About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Professor Joshua Hordern

Roles and subjects

Lecturer in Theology



Professor Joshua Hordern is Lecturer in Theology at Jesus College and Professor of Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford.

Academic Background

MA, PgDip, MSt (Oxon), PhD (Edinburgh)

Joshua Hordern read Classics at New College, Oxford before proceeding to a Diploma and Masters in Theology. His doctoral research was undertaken in Edinburgh after which he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge. In Cambridge, he was an Affiliated Lecturer and Research Associate in the Faculty of Divinity and was appointed Associate Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics.

Prof Hordern was appointed as Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at Oxford in 2012.  He leads the Oxford Healthcare Values Partnership engaging with a variety of  healthcare bodies and academic disciplines.

Undergraduate Teaching

Christian ethics (Ethics I).

Postgraduate Teaching

Christian Ethics.

Research Interests

Moral and Political Theology, Healthcare, Affections, Islamic political thought.

Research Projects and Knowledge Exchange

To discuss any of these research initiatives, please contact Prof Hordern.


  1. Hordern, J., ‘Christian Ethics’ in Grebe, M. and Grössl, J.,T&T Clark Handbook on Suffering and the Problem of Evil (T&T Clark, in press)
  2. Moyse, A., and Hordern, J., ‘Illuminating the dark side of ageing’, Journal of Population Ageing 14 (2021), 317-322
  3. Hordern, J., Compassion in Healthcare: Pilgrimage, Practice and Civic Life (OUP, 2020)
  4. Hordern, J., ‘The challenge of healthcare for consensus public reason’, Social Theory and Practice 47:3 (2021), 485-517
  5. Hordern, J., ‘The Dignity of the frail: on compassion, terror and social death’, Literature and Medicine, 38:2 (2020), 349-370
  6. Feiler, T. , and Hordern, J., ‘‘The heart in medicine, history and culture’, Medical humanities 46:4 (2020), 350-351
  7. Hordern, J., ‘The haunted heart and the Holy Ghost: On retrieval, donation and death’ Medical Humanities, 46:4 (2020), 362-371
  8. Hordern, J., (2020), ‘Religion, culture and conscience’. Medicine 48:10 (2020), 640-643
  9. Dunn, M., Sheehan, M., Hordern, J., Turnham, H., and Wilkinson, D. ‘“Your country needs you”: The ethics of allocating staff to high-risk clinical roles in the management of patients with COVID-19’, Journal of Medical Ethics, 46:7 (2020), 436-440
  10. Feiler, T. ,and Hordern, J., ‘The politics of diakonia’,Political Theology 20:8 (2019), 613-615
  11. Hordern, J., ‘Diakonia and Healthcare’s Contested Social Turn’, Political Theology, 20:8 (2019), 668-683
  12. Morrell, L., Hordern, J., Brown, L., Sydes, MR., Amos, CL., Kaplan, RS., Parmar, MKB., Maughan, TS., ‘Mind the gap? The platform trial as a working environment’, Trials, 20:1:297 (2019)
  13. Tweedie, J., Hordern, J., Dacre J. Advancing Medical Professionalism (Royal College of Physicians, 2018)
  14. Co-editor with Feiler, T. Concepts of Disease: Dysfunction, Responsibility and Sin. Theology 121:2 (March 2018)
  15. Hordern, J. ‘Compassion and Responsibility for Disease: Trump, Tragedy and Mercy’, Theology 121:2 (March 2018), 102-111
  16. Feiler, T., Hordern, J. and Papanikitas, A. (eds) Marketisation, Ethics and Healthcare: Policy, Practice and Moral Formation, (Routledge, 2018)
  17. Hordern, J. ‘Covenant, Compassion, and Marketisation in Healthcare: the mastery of Mammon and the service of grace’ in Feiler, T, Hordern, J, and Papanikitas, A. (eds.) Marketisation, Ethics and Healthcare: Policy, Practice and Moral Formation(Routledge, 2018), 111-130
