Revd Dr John Reader

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Honorary Academic Staff

John joined the School of Education as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in 2015, partly to consolidate the link with the William Temple Foundation, of which he has been an Associate Research Fellow since 2010.

In June 2016 the University of Worcester and the William Temple Foundation are co-organising a conference to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Malvern Conference at which the subject of faith engagement with issues of social justice, including health, education and welfare were placed on a national agenda. The focus of the 2016 conference will be social justice.

John brings lengthy experience of practical engagements with education through his work with rural primary schools, and now since 2012 as a Board member of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust which is one of a growing number of church-based multi academy trusts.

John has held a number of adult theological education related posts, including being Director of Pastoral Theology, Salisbury and Wells Theological College and most recently, Continual Ministerial Training Officer for the Diocese of Worcester.

Work with research projects has included being:

2004-2007 Member of the Steering Group for the Spiritual Capital research project working on behalf of the William Temple Foundation with Prof Leslie Francis, at the University of Warwick.
2012 - 2014 Member of the Steering Group of the Philosophy and Religious Practices Research Network (AHRC funded) based at Liverpool and Chester Universities.

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D University of Wales, Bangor
M.Phil University of Manchester
MA Trinity College, Oxford.
Diploma in Social and Pastoral Theology, University of Manchester
Oxford Certificate in Theology.



1992 The Earth Beneath: A Critical Guide to Green Theology coedited with Ball, Goodall and Palmer (SPCK).

1994 Local Theology: Church and Community in Dialogue (SPCK).

1997 Beyond All Reason: The Limits of Postmodern Theology (Aureus).

2005 Blurred Encounters: A Reasoned Practice of Faith (Aureus).

2006 Globalization, Engineering and Creativity (Morgan and Claypool).

2008 Reconstructing Practical Theology: The Impact of Globalization (Ashgate)

2009 Entering the New Theological Space: Blurred Encounters of Faith, Politics and Community coedited with Christopher R.Baker (Ashgate).

2011 chapter Wellbeing or Resilience: Blurred Encounters between Theory and Practice in edited Atherton, Graham and Steadman The Practices of Happiness: Political economy, religion and wellbeing (Routledge).

2011 Christianity and the New Social Order: Manifesto for a fairer future co-written with Atherton and Baker (SPCK).

2012 Theological Reflection for Human Flourishing: Pastoral Practice and Public Theology co-written with Cameron, Slater and Rowland (SCM Press).

2012 Entangled Fidelities: Reassembling the Human chapter in Intensities: Philosophy, Religion and the Affirmation of Life edited by Katharine Sarah Moody and Steven Shakespeare (Ashgate).

2013 Heterotopia: Alternative Pathways to Social Justice co-written with Caroline Baillie and Jens Kabo (Zero Books).

2015 A Philosophy of Christian Materialism: The Exercise of Entangled Fidelities (Ashgate) co-written with Chris Baker and Tom James

2015 Mapping the Material: Religious Practices in Changing Times Ebook co-written with John Atherton for the William Temple Foundation.

2016 chapter in Religious Experience and New Materialism:Movement Matters a book in the Palgrave Macmillan Radical Theology series co-written with Clayton Crockett from the USA on the New Materialism and Relation Christian Realism.

Reviews: in Modern Churchman now Modern Believing; Crucible; Expository Times; Theology; Implicit Religion; Milton Keynes and Malvern Papers.

Blogs: for Political Theology; William Temple Foundation; Philosophy and Religious Practices Network.

Journal Articles

1990 On a Methodology for Pastoral Theology The Modern Churchman, Vol 32.1

1991 Local Theology and the New Social Movements: An illuminating affinity The Modern Churchman, Vol 32.4

1993 Theology, Culture and Post-Modernity: In response to Graham, Walton and Newbigin The Modern Churchman, Vol 34.5

2003 The Discourse of Human Rights - a Secular Religion Implicit Religion Volume 6, No1 April.

2004 Deconstructing Autonomy: Towards a New Identity Ecotheology, Volume 9.2

2005 Apocalyptic Localism or Sustainable Communities? An emerging role for faith-based (religious) capital William Temple Foundation Occasional Paper No 33

2010 New Environmental Movements and Implicit Religion: What Faith Might Learn from the Growth of Transition Initiatives Implicit Religion Volume 13, No2

2012 Edition of Political Theology on Speculative Philosophies and Religion Practices coedited with Chris Baker and Daniel Whistler - introduction and chapter Speculative Realism and Public Theology: Explorations.

2013 Further Forms of Faithfulness: Entangled Fidelities in Political Theology, Vol 14, Issue 4.

2015 Article in Political Theology co-written with Chris Baker and Tom James, Entangled Fidelities: Towards a Relational Christian Realism for the Public Sphere.

2015 Review Article in the Journal of Beliefs and Values Review of Civility, Religious Pluralism and Education.

2015 The Balscote Story in Country Way June-September 2015.

2016 Out of the Depths: Engineering, Submersibles and Assemblages article for the International Journal of Engineering, Peace and Social Justice.

2016 Review Article in the Journal of Beliefs and Values Together for the Common Good.

Current Research

  1. Prospects for a “New Enlightenment” researching work by Derrida, Habermas, Deleuze, Latour and Stiegler and links to a different understanding of how religions function in the public sphere.
  2. Material religious practices as they exemplify the theoretical concepts of assemblage theory in the work of Deleuze, Latour and DeLanda and in “A Philosophy of Christian Materialism” (2015)
  3. Education and RE as they also exemplify the above, but with the practical engagements as a school governor and as Director of a Multi-Academy Trust
  4. The work of Bernard Stiegler on the impact of technology and the “Internet of Things” upon critical thought and practice, particularly within education.
  5. Environmental issues and politics focussed on the contribution of the New Materialism and Relational Christian Realism as in “A Philosophy of Christian Materialism” and “Religious Experience and New Materialism”.
  6. Working with colleagues from the William Temple Foundation on the changing concepts and experiences of “community” and “neighbourhood” (series of workshops in 2015 and 2016.
  7. Working with colleagues from the William Temple Foundation on a Faith and Finance group with the possibility of publication and public/church impact.