Professor John McDowell BD(Hons), PhD

Academic Dean, Lecturer in Philosophy, Systematic Theology, and Moral Theology

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John C. McDowell is the Associate Dean at YTU, and is Professor of Philosophy, Systematic Theology & Moral Theology.  He was formerly Academic Dean at SAC; Director of Research at the University of Divinity; the Morpeth Chair in Theology & Religion at the University of Newcastle, NSW; and the Meldrum Lecturer in Systematic Theology at the University of Edinburgh.  Educated at the Universities of Cambridge (PhD) and Aberdeen (BD Hons), John currently teaches Atheism, Philosophy for Beginners, Liberating Mission: When Gospel Meets Culture, Objections to Christian Belief, and The Neighbour: Towards a Philosophy & Theology of Hospitality.  

Research Interests  John’s research interests coalesce around questions concerning the nature and shape of hope, and they have resulted in publications on a range of perspectives and issues, for instance: the theology of Karl Barth; the neoliberal reconfiguration of higher education; violent subjectivity in popular film; and the place of the ‘tragic vision’ in hope.      Among his most recent publications are:   

·       Theology and the Globalized Present:  Feasting in the Presence of God (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2019). 

·       With Scott Kirkland, Eschatology:  Christian Hope, Guides to Theology (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2018).  

·       The Gospel According to Star Wars:  Faith, Hope and the Force,
2nd edn. (Louisville, Kentucky:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2017). 

·       Identity Politics in George Lucas (Jefferson, NC:  McFarland Press, 2016). 

·       The Politics of Big Fantasy:  Studies in Cultural Suspicion (Jefferson, NC:  McFarland Press, 2014). 

·       (ed.) ‘Hope in Dark Times’, Religions special issue (2019-20),

·       (ed.) ‘Engaging Karl Barth’, Journal Special Issue Colloquium 50.1 (2018). 

·       (co-ed.) Kenotic Ecclesiology:  Select Writings of Donald M. MacKinnon, edited by John C. McDowell, Ashley Moyse, and Scott Kirkland (eds.) (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2016).  

·       (co-ed.) Correlating Sobernost:  Conversations Between Karl Barth and the Russian Orthodox Tradition, edited by John C. McDowell, Ashley Moyse, and Scott Kirkland (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2016).  

Latest News & Events

Semester 2 – starts Monday 29th July 2024

Most classes commence the week starting 29th July 2024. We are looking forward to welcoming our new and current students back with both Face to Face and Online classes. Please do not hesitate to contact one of the staff below, if you have any questions.Coursework...

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Student results for S1 – Released Friday 12th July

The University of Divinity is due to release the Student results for Semester 1 on Friday 12th July 2024.You can view your results by accessing Paradigm with your student log on details. Go to on Paradigm (at top of the screen)Type in your...

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Study Atheism in Semester 2

credit: peshkov Bigstockphoto.comAtheism: Varieties of Belief, Disbelief, Unbelief Starts: Monday 29th July 2024Time: 6.00 – 9.00 pmLocation:  Box Hill   (Blended class) Email: with your interest or questions.  Disbelief in God is a complex matter, but...

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Brotherhood Cup Soccer tournament

Once again, the YTU team travelled to Salesian College in Chadstone for the annual “Brotherhood Cup” Soccer tournament, which was held on Saturday 12th May. They fought hard all day with grit and determination and ended in second place. Congratulations to the...

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