Prof Joshua Hordern


Joshua Hordern is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics in the Faculty of Theology and Religion and a Governing Body Fellow of Harris Manchester College. 

He read Classics at New College, Oxford before postgraduate study of Theology in Oxford and a doctorate in Edinburgh. After this he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, Associate Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Lecturer at Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity and an elected local authority councillor in Bury St Edmunds.

In Oxford since 2012, Prof Hordern now supervises postgraduate students in the field of Christian Ethics and teaches undergraduate students on courses in Philosophy and Theology, Theology and Religion and Theology and Oriental Studies. He welcomes interest from postgraduate students interested in supervision in relation to his research interests or any other areas of Christian ethics. 

His research interests are in two main areas, healthcare and political theology. 

First, he works in partnership with healthcare researchers, clinicians and institutions, exploring questions concerning the ethos of healthcare, with a particular foci on precision medicine, medical professionalism and the role of compassion in healthcare organisations. 

To this end, he leads the Oxford Healthcare Values Partnership, collaborating closely with cross-disciplinary academic colleagues, the UK Medical Research Council/Cancer UK funded Stratification in Colorectal Cancer Consortium, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine and a number of patient organisations. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians Committee for Ethical Issues in Medicine and co-author of the RCP’s report Advancing Medical Professionalism (2018). 

He is also the Humanities Division academic lead for the Medical Humanities/Humanities and Healthcare programmes and sits on the TORCH management committee. 

Major grants to support these healthcare partnerships have been made by the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Higher Education Innovation Fund and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund. 

Second, he pursues collaborative research in Islamic and Christian political thought, focussing especially on themes of affections, loyalty and conscience. For more detail, please see the two co-edited journal issues of The Muslim World and Studies in Christian Ethics (2016) and his first monograph Political Affections (2013). 

He is a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England which advises the Church of England’s Archbishops, Bishops and Council on Christian Unity. He is also Chair of Trustees for RENEW Foundation which addresses issues of trafficking and prostitution in the Philippines.

Research Area/s

Christian and Religious Ethics

Research Interests

Healthcare, Christian political theology, Islamic political thought, conscience, loyalty, the role of affections in ethics.

External Engagement

Royal College of Physicians Committee for Ethical Issues in Medicine

Church of England Faith and Order Commission

RENEW Foundation


Oxford Healthcare Values Partnership

Twitter: @oxfordhvp

Select Publications