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Dr Elizabeth Burns

Programme Director - Divinity

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Dr Elizabeth Burns is Reader in Philosophy of Religion at the University of London Worldwide, a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, London, and a Fellow of the University of London’s Centre for Online and Distance Education. 

She studied for a Bachelor of Divinity at King’s College, London and a PhD in Philosophy of Religion at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

She holds a PGCE in post compulsory education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. From 2000-2017 she taught Philosophy of Religion at Heythrop College, University of London, where she was Dean of Undergraduate Studies for five years.

She was also Director of Taught Programmes at the Cambridge Theological Federation from 2016-2018.

Further information may be found on this SAS webpage.


  • 2022: ‘Murdoch and Christianity’, in The Murdochian Mind, ed. Mark Hopwood and Silvia Panizza (London: Routledge). 
  • 2021: Evil and divine power: A response to James Sterba’s argument from evil’, Religions2021, 12(6), 442; in new window), invited paper for special edition, ‘Is the God of Traditional Theism Logically Compatible with All the Evil in the World?’  
  • 2021: ‘Anne Conway’s Philosophy of Religion’, Think, 20 (59), 143-155. 
  • 2020: ‘Evil, prayer and transformation’ Open Theology, 6 (1), in new window) 
  • 2019: Guest editor for special issue of European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, ‘Philosophy, religion, and hope’.  
  • 2019: Continental Philosophy of ReligionCambridge Elements Series, ed. Yujin Nagasawa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).  
  • 2019: ‘How to prove the existence of God: an argument for conjoined panentheism’ International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 85 (1), 5-21, in new window). First published at Online First 8 November 2018. Contribution to ‘The Pantheism and Panentheism Project’, edited by Yujin Nagasawa.  
  • 2018: ‘Patching Plantinga’s ontological argument by making the Murdoch move’, in Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty (eds) Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project, proceedings of a conference in honour of Alvin Plantinga, Baylor University, Waco, Texas (6-8 November 2014), (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 123-136. Mentioned in a review in Reading Religion at: in new window)
  • 2018: What is this thing called Philosophy of Religion? (London: Routledge).  
  • 2018: ‘Continental philosophy, evil and suffering’, in Jerome Gellman (ed.) The History of Evil from the Mid-Twentieth Century to Today (1950-2018), Volume VI of Chad Meister and Charles Taliaferro (eds) The History of Evil (London: Routledge), 152-166. 
  • 2017: ‘Feminist Philosophy of Religion’, in Donald M. Borchert (ed.) Philosophy: Religion. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy series. (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA/Gale, a Cengage Company), 347-360; reprinted in 2017: Carol Hay (ed.) Philosophy: Feminism. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy series. (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA/Gale, a Cengage Company), 363-375. 
  • 2015: ‘Images of reality: Iris Murdoch’s five ways from art to religion’. Religions, 6 (3), 875-890, in new window). Published online 30 July 2015. Featured on publisher’s blog as research highlight at: 
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  • 2014: ‘Classical and revisionary theism on the divine as personal: a rapprochement?’ International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 78 (2), 151-165. [First published at Online First 24 December 2014.]; reprinted in 2017: Kelly Clark (ed.) Readings in the Philosophy of Religion (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press), 298-309.  
  • 2014: ‘Where the conflict really lies: Plantinga, the challenge of evil, and religious naturalism’. Philosophia Reformata, 79 (I), 66-82. Published with a response from Plantinga.  
  • 2013: ‘Ontological arguments from experience: Daniel A. Dombrowski, Iris Murdoch, and the nature of divine reality’. Religious Studies, 49 (4), 459-480. First published at FirstView Articles 23 November 2012.  
  • 2012: ‘Is there a distinctively feminist Philosophy of Religion?’ Philosophy Compass, 7 (6), 422-435; reprinted in a special edition on Meta-Philosophy of Religion.