Professor Nigel Biggar

Theology and Religion
Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology


BA (Oxford); Master of Christian Studies (Regent College, Vancouver); MA, PhD
(University of Chicago)

Academic Background

After reading Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford, Nigel Biggar proceeded to study religion, theology, and ethics in Canada and the USA. On his return to Oxford in 1985 he became Librarian and Research Fellow at Latimer House, and then for most of the 1990s he was Chaplain and Fellow of Oriel College. In 1999 he took the Chair of Theology at the University of Leeds; and in 2004 he moved to the Chair of Theology and Ethics at Trinity College Dublin. He arrived in Christ Church in the autumn of 2007.

Undergraduate Teaching

The Architecture of a Christian Ethic; Topics in Medical, Sexual, and Political Ethics

Research Interests

The ethics of empire and nationalism; ethics and rights; ‘just war’ reasoning; the principle of double effect and the ethics of killing; the concept of proportionality; the moral vocation of universities; and the relationship between (Christian) religious concepts and moral life.

Publications include

What’s Wrong with Rights? (Oxford, 2020)

Between Kin and Cosmopolis: An Ethic of the Nation (James Clarke, 2014)

In Defence of War (Oxford, 2013, 2014)

Behaving in Public: How to Do Christian Ethics (Eerdmans, 2011)

Religious Voices in Public Places (Oxford, 2009) (co-ed.)

Aiming to Kill: the Ethics of Suicide and Euthanasia. London (Darton, Longman, and Todd, 2004)

Burying the Past: Making Peace and Doing Justice after Civil Conflict (Georgetown University Press, 2003) (ed.)

"Proportionality: Lessons from the Somme”, Soundings,101/3 (2018)

“Compromise: What Makes it Bad?”, Studies in Christian Ethics, 31.1 (February 2018)

“Rhodes, Race, and the Abuse of History”, Standpoint (March 2016)

“Imprudent Jurisprudence? Human Rights and Moral Contingency”, Journal of Law and Religion, 30/3 (October 2015)

“Why Religion Deserves a Place in Secular Medicine”, Journal of Medical Ethics, 40/6 (June 2014)

“Christian ‘Just War’ Reasoning and Two Cases of Rebellion: Ireland, 1916-21, and Syria, 2011-present”, Ethics and International Affairs, 27/4 (Winter 2013)


Reading history, playing cards, making pilgrimage to military cemeteries