  18. Hordern, J., Maughan, T., Morrell, L., Feiler, T., Lawler, M., Sullivan, R., Horne, R. ‘The ‘molecularly unstratified’ patient: a focus for moral, psycho-social and societal research’, Biomedicine Hub (November 2017), 146-153
  19. Hordern, J. ‘Self-knowledge and risk in stratified medicine’, New Bioethics (April 2017), 55–63
  20. Co-editor with Feiler T, Gaitskell K, Maughan T. Personalised Medicine: The Promise, the Hype and the Pitfalls, The New Bioethics 23:1 (2017)
  21. ‘Communion, Disagreement and Conscience’ with Loveday Alexander (Church House Publishing, forthcoming 2016)
  22. ‘Religion and culture’ in Saunders, J. (ed.), Medicine, special issue on ethics and communication (forthcoming October 2016)
  23. ‘Compassion in Primary and Community Care’ in Papanikitas, A. and Spicer, J. (eds.), Handbook of Primary Care Ethics, (Radcliffe/Taylor and Francis, forthcoming 2016)
  24. ‘European Union, identity and place’ in Chaplin, J. and Wilton, G. (eds), God and the European Union: Faith in the European Project (Routledge, 2016), 129-148 View book
  25. ‘Loyalty, Royalty and Obligation: ‘Good Shepherds under Law’’, The Muslim World 106.2 (April 2016), 337-360 View book
  26. ‘New Conversations in Islamic and Christian Political Thought’, coedited with Afifi al-Akiti, The Muslim World 106.2 (April 2016) link, Studies in Christian Ethics 29.2 (May 2016) View book
  27. ‘Conscience’ in Martin Davie et al (eds), New Dictionary of Theology: Historical and Systematic (IVP Academic, 2016) View book
  28. ‘Loyalty, Conscience and Tense Communion: Jonathan Edwards meets Martha Nussbaum’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 27.2 (May 2014), 167-184 View book
  29. ‘What’s Wrong with Compassion? Towards a Political, Philosophical and Theological Context’, Clinical Ethics, 8.4 (December 2013) 91-97 View book
  30. Political Affections: Civic Participation and Moral Theology (OUP, 2013) View book
  31. ‘From a Pinch to an Open Hand: Appeals to the Evolution of Cooperation in Contemporary Political Thought’, Studies in Christian Ethics, 26.2 (2013), 140-151 View book
  32. ‘Families’ in J. Rowe & A. Draycott (ed.), Living Witness: Explorations in Missional Ethics (Apollos, 2012)
  33. ‘Concluding Discussion and Remarks’ with Kimbriel, S., Studies in Christian Ethics, 25.2 (2012), 261-268 View book
  34. One Nation but Two Cities: Christianity and the Conservative Party (Bible Society, 2010)
  35. ‘Justice: Rights and Wrongs – an overview’, Studies in Christian Ethics 23.2 (2010), 118-129 View book

Book Review

  1. Oliver O’Donovan Self World and Time, Eerdmans, 2013, Scottish Journal of Theology 69(2): 221–222 (2016) View review
  2. John Perry, The Pretenses of Loyalty: Locke, Liberal Theory, and American Political Theology, Oxford University Press, 2011, 264pp, Scottish Journal of Theology, 67.2 (May 2014), pp.247-9 View review


  • University of Oxford Knowledge Exchange Fellow 2014-2015
  • British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2015-2016
  • Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund Award 2015-2016 and 2016-2018
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellows Award 2017-2018

Other Information

Joshua is married to Claire and they have two sons. Together they are trustees of RENEW Foundation, a Christian non-governmental organization founded in Oxford which is dedicated to tackling human trafficking and prostitution in the Philippines.

Joshua is a cricket enthusiast and also enjoys running and squash.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also the Faculty of Theology and Religion website.