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Dr Brendan Harris


Dr Brendan Harris has a long-standing connection with Oriel College – he read Philosophy and Theology here as an undergraduate, before moving on to Durham for an MA in Christian Theology.

Dr Harris did his PhD in the USA, at Emory University, where he wrote his dissertation on the 4th century bishop and theologian Gregory of Nazianzus. He graduated in in 2019, returning to Oxford for a one-year post as Departmental Lecturer in Patristics and Tutor in Theology at Christ Church, before taking up his new post at Oriel in 2020.

Research Interests

Dr Harris is currently working on a project investigating the soteriology of Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the three so-called ‘Cappadocian Fathers’, with a particular focus on Gregory’s concept of “theosis” or “deification”  as the goal of salvation. He is also currently working on translating Gregory’s Carmina Moralia or “Moral Poems”. More generally, he is interested in the development of Christology and Trinitarian theology in the 4th century, and in contemporary analytic appropriations of patristic thought.

Selected Publications

‘Augustine and the Origins of North African Anthropomorphism’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 31.1 (2023): 57-84.

‘Gregory Nazianzen’s Christology of Mixture’, Journal of Theological Studies, 73.2 (2022): 731-777

‘The Spirit as Creator in Gregory Nazianzen’s Or. 41.14’ Studia Patristica 115 (2021): 77-88.

‘Irenaeus’s Engagement with Rhetorical Theory in his Exegesis of the Johannine Prologue in Adversus Haereses 1.8.5-1.9.3’ Vigiliae Christianae 72.4 (2018): 405-420.

‘Where the Sanctification is One the Nature is One: Pro-Nicene Pneumatology in the Baptismal Theology of Ambrose of Milan’ Studia Patristica 84 (2017): 77-96.