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Dr William Wood

I oversee the teaching and admission of theology students at Oriel, where I teach a wide variety of options in historical and contemporary theology and philosophy of religion.

I have published two books with Oxford University Press: Analytic Theology and the Academic Study of Religion (2021), and Blaise Pascal on Duplicity, Sin, and the Fall (2013).

My broader research interests include questions about the place of theology in the modern research university, and the relationship between philosophy and theology. I am also very interested in in philosophical and theological accounts of sin and self-deception, especially in the thought of Blaise Pascal and in the wider Augustinian tradition, and in what it means to say that God is truth, especially with respect to medieval figures like Anselm and Aquinas.

I am originally from the United States. Before coming to Oxford in 2008, I received a PhD in theology from the University of Chicago, and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

Graduate Supervision

I have supervised DPhil, MPhil, and MSt students on a wide variety of topics, including Augustine and hope, the limits of explanation in theological metaphysics, and Blaise Pascal and existentialism. I would be very happy to hear from any potential graduate students interested in pursuing research in philosophical theology or any of my other areas of specialist research.

Research Interests

Analytic theology; the relationship between philosophy, theology, and the study of religion; the place of theology in the secular university; medieval theology, especially the thought of Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas Aquinas; the doctrine of sin, especially the link between sin and self-deception; theological and philosophical implications of the claim that God is truth; the thought of Blaise Pascal.

Selected Publications

Books
  • Analytic Theology and The Academic Study of Religion (OUP 2021).
  • Blaise Pascal on Duplicity, Sin, and the Fall: The Secret Instinct (OUP, 2013).

 

Jounal Articles and Book Chapters
  • “Sin as Self-Deception.” Chapter in James Arcadi and JT Turner, eds., T&T Clark Handbook of Analytic Theology (2021).
  • “The Wager and Pascal’s Theology.” Chapter in Paul Bartha and Lawrence Pasternack, eds., Pascal’s Wager. Classic Philosophical Arguments. Cambridge University Press (2018).
  • “Anselm of Canterbury on the Fall of the Devil: The Hard Problem, the Harder Problem, and a New Model of the First Sin.” Religious Studies 52 (2016): 223–24.
  • “Modeling Mystery,” Scientia et Fides 4 (2016): 39–59.
  • “Traditions, Trajectories, and Tools in Analytic Theology,” Journal of Analytic Theology 4 (2016): 254–266.
  • “Analytic Theology as a Way of Life,” Journal of Analytic Theology 2 (2014): 43–60.
  • “Thomas Aquinas on the Claim that God is Truth,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (2013): 21–47.
  • “What is the Self? Imitation and Subjectivity in Blaise Pascal’s Pensées,” Modern Theology 26 (2011): 417–36.
  • “Axiology, Self-Deception and Moral Wrongdoing in Blaise Pascal’s Pensées,” Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (2009): 107–36.
  • “On the New Analytic Theology, or: The Road Less Travelled,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 77 (2009): 941–60.