Dr Barnabas Aspray

Junior Research Fellow in Religion and the Frontier Challenges

Dr Aspray is a philosophical theologian interested in the way religious belief and practice interact with contemporary society. His PhD (University of Cambridge) explored human finitude and transcendence in the work of French philosopher Paul Ricœur. Dr Aspray also holds Masters degrees in Christian Theology and Biblical Studies from the University of Cambridge and Regent College. Before studying theology, he read Computer Science at the University of Exeter and worked as a software engineer for the BBC website.

Dr Aspray’s current research project is titled ‘Christian Responses to Refugees in Theory and Practice’. It aims to develop a Christian ethic of asylum and immigration by means of an encounter between philosophical theology and forced migration studies, informed by empirical research that listens to the stories of refugees and those working with them. This project is pursued in partnership with Refugee Support Network, a UK charity which helps refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people build more hopeful futures through education.

Barnabas' project summary within Religion and the Frontier Challenges can be found here.


Journal Publications

Barnabas Aspray, ‘How Can Phenomenology Address Classic Objections to Liturgy?’, Religions 12, no. 4 (April 2021): 236.

Barnabas Aspray, ‘Y a-t-il une métaphysique ricœurienne ?’, Crossing: The INPR Journal 1 (2020): 73-83.

Barnabas Aspray, ‘“No One Can Serve Two Masters”: The Unity of Philosophy and Theology in Ricœur’s Early Thought’, Open Theology 5, no. 1 (2019): 320–332.

Barnabas Aspray, ‘“Scripture Grows with its Readers”: Doctrinal Development from a Ricœurian Perspective’, Modern Theology 35, no. 4 (2019): 746-759.



Emmanuel Falque, ‘The All-Seeing: Fraternity and Vision of God in Nicholas of Cusa’, Modern Theology      35, no. 4 (2019): 760-787.

Paul Ricœur, ‘From One Testament to the Other’, Modern Theology 33, no. 2 (2017): 235–42.


Book Chapters

Barnabas Aspray, ‘From Exegesis to Allegory: Ricœur’s Challenge to Biblical Scholarship’, in Reading Scripture with Paul Ricœur, ed. Joseph Edelheit and James Moore (Lanham: Lexington Press, 2021).

Barnabas Aspray, ‘Transforming Heideggerian Finitude? Following Pathways Opened by Falque’, in Transforming the Theological Turn: Phenomenology with Emmanuel Falque, ed. Martin Kočí and Jason Alvis (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).


Dictionary Entries

Three entries (‘Nietzsche’; ‘Biblical Hermeneutics’; ‘Transcendence’) in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. Andrew Louth, 4th ed., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).



Review: Scott Davidson, ed., A Companion to Ricœur’s The Symbolism of Evil (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2020), International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 82, no. 1 (2 March 2021): 95–96.

Review: David Hollenbach SJ, Humanity in Crisis: Ethical and Religious Response to Refugees (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2019), Studies in Christian Ethics 34, no. 1 (13 January 2021): 126–29.

Review: Scott Davidson, ed., A Companion to Ricœur’s Fallible Man (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2019), Reviews in Religion and Theology 27 no. 4 (2020): 503-507.

Review: Emmanuel Falque, The Guide to Gethsemane: Anxiety, Suffering, Death (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019), trans. George Hughes, Modern Theology 36 no. 1 (2020): 230-232.

Review: Stewart Goetz, A Philosophical Walking Tour with C. S. Lewis: Why It Did Not Include Rome (Bloomsbury, 2014), Reviews in Religion and Theology 26, no. 1 (2019): 76–79.

Review: Joshua Broggi, Sacred Language, Sacred World: The Unity of Scriptural and Philosophical Hermeneutics (Bloomsbury, 2015), Reviews in Religion and Theology 24, no. 3 (2017): 444–47.

Review: George Ille, Between Vision and Obedience – Rethinking Theological Epistemology: Theological Reflections on Rationality and Agency with Special Reference to Paul Ricœur and G.W.F. Hegel (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 2014), Reviews in Religion and Theology 23, no. 3 (2016): 326–29.

Review: Iain Provan, Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters (Baylor University Press, 2014), Syndicate: A New Forum for Theology 2 no. 5 (2015).