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Professor Philip Sheldrake


Senior Research Fellow

Contact Details: 
Westcott House
Jesus Lane

(44) 01223 272969




Philip Sheldrake is a religious historian and theologian. He has been Senior Research Fellow at Westcott House and in the Cambridge Theological Federation since 2010. Initially, apart from his own research and writing, Philip coordinated the Westcott Urban Project (2010-2015) and now helps to organise, and contributes to, the Westcott House Spirituality Talks and also to Life & Service sessions. He has also supervised MA and ProfDoc dissertations in the Federation. Currently, Philip is also a Senior Research Associate of the Von Hügel Institute (St Edmund’s College) and Professor at a graduate school of theology in Texas.


Philip’s academic background is in philosophy, history and theology, including an Oxford research BD. He was awarded the Oxford DD in 2015. He is also Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Previously, Philip was active as a Roman Catholic priest (Jesuit) and, apart from academic teaching and administration, was involved in retreats, spiritual direction and pastoral work. He has also worked in religious publishing and editing, including formerly as Chair of SCM Press. More recently Philip has been involved in interreligious dialogue.


Philip was Director of the Institute of Spirituality at Heythrop College University of London (1984-1992), Tutor in Church History and DOPS at Westcott House (1992-1997), Vice-Principal & Academic Director at Sarum College (1998-2002), Leech Professorial Fellow of Applied Theology at Durham University (2003-2008) and then Joseph Visiting Professor at Boston College USA. Philip was also Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge (1999-2000) and an Honorary Professor/Research Supervisor of the University of Wales (1998-2013).


Philip is author or editor of numerous books, book essays and journal articles. His most recent books are:

  • Spirituality: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press 2012.
  • Spirituality: A Brief History, Revised & expanded edition Wiley-Blackwell 2013.
  • A Spiritual City: Theology, Spirituality & the Urban, Wiley-Blackwell 2014.
  • Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed, Bloomsbury 2014.
  • Julian of Norwich – In God’s Sight: Her Theology in Context, Wiley-Blackwell 2019.
  • The Spiritual Way: Classic Traditions & Contemporary Practice, Liturgical Press 2019.








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