Former Fellows

Dr Méadhbh McIvor

Junior Research Fellow

Méadhbh is a social anthropologist with a particular interest in the anthropologies of law and religion. She received her PhD from the London School of Economics, where her research focused on conservative Christian activism and the politicisation of rights-based law in the United Kingdom. Her first monograph, Representing God: Christian Legal Activism in Contemporary England, was published by Princeton University Press in October 2020. Prior to taking up her fellowship in Oxford, Méadhbh taught at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Dr Tobias Cremer

- Junior Research Fellow

Tobias Cremer is a Junior Research Fellow in Religion and the Frontier Challenges at Pembroke College Oxford. His research focuses on the relationship between religion, secularisation and the surge of ethno-nationalist populism throughout western societies. In his doctoral research (University of Cambridge, funded by the ESRC) Tobias explored how right-wing populist movements in Germany, France and the United States employ Christianity as a cultural identity marker, and how believers and church authorities are reacting to such referencees. Tobias holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a McCloy Fellow, an MPhil in Politics and International Studies from Cambridge University, and a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Sciences Po Paris. Across his career, he has worked in the German Parliament, the German Federal Foreign Office, and as a management consult. 

Dr Tim Middleton

- Junior Research Fellow

Tim’s research concerns religious attitudes to the contemporary ecological crisis, with a specific focus on Christian ecotheology. He also maintains an interest in wider conversations in science and religion, and the environmental humanities.

Tim has backgrounds both in Theology and the Earth Sciences. His DPhil work in theology brings ecotheology into conversation with recent work in Christian trauma theology, exploring how the category of trauma might be applied to issues of nonhuman suffering in the context of mass extinction and catastrophic climate change. Tim has previously taught at St Anne’s College Oxford and the University of Roehampton, and is currently an Associate Tutor in Christian Doctrine at Ripon College Cuddesdon.

Raffaella Taylor-Seymour

- Junior Research Fellow

Raffaella Taylor-Seymour is an anthropologist and scholar of religion. Her research examines religious transformations in the context of struggles over gender, sexuality, and the environment in Southern Africa. She is interested in the entanglement of multiple religious traditions in Zimbabwe, specifically ancestral spiritual practices, mission Christianity, and Pentecostalism. In a context in which colonialism forcefully upended ideas about personhood, spirituality, and ties between people and place, her work investigates how people navigate a diverse religious landscape and participate in lively debates about pressing contemporary social and theological questions.


Raffaella’s first project, which she is revising as a book manuscript, explores how young queer Zimbabweans bring Christian and ancestral religious practices into dialogue. This project argues that through religious practices, queer Zimbabweans draw on the archives of African and Christian metaphysics to express distinctively African queer subjectivities and articulate novel forms of kinship and intimacy. Her second project, which she is pursuing at Pembroke, explores everyday struggles over the meanings and effects of rainmaking rites among ordinary Zimbabweans against the backdrop of increasing water scarcity in Southern Africa.

Raffaella completed a joint PhD in Anthropology and Comparative Human at the University of Chicago in 2022, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and received the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. At Chicago, she was a Martin Marty Junior Fellow in the Divinity School, a Residential Fellow at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and a Dissertation Fellow at the Center for International Social Science Research. Her doctoral thesis was awarded the Association for Feminist Anthropology's Dissertation Award. She an MA in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago and a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from King’s College, Cambridge.

Austin Stevenson

- Junior Research Fellow

Austin Stevenson is a philosophical theologian who is interested in the way that philosophical ideas interact with religious beliefs to impact contemporary society. His current research concerns vaccine hesitancy among religious communities. His PhD (University of Cambridge) explored how certain philosophical ideas impact what it means to study Jesus as a historical figure. Austin has previously taught at the University of Cambridge, Ridley Hall, and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and is currently a visiting lecturer at London School of Theology.

Dr Barnabas Aspray

- Junior Research Fellow

Barnabas is a philosophical theologian interested in the way religious belief & practice interact with contemporary society. His PhD (University of Cambridge) explored human finitude and transcendence in the work of French philosopher Paul Ricœur. Barnabas 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 Imen Neffati

- Junior Research Fellow

Imen is a historian of modern France and the ‘Francophone world’ with broader interest in the histories of religion, secularism, and modernity.

Imen finished her PhD in 2019 at the History Department, University of Sheffield, on the history of the French satirical magazines Hara Kiri and Charlie Hebdo, and their discourses on religion, secularism, race and gender. Prior to that, she completed the Fulbright FLTA programme, the Erasmus Mundus Masters programme Crossways in Cultural Narratives, and holds an MA from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan in Gender Studies, an MA from the University of Sheffield in Cultural Studies, and an MA from Université de Perpignan in Approaches Hétérologiques du Monde Anglophone.