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Conor Cunningham

Associate Professor of Theology and Philiosophy, Faculty of Arts

Contact

  • workRoom C10 Department of Theology and Religious Studies
    University Park
    Nottingham
    NG7 2RD
    UK
  • work+44 (0)115 846 7390
  • fax0115 951 5887

Biography

He was born in Belfast and only left that idyll to read Law at the University of Kent. There, he came under the influence of the Catholic Marxist, David Mclellan who, despite holding the Chair in Political Theory, decided to also read for a Law degree. Following graduation, Conor moved to the University of Dundee to study for an M. Phil., in Philosophy under the supervision of the Jean-François Lyotard and Giles Deleuze scholar, James Williams. On completing his M. Phil. with distinction, Conor went to the University of Cambridge to read for the Diploma in Theology. Upon completion of this, he was awarded a British Academy Studentship to study for a Ph.D. Initially doing so under the supervision of John Milbank, but when he took up a Chair at the University of Virginia, Graham Ward took over the mantle.

After completing his PhD., he was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Nottingham, where he set up the Centre of Theology and Philosophy - www.theologyandphilosophycentreco.uk. Conor was then offered a lectureship in theology, and has since been made an Associate Professor in Theology and Philosophy.

In 2009, Conor wrote and presented the award-winning BBC documentary - 'Did Darwin Kill God/?'

In 2012-2013 he was a Fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, where he worked in a team of 12, composed of mainly atheist scientists, a philosopher and three theologians on the question of 'Evolution and Human Nature'. Whilst in Princeton, he was 'theologian in residence' in 2013 at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Expertise Summary

After writing a book on nihilism (Genealogy of Nihilism), which is being translated into Spanish, Conor has recently published a large monograph on evolution, entitled - Darwin's Pious Idea. This book has already won a prize and is being translated into a number of languages; the Korean edition has already appeared.

Conor is also co-editor of three book series: Veritas (Wipf and Stock Publishers, and SCM); Interventions (Wm B Eerdmans); and Kalos (Wipf and Stock). He is also a co-editor of two professional journals: Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Politics and Culture, and Syneses: Beyond Secular Faith, and he is on the editorial board of the new, peer-reviewed journal, Science, Philosophy, and Theology.

Conor's expertise includes, science and theology, philosophical theology, phenomenology, and metaphysics. He is currently writing a book on the soul, after completion of that work he is contracted to write a small book for lay people on evolution.

Teaching Summary

Evolution/Darwinism in relation to religion

Phenomenology in relation to religion

The questions of Grace and Nature, or the supernatural and the natural, especially in 20th century theology as related to how we interpret the works of the Church fathers and the medieval doctors of the Church and how this relates to philosophy and science.

Philosophy of Religion

Research Summary

The question of the soul - employing discourses as disparate as metaphysics, theology, phenomenology and the natural sciences.

Recent Publications

  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2013. Nihilism and theology: who stands at the door?. In: ADAMS, N., PATTISON, G. and WARD, G., eds., The Oxford handbook of theology and modern European thought Oxford University Press. 325-344
  • 2012. In: ‘Dawkins the Neanderthal and Darwin’s Pious Idea’ The Unknown God: Sermons responding to the New Atheism. Wipf and Stock.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2011. Naturalism lost: nature regained. In: TALIAFERRO, C. and EVANS, J., eds., Turning images in philosophy, science, and religion: a new book of nature Oxford University Press. 156-188
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2010. Darwin's pious idea: why the ultra-darwinists and creationists both get it wrong Wm B Eerdmans.

Past Research

My main areas of research have been nihilism, phenomenology and, systematic theology, and subsequently, Darwinism and Theology, and mow the question of the soul in light of modern science and philosophy, but also reaching back to the Church Fathers, and Doctors, especially Aquinas.

Future Research

A small book on evolution for lay people, and then a large monograph on the question of beauty.

  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2013. Nihilism and theology: who stands at the door?. In: ADAMS, N., PATTISON, G. and WARD, G., eds., The Oxford handbook of theology and modern European thought Oxford University Press. 325-344
  • 2012. In: ‘Dawkins the Neanderthal and Darwin’s Pious Idea’ The Unknown God: Sermons responding to the New Atheism. Wipf and Stock.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2011. Naturalism lost: nature regained. In: TALIAFERRO, C. and EVANS, J., eds., Turning images in philosophy, science, and religion: a new book of nature Oxford University Press. 156-188
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2010. Darwin's pious idea: why the ultra-darwinists and creationists both get it wrong Wm B Eerdmans.
  • 2010. ‘Natura Pura: Invention of the Antichrist? Communio: International Catholic Review.
  • 2010. 'Creation and Naturalism’, Rivista Anthropotes.
  • 2010. 'Darwin i dzieło stworzenia’, Part Two Znak.
  • 2010. 'Darwin i dzieło stworzenia’, Part One Znak.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2009. Being recalled: life as Anamnesis. In: GORIS, H.J.M.J., RIKHOF, H.W.M. and SCHOOT, H.J.M., eds., Divine transcendence and immanence in the work of Thomas Aquinas: a collection of studies presented at the Third Conference of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, December 15-17, 2005 Peeters. 59-80
  • 2009. Être sans souici: transcendence et immanence de Thomas d’Aquin à Michel Henry’,. In: Michel Henry Editions L’Age d’Homme, Lusanne Suisse.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C. and CANDLER, P., eds., 2007. Belief and metaphysics Norwich: SCM Press.
  • CONOR CUNNINGHAM, 2007. Suspending the Natural Attitude: From Aquinas to Henry. In: C. CUNNINGHAM AND P. CANDLER, ed., Transcendence and Phenomenology SCM Press. 260-287
  • 2007. ‘Trying my very best to Believe Darwin, or, The Supernaturalistic Fallacy: From Is to Nought’. In: Belief and Metaphysics
  • 2007. 'Suspending the Natural Attitude: Transcendence and Immanence from Aquinas to Henry’,. In: Transcendence and Phenomenology SCM.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2006. The End of Death? In Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, ed. James McGuirk.. 19-42
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2005. Nothing Is, Something Must Be: Lacan and Creation from No-One. In: DAVIS, C., MILBANK, J. and ZIZEK, S., eds., Theology and the Political: The New Debate Durham, NC : Duke University Press. 72-101
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2004. Lacan, Philosophy's Difference, and Creation From No-One American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. 78(3), 445-479
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2002. Genealogy Of Nihilism: philosophies of nothing and the difference of theology London: Routledge.
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2001. Review of: 'The Fall of Interpretation: Philosophical Foundations of a Creational Hermeneutic' (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2000), James K A Smith Modern Theology. 17(4), 518-520
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 2001. The Difference Of Theology and Some Philosophies of Nothing Modern Theology. VOL 17(PART 3), 289-312
  • CUNNINGHAM, C., 1999. Wittgenstein after Theology. In: MILBANK, J., PICKSTOCK, C. and WARD, G., eds., Radical Orthodoxy London : Routledge. 64-90
  • -‘A Short Meta-Critique of Quentin Meillassoux’s Divine Nihilism’. in Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Politics, and Culture (Wipf and Stock: 2012), pp. 138-151.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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