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Dr John McDade

Tutor in Religion, Doctrine and History

John McDade was Senior Lecturer and Principal of Heythrop College, University of London.

John became interested in theology because of what he saw as the urgent question about the relationship between ‘the historical Jesus’ and the Christ proclaimed by the Church.

His doctorate at the University of Edinburgh was on ‘Pre-existence Language in Christology’, and his interest spread from that to Trinity and Salvation which he taught for many years. It then extended to developing a new theology of Christian-Jewish relations and exploring the issue of contemporary atheism and how Christian theology is to engage modern unbelief in a dialogical way.

The remark by Fergus Kerr, ‘Religion touches on something dangerous in us,’ turned his attention more recently to the relation of religion and violence and to the question of how religion can be contaminated by intolerant, violent impulses - all in the name of a God of love.

Modules taught:

  • Christian Doctrine (Level 5)
  • Religion and Violence (Level 6)


Selected publications

2018: ‘Creation and Salvation,’ Oxford Handbook to Catholic Theology, ed. L. Ayres (Oxford University Press), 97-123.


  • Religion and Secularism,’ The Tablet (23 July, 2015).
  • ‘Wallace Stevens on God, Imagination and Reality,’in The Power of the Word, (Ashgate).


  • ‘God, Pope Benedict and Violence: Regensburg Revisited,’ Pastoral Review (March 2014).
  • ‘Augustine, Aquinas and the Culture Wars,’ New Blackfriars 95 (2014), 132-45.
  • ‘Preaching the Trinity,’ Pastoral Review (2014).


  • ‘The Work of Child Protection: the Enterprise of Faith. The Nolan Report Five Years on: Justice and Forgiveness: some Perspectives.’ (July 11th 2006) Paper for the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.’ Pastoral Review February 2013, 38-44.
  • ‘Postscript on Credibility,’ New Blackfriars 94 (2013), 236-51.

2012: Ressourcement’ in Retrospect,’ in G. Flynn & P.D. Murray (eds.), Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology (Oxford University Press), 508-22.

  • 2011: ‘Episcopal and Prophetic Traditions in the Church,’ New Blackfriars 92 (2011), 176-88.
  • 2010: ‘Sermon on 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain,’ New Blackfriars 91 (2010), 123-7.
  • 2010: ‘The Contemporary Relevance of Pascal,’ New Blackfriars 91 (2010), 185-96.
  • 2008: ‘Simone Weil and Gerard Manley Hopkins on God, Affliction, Necessity and Sacrifice,’ Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 13 (2008), 1-16.
  • 2008: ‘Christians and Jews: Competitive Siblings or the Israel of God?’ New Blackfriars 89 (2008), pp. 267-79.
  • 2007: ‘Mine is the Kingdom: Digital Reality and the Self,’ The Tablet (20 January, 2007), 8-9.
  • 2007: ‘Catholic Christianity and Judaism since Vatican II,’ New Blackfriars 88 (2007), 367-84.
  • 2005: ‘Von Balthasar and the Office of Peter in the Church,’ The Way 44 (2005), 97-114.
  • 2007: ‘In the Depths of One’s Self: the Paintings of Philippe de Champaigne,’ The Tablet (23 June, 2007)
  • 2005: ‘Nostra Aetate and Interfaith Relations,’ Pastoral Review (Nov 2005), 8-13.
  • 2005: ‘A Promise Fulfilled, A Ransom Paid: Atonement and Eucharist,’ The Tablet (8 October, 2005), 6-7.
  • 2004: ‘A Remarkable Passion: Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ,’ The Tablet (6 March, 2004), 10-11.
  • 2004: ‘Divine Disclosure and Concealment in Bach, Pascal and Levinas,’ New Blackfriars 85 (2004), 121-32.
  • 2002: ‘Heaven, Then and Now, New Blackfriars 83 (2002), 42-8.
  • 2001: ‘Hopkins, Sacrifice and God’, The Hopkins Quarterly (Summer 2001), 233-6.