Dr Ben Fulford

Deputy Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology

I am a systematic and historical theologian excited by the tasks of exploring, understanding, furthering and repairing traditions of Christian theological reflection on beliefs, texts, institutions and practices. I research topics in theological anthropology and the theology of marriage, postliberal theology, the theological interpretation of the Bible, and the Cappadocian Fathers. My current project examines Hans Frei’s theology and social ethics.

Telephone 01244 511033
Email b.fulford@chester.ac.uk


MA (Cantab), DipThRS (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Cantab), FHEA.


My initial training was in history, at the University of Cambridge, where I was awarded the Alan Coulson Prize (for dissertations on Commonwealth History). A historical sensibility still informs my outlook and interests. I returned to Cambridge in 2001 to study theology at postgraduate level, and in 2007 I completed a doctoral thesis on the theology of Scripture, drawing on the theologies Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei. Bringing ancient and modern texts and ideas into conversation remains a strong area of interest for me in relation to a variety of topics in contemporary theology.

After completing the thesis, I was appointed to the post of Tutor in Theology at St John’s College, Nottingham. There I taught broad spectrum of topics in Christian doctrine and historical theology to people preparing for ministry. I joined the staff at the University of Chester in January 2012 where I teach subjects in systematic and historical theology, seeking to enable others to explore Christian theology for themselves and to enthuse them to engage its challenges and its potential.

I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Study of Theology.


Undergraduate Modules

  • Introduction to Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Great Theological Thinkers


Postgraduate Modules

  • Key Theological Texts
  • The Theological Interpretation of Christian Scripture


Research Interests

  • Hans Frei and postliberal theologies

  • Gregory of Nazianzus and the Cappadocian Fathers

  • Human vulnerability, fragile goods and the Christian life

  • The theology of marriage and human sexuality

  • The theological interpretation of Scripture

  • Trinitarian theology and Christology

  • Patristic exegesis

PhD (and DProf) supervision

  • [As is]

External funding

  • AHRC doctoral award (2004)

Elsewhere on the web


Chester Repository


Introduction to the theology of Hans W. Frei, St John’s Faith and Modernity Timeline

Published work


Forthcoming God’s Patience and our Work: Hans Frei on Freedom and Modern Theology. Contracted to Fortress Press.
2013 Divine Eloquence and Human Transformation: Rethinking Scripture and History through Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, July 2013.


 Other Select Publications

2016 ‘Light and darkness, Christianity’ Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception  vol. 15. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Forthcoming.
2016 Thinking about marriage with Scripture’, in J. Bradbury & S. Cornwall (eds.), Thinking again about marriage, London: SCM Press, 44-61.
2012 ‘Gregory of Nazianzus and Biblical Interpretation’, in Beeley, C. ed., Re-Reading Gregory of Nazianzus, Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 31-48.
2011 ‘Divine Names and the Embodied Intellect: Imagination and Sanctification in Gregory of Nazianzus’ account of Theological Language’, Studia Patristica 50 (2011), 217-231.
2010 Feeding and Forming the People of God: the Lord, his Supper and the Church in Calvin and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34’, in Greggs, T., ed., New Perspectives for Evangelical Theology: Engaging with God, Scripture and the World, London: Routledge, 2010, 93-107.

''One Commixture of Light': Rethinking some modern uses and critiques of Gregory of Nazianzus on the unity and equality of the divine persons', International Journal of Systematic Theology, vol. 11:2 (2009), pp. 172-189.


‘An Igbo Esperanto: A History of the Union Ibo Bible 1900-1950’, Journal of Religion in Africa 32:4 (2002), 457-501.