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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

David Tombs took up the Director role at the Centre and the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues in January 2015. He has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies and 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 especially 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.


Reconciliation, Christian Ethics and Public Theology

Faith in the Public Square

The Roots of Public Theology

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Tombs, D. (2018). Abandonment, rape, and second abandonment: Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why and the royal concubines in 2 Samuel 15-20. In C. Blyth, E. Colgan & K. B. Edwards (Eds.), Rape culture, gender violence, & religion: Biblical perspectives. (pp. 117-141). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-70669-6

Edwards, K., & Tombs, D. (2018). #HimToo: Why Jesus should be recognised as a victim of sexual violence. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Tombs, D. & Reaves, J. (2018, 20 January). #MeToo Jesus: Interview with David Tombs and Jayme Reaves. BBC Radio Sheffield. Retrieved from

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). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tombs, D. (2017). Under the surface: Archibald Baxter's Christian faith. In G. Troughton (Ed.), Saints and stirrers: Christianity, conflict and peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945. (pp. 122-143). Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press.

More publications...