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Revd Professor Jeff Astley

Alister Hardy Professor of Religious and Spiritual Experience
Centre for Education Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

E-mail: j.astley@warwick.ac.uk

Background

Jeff Astley was appointed to the part-time post of Alister Hardy Professor of Religious and Spiritual Experience in January 2017. He previously worked in a similar role in Glyndŵr University, and prior to that was for 32 years the Director of the ecumenical and independent North of England Institute for Christian Education (NEICE), whose primary task was to create links between Christian theology and education particularly by promoting research in Christian learning in all its aspects (see www.durham.ac.uk/neice). He has held an honorary professorial title in the Department of Theology and Religion of Durham University since 1997.

Jeff Astley read Natural Sciences and Theology at Cambridge University, and continued his theological studies at Birmingham University while training for ordination. He received his PhD from Durham University in 1979 for a thesis in the philosophy of religion. After working in parish ministry and then as a college chaplain and lecturer in Religious Studies, he was from 1977 to 1981 Principal Lecturer and Head of Religious Studies at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln and Associate Tutor at Lincoln Theological College.

Research Interests

At Warwick Jeff Astley’s work is primarily focused on the study of spiritual and religious experience, including its effects in the lives of individuals and its expression in their ‘ordinary theology’.

Further information about research into spiritual and religious experience is available here.

Recent Publications

Books:

Jeff Astley, Leslie J Francis, Mandy Robbins and Mualla Selçuk (eds). Teaching Religion, Teaching Truth: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives, Bern: Peter Lang, 2012. ISBN: 978 3 0343 0818 2 (pbk)

Jeff Astley and Leslie J Francis (eds). Exploring Ordinary Theology: Everyday Christian Believing and the Church, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013. ISBN: 9781409442561 (hbk). ISBN: 9781409442578 (pbk). ISBN: 9781409442585 (ebk PDF)

Jeff Astley. Studying God: Doing Theology, London: SCM Press, 2014. ISBN: 9780334044147 (pbk)

Jeff Astley. What Do We Believe? Why Does It Matter? London: SCM Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780334054054 (pbk)

Jeff Astley and Leslie J Francis (eds). Diversity and Intersectionality: Studies in Religion, Education and Values. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016. ISBN 978-3-0343-2252-2 (pbk). ISBN 978-1-78707-110-0 (ebk)

Essays and Articles:

Jeff Astley, Leslie J. Francis and Mandy Robbins. ‘Assessing Attitude Towards Religion: The Astley-Francis Scale of Attitude Towards Theistic Faith’, British Journal of Religious Education 34, 2, 2012, 183-193

Jeff Astley. Contributions to Reflections for Daily Prayer: Advent 2012 to Eve of Advent 2013 (London: Church House Publishing, 2012), 20-31, 128-139

Jeff Astley. ‘Christianity’, in Peter Jarvis with Mary Watts (eds), The Routledge International Handbook of Learning (London: Routledge, 2012), 467-474

Jeff Astley. ‘A Theological Reflection on the Nature of Religious Truth’, in Jeff Astley, Leslie J. Francis, Mandy Robbins and Mualla Selçuk (eds), Teaching Religion, Teaching Truth: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives (Bern: Peter Lang, 2012), 241-262

Jeff Astley. ‘Can we Choose our Beliefs? A Philosophical Question for Religious Education’, in Stephen Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis (eds), Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief (Bern: Peter Lang, 2012), 81-93

Jeff Astley. ‘Church Schools and the Church’s Service to the Poor’, in Howard Worsley (ed.), Anglican Church School Education: Moving Beyond The First Two Hundred Years (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 101-118

Jeff Astley. ‘The Analysis, Investigation and Application of Ordinary Theology’, in Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis (eds), Exploring Ordinary Theology: Everyday Christian Believing and the Church (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), 1-9

Jeff Astley. ‘Ordinary Theology and the Learning Conversation with Academic Theology’, in Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis (eds), Exploring Ordinary Theology: Everyday Christian Believing and the Church (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), 45-54

Jeff Astley. ‘Afterword: Some Reflections on Implicit Religion and Ordinary Theology’, Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 16, 9, 2013 (Special Issue: Mental Health, Implicit Religion and Culture), 975-978

