Dr Robert Pope BA, PhD

Reader in Theology and Joint Head of School


Tel: +44 (0) 1570 424780
E-mail: r.pope@tsd.ac.uk

Robert Pope

I currently teach undergraduates on the BA Religious Studies and BA Theology programmes. Alongside this I am programme director of the MTh in Christian Theology and currently supervise a number of research students working on a variety of historical and theological subjects.

As Joint Head of School, I have particular responsibility for the School’s budget and for postgraduate taught programmes, and I represent the Faculty of Humanities on the University’s Special Circumstances Committee and the Validation Sub-Committee.

Having studied at Bangor University and Cambridge University, I was appointed lecturer in Contemporary and Applied Theology at Bangor University in 1997. I moved to the University of Wales: Trinity St David in 2010. Alongside my academic work, I am an ordained minister of the United Reformed Church.

  • Editor of the Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society.

My teaching revolves around the areas of historical theology and the relationship between theology, religion and culture. I teach in Welsh as well as English. Currently I contribute to and coordinate a number of undergraduate modules:

  • TRRS4010 Judaism and Christianity
  • TRRS4007 The Abrahamic Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • TRTR4006 Religion, Culture and Society
  • TRTH4007 Christianity in History
  • TRRS5003 Religion and Film
  • TRRS6010 Fundamentalism
  • TRTH6012 Jesus through Faith and Culture

At Master’s level, I am Programme Director for the MTh in Christian Theology. I also coordinate the following modules:

  • TRDL7035 The Resurrection of Christ and the Christian Hope
  • TRDL7076 The Reformation
  • TRDL7095 The Doctrine of the Trinity
  • TRDL7096 Schleiermacher and the Making of Liberal Theology

I am currently supervising the following research projects as director of studies:

  • ‘Towards a theology of apocalyptic film’
  • ‘The History and Growth of Welsh Nonconformity in London from c.1735’
  • ‘The Concept and Practice of Authority in the United Reformed Church’

My research interests fall into a number of general categories:

  • Historical Theology
  • Nonconformist History and Theology
  • Religion, Theology and Culture

These interests have been pursued in a number of research projects which have resulted in several publications as listed below. I began with am investigation into Welsh Nonconformity and its relationship with the Labour Movement and its development of a Social Gospel.

Since then I have developed an interest in theology and the imagination, primarily associated to date with the debates in religion and film. Most recently I edited a major work, The T & T Clark Companion to Nonconformity which brought together a number of scholars to discuss all aspects of the history and theology of English and Welsh Nonconformists. My current project is to write on the history of ecclesiology.

My expertise falls into the following categories:

  • English and Welsh Nonconformity, its history and theology
  • Christianity in Wales since the Reformation
  • Religion, theology and culture, especially theology and film
  • Religious Experience
  • Religious Fundamentalism
  • Theology and the imagination
  • History of Christianity, its institutions and its thought
  • Reformed theology

Public engagement:

My researches over 20 years have resulted in the recognition of an expertise in Nonconformity and in Theology and aspects of contemporary culture. I have addressed both specialist and non-specialist audiences on these issues including the following:

1. Conference on the life and contribution of D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Wycliffe Hall Oxford, 16-18 December 2010 on ‘Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Fundamentalist?’ The audience comprised academics and interested lay people.

2. Conference on the Free Churches and Society, Luther King House, Manchester, 11-13 January 2011 on ‘Congregation and Community’. This took the form of a consultation between academic contributors as well as church-based social workers and interested lay people.

3. Undeb Athrofa’r Bala, Llandudno 3 May 2011, on ‘A Oes Dyfodol i Werthoedd Ymneilltuaeth?’ (‘Is there a Future for the Values of Nonconformity?’). The audience comprised ministers and lay people from the Welsh Nonconformist denominations.

4. I addressed the United Reformed Church National Synod of Wales on ‘1662’ (the ‘Great Ejectment’ and its meaning for contemporary ‘Nonconformists’) on 10 March 2012.

