Research Students

The Centre for the Study of World Christianity offers supervised research degrees at the Masters and PhD levels. For more information, please see the University website.

The Centre attracts a diverse body of students from many different countries and religious traditions. Our students come from Cameroon, China, Ghana, India, Iran, South Korea, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, the USA, and, of course, the UK.

Selection of Current PhD Students

Sara AfshariSara Afshari (Iran)
I investigate the interactions and negotiations between practices of meaning making and mediation, and the process of faith transformation in the area of Reception Theory against the background of the sociology of religion in contemporary Iran, involving 200 narrated stories from Farsi Christian satellite TV channels. I investigate the motivation of the audience who have become Christian and examine other factors that influenced their interpretation of religious messages and their process of making decisions in changing or adding to their belief system.
Jeffrey Cannon Jeffrey Cannon (USA)
My thesis looks at attitudes within the Church of Scotland toward race and colonialism in Africa. Using images in church-produced magazines, newspapers, and other media, I examine both official and unofficial discourses within the church regarding South African apartheid and the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
Stephen DonohoStephen Donoho (USA)
My main research interest is the history of English-language writing about East Asia, ‘Formosa’ (Taiwan) in particular. My PhD thesis contrasts the way that Presbyterian missionaries in early Japanese-ruled Taiwan portrayed the anti-Japanese insurgency in two of their periodicals, the Monthly Messenger of the Presbyterian Church of England and the Tâi-lâm-hú-siâⁿ Kàu-hōe-pò.
Tore JohnsenTore Johnsen (Norway)
My research involves a qualitative insider’s study of Northern Sami popular Christianity (Norway). The aim is to generate resources for the construction of cosmologically-oriented Christian theology with relevancy to wider Christian discourse. The analysis of the Sami material is informed by perspectives from Native American and African theologies. Indigenous methodology is employed in the study’s methodological framework.
Elizabeth MarteijnElizabeth Marteijn (the Netherlands)
The question at the core of my thesis is how theology and context influence each other within the Palestinian Christian community. I am interested in employing a combination of theology and ethnography to explore the complex intersection between theology, tradition, politics, interreligious encounter and how Palestinian Christians negotiate these multiple factors.
Wilson McMahonWilson McMahon (Northern Ireland, UK)
The location of my research is the southern Philippine island of Mindanao and my research thesis is an analysis of how the Bible is conceptualized and interpreted by Manobo Christians.
Andrew OngAndrew Ong (USA)
My research analyses the various concerns and theological conversations that have arisen amongst contemporary Chinese American evangelicals. It further considers the merits of Amos Yong’s Pentecostalism as a resource for Chinese American evangelicals, before arguing for the merits of Neo-Calvinism as a possible complementary or supplementary resource for engaging in a contextualised Chinese American evangelical theology.
Dhinakaran R. J. Prasad PhillipsDhinakaran R. J. Prasad Phillips (India)
My research evaluates contemporary Protestant mission to children at risk (CAR) in south India and develops foundations and principles for future Christian practice with CAR. I am interested in identifying existing Protestant mission models and their underlying motivations to CAR, and theologically evaluating their possible intersections between the ideas of ‘saving’ CAR and protecting the rights of CAR.
Daniel QinDaniel Qin (China)
My research is on the theological evolution of contemporary Chinese Protestant Christianity. It consists of case studies on selected church figures’ theologies, and the social context as the background will be investigated. The research aims to explore selected church figures’ dominant theological concerns over time and to what extent and in what ways have they addressed the contemporary social context.
Allie SchwaarAllie Schwarr (UK)
My research investigates the origins and increase of cultural diversity in a historic, international, evangelical mission agency, SIM, focusing on the issues and challenges of this diversity, and seeking to measure the extent to which increased cultural diversity has become a source of strength as the organisation has responded to these challenges. My research will consider to what extent SIM’s pursuit of an ethos of diversity was innovative, and in what ways this was representative of existing trends.
Hoon SongHoon Song (South Korea)
My research is on forgiveness and reconciliation in post-war Korea. It consists of a critical analysis of two different theological approaches of South Korean Protestant churches toward the unification of Korea (c. 1972-2010) and an investigation into an alternative and constructive theology toward peace and reconciliation in the Korean peninsula, borrowing theological and therapeutic ideas pertaining to healing memories and forgiveness. This study, I hope, would constitute a small step made by Christians of the world towards peacebuilding in Northeast Asia.

Selection of recently completed PhDs