacy. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Inaugural Professorial Lecture].

Tombs, D. Lived religion, (in)tolerance and the dehumanising violence of the cross. Center for the Study of Lived Religion, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [Public Lecture].

More publications...