5. I addressed the Christian History Forum at the Gladstone Library on 26 March 2012 on ‘Writing Nonconformist History’. This is a gathering of academics and interested lay people.

6. I will give a lecture ‘On Nonconformity and Toleration: 1662 and All That’ to the Cardiff Adult Christian Education Centre in September 2012.

7. CWM Consultation, Sharing the Gospel in our Postmodern Contexts, Luther King House, Manchester, 7-9 March 2011 on ‘Christians in the Public Space’. The audience comprised representatives (lay and ordained) from CWM’s constituent denominations.

8. I addressed the Ministers’ Summer School of the West Midlands Synod, United Reformed Church, 13-16 June 2011 on ‘Theology and Film’.

9. I addressed a gathering at the Carlton Hotel, Edinburgh, on 10 June 2011 on ‘The Future of Theological Education’.

10. I spoke on the radio in October 2011 in a series called ‘Rebels Cymreig’ (‘Welsh Rebels’) on T. E. Nicholas, Glais. (He was a prominent Nonconformist minister who was also a Socialist.) I also spoke on a programme called ‘9/11 Ysgwyd y Byd’ (‘9/11 Shaking the World’) in September 2011.

11. I edit The Welsh Journal of Religious History which seeks to publish academic papers for an academic and a non-professional readership. (I have also contributed much to the publication over the years.)

12. I am the editor of The Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society, a denominational journal which, again, seeks to bring academic work to a wider, non-professional readership.

  • Salvation in Celluloid: Theology, Imagination and Film (London: T & T Clark – Continuum, 2007).
  • Lloffion ym Maes Crefydd: Diwinyddiaeth y Byd Cyfoes (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007).
  • Emerging Church: Congregation or Aberration? The Congregational Lecture, 2007, (London: The Congregational Memorial hall Trust (1978), 2007).
  • Codi Muriau Dinas Duw: Anghydffurfwyr ac Anghydffurfiaeth Cymru’r Ugeinfed Ganrif (Bangor: Centre for the Advanced Study of Religion in Wales, 2005).
  • Seeking God’s Kingdom: The Nonconformist Social Gospel in Wales 1906-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1999).
  • Building Jerusalem: Nonconformity, Labour and the Social Question in Wales 1906-1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998).

Edited Books

  • R. Tudur Jones, Congregationalism in Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004).
  • R. Tudur Jones, Faith and the Crisis of a Nation: Wales 1890-1914 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2004).
  • Honouring the Past and Shaping the Future: Religious and Biblical Studies in Wales: Essays in Honour of Gareth Lloyd Jones (Leominster: Gracewing, 2003).
  • Religion and National Identity: Scotland and Wales c.1700-2000 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2001).
  • T & T Clark Companion to Nonconformity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).

Chapters in Books

  • ‘The Nonconformist Conscience’, in Robert Pope (ed.), T & T Clark Companion to Nonconformity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 437-58.
  • ‘Nonconformists and the Holy Spirit: A Dogmatic Overview’, in Robert Pope (ed.), T & T Clark Companion to Nonconformity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 213-34.
  • ‘Congregations and Community’, in Paul H. Ballard and Lesley Husselbee (eds), The Free Churches and Society (London: Continuum, 2012), pp. 23-43.
  • ‘Y Methodistiaid a Chymdeithas’, yn John Gwynfor Jones (gol.), Hanes Methodistiaeth Calfinaidd Cymru III: Y Twf a’r Cadarnhau (c.1814-1914) (Caernarfon: Gwasg Pantycelyn, 2011), 351-421.
  • ‘Lloyd-Jones and Fundamentalism’, in Andrew Atherstone and David Ceri Jones (eds), Engaging with Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Life and Legacy of ‘the Doctor’ (Leicester: Apollos, 2011), 197-219.
  • ‘Christ and Caesar?: Welsh Nonconformists and the State, 1914-1918’, in Matthew Cragoe and Chris Williams (eds), Wales and War: Society, Politics and Religion in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), pp.165-183.