Jeff Astley. ‘From a Rural Pulpit: Keep Awake’, Rural Theology, 11, 1, 2013, 60-62

Jeff Astley. ‘Creation and Evolution’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 1, Spring 2013, 2-7

Jeff Astley. ‘Evil and Suffering’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 2, Summer 2013, 2-8

Jeff Astley. ‘Describing God’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 3, Autumn 2013, 18-24

Jeff Astley. ‘The Development of Faith’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 5, Autumn 2014, 13-19

Jeff Astley. ‘Being Faithful: Trusting Beyond’, in Marius Felderhof and Penny Thompson (eds), Teaching Virtue: The Contribution of Religious Education (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2014), 166-178

Jeff Astley. ‘Anglican Perspectives on Christian Religious Education’, Theo-Web. Zeitschrift für Religionspädagogik, 13, 2014, H.2, 75-91

Jeff Astley. ‘Ordinary Theology as Lay Theology: Listening to and Learning from Lay Perspectives’, INTAMS Review: Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality, 20, 2, 2014, 182-189

Jeff Astley .‘Some Anglican Perspectives on Christian Religious Education’, Religionspädagogische Beiträge, 72, 2015, 67-77

Jeff Astley. ‘The Objectivity of Religious Experience: Philosophical Issues’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 7, Spring 2015, 2-8

Jeff Astley. Encyclopedia entries in George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport (eds), Encyclopedia of Christian Education (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015): vol. 1 ‘Affections, Christian’ (21-22), ‘Darwin and Evolutionary Theory’ (385-387), ‘Freedom’ (518-519); vol. 2 ‘Nurture as Metaphor’ (887-888); vol. 3 ‘Spiritual Learning’ (1195-1196), ‘Values’ (1336-1337), ‘Theological Education: Lead-in Introduction’ (1477-1479)

Jeff Astley. ‘Discipleship Learning’ and ‘Forming Disciples: Some Educational and Biblical Reflections’, Rural Theology, 13, 1, 2015, pp. 1-3, 4-17

Jeff Astley. ‘John Hick’s Philosophy of Religion’, Challenging Religious Issues: Supporting Religious Studies at A-level and Beyond, 9, Autumn 2015, 8-15

Jeff Astley. ‘Beyond Science and Nature? Reflections on Scientific Reductionism and Mental and Religious Experience’, Journal for the Study of Religious Experience, 1, 1, 2015, 32-48
(online at http://rerc-journal.tsd.ac.uk/index.php/religiousexp/article/view/8/23)

Jeff Astley. ‘Only God Can Cure and Free Us’, in Theology Now: A Church Times Primer, Part four: Salvation’, Church Times, 4 March 2016, 19-20

Jeff Astley. ‘“Ordinary Theology” und Jugend’, in Thomas Schlag and Bert Roebben (eds), Jahrbuch für Jugendtheologie, Band 4 (‘Jedes Mal in der Kirche kam ich zum Nachdenken’, Stuttgart: Calwer Verlag), 2016, 26-41

Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis. ‘Introducing the Astley-Francis Theology of Religions Index: Construct Validity among 13- to 15-year-old students’, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37, 1, 2016, 29-39

Jeff Astley. ‘From a Rural Pulpit: The Parable of the Talents’, Rural Theology, 14, 1, 2016, 66-68

Jeff Astley. Contributions to Reflections for Sundays (Year A) (London: Church House Publishing, 2016), 25, 38, 44, 132, 262

Jeff Astley. ‘”I Warn You Not To Be Ordinary”: The Disabilities and Capabilities of Ordinariness’, in Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis (eds), Diversity and Intersectionality: Studies in Religion, Education and Values (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2016), 219-234

Jeff Astley. Contributions to Reflections for Daily Prayer: Advent 2016 to Eve of Advent 2017 (London: Church House Publishing, 2016), 86-97, 302-313

Jeff Astley. ‘Researching the Field of Christian Education: Reflections on an English Experiment’, in Brian Gates (ed.), Religion and Nationhood: Insider and Outsider Perspectives on Religious Education in England (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), 327-348

Leslie J. Francis, Jeff Astley and Stephen G. Parker. ‘Who Studies Religion at Advanced Level: Why and to What Effect?’, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 37, 3, 2016, 334-346

A full list of Jeff Astley’s publications is available here.

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