Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues,David Tombs 2020 image
and Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues MA(Oxford), STM(Union Theological Seminary, NY), MA, PhD(London)

Course adviser for MTheol and PhD students
Room 4S8, Arts Building
Tel +64 3 479 8450

David Tombs took up the Director role at the Centre and the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues in January 2015. David is a lay Anglican theologian and has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies. He is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002).

His current research focusses on religion, violence, and public theology, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture. He welcomes proposals for Ph.D. projects in these areas. Previously David was a Lecturer in Theology at the University of Roehampton London (1992–2001). From 2001–2014 he lived and worked in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin.

View David's Inaugural Professorial Lecture"Latin American Liberation Theology and its Ongoing Legacy"

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.


  • CHTH233 Faith in the Public Square
  • CHTH333 Faith in the Public Square (Advanced)
  • CHTH305 The Roots of Public Theology
  • CHTH405 The Roots of Public Theology (Advanced)
  • CHTH319 Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology
  • CHTH415 Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology (Advanced)

Current Postgraduate Students

  • Jonathan Ayling (MTheol) Christ and Culture
  • Gray Baldwin (MTheol) Creation Care as a New Direction for the "Oikoumene" Following a Century of Attempted Ecclesial Unity
  • Robert Fakafu (PhD) The Forau model: The Diaspora experiences of a relocated people in the face of climate change with special reference to the Polynesian people of Tikop
  • Tamsyn Kereopa (PhD) A Wahine Maori Theology of Liberation
  • Latuivai Latu (PhD) Honouring Tautua As Suli: A Postcolonial Reading of Identity Politics in Samoan Jurisprudence and Relational Hermeneutics
  • Sarah Pidgeon (MTheol) Nobody Heard Us: A theological response to the contextual hearings of the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care in New Zealand

Recent Postgraduate Students

  • Gray Baldwin (MTheol) Creation Care: A New Direction for the Oikoumene
  • Peter Dobbs (PhD) How Theology Shapes Practice in Faith-Based Organisations Supporting Families in NZ


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