Research Fellows

Dr Joshua Cockayne is currently working on the philosophy of corporate worship. He is writing about the role of the community in our knowledge and experience of God, our ability to engage with God and the way we understand the actions of the Church. He is also writing a book on Søren Kierkegaard and the spiritual life. 

Joshua completed his PhD in 2016 in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York. His research focused on the spiritual life and the writings of Kierkegaard. Prior to coming to St. Andrews, he worked as an associate lecturer in Philosophy at the University of York.

Joshua has published on Kierkegaard, the philosophy of spiritual practice and Christian spirituality. He was awarded the Religious Studies essay prize twice, in 2014 and 2015.

His recent publications include:

  1. ‘Analytic Ecclesiology: The Social Ontology of the Church’, Journal of Analytic Theology, forthcoming.
  2. ‘Common Ritual Knoweldge’, Faith and and Philosophy, 2019, Vol 36.1
  3. ‘Praying Together: Corporate Prayer and Shared Situations’ (with Gideon Salter) Zygon, forthcoming.
  4. ‘Common Worship’ (with David Efird), Faith and Philosophy, 2018, Vol 35.3, pp. 299-325.
  5. ‘Communal Knowledge and the Beatific Vision’, TheoLogica, 2018, Vol 2.2.
  6. ‘Inclusive Worship and Group Liturgical Action’, Res Philosophica, Vol 95.3, pp. 449-476.
  7. ‘Philosophy and Liturgy Part I: Liturgy and Philosophy of Action’ Philosophy Compass, Volume 13, Issue 10
  8. ‘Philosophy of Liturgy Part 2: Liturgy and Epistemology’ Philosophy Compass, Volume 13, Issue 10
  9. ‘Imitation and contemporaneity: Kierkegaard on the imitation of Christ’, The Heythrop Journal, forthcoming.
  10. ‘Prayer as God-knowledge (via self)’, Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook, forthcoming
  11. ‘The Dark Knight of the Soul: Weaning and the problem of divine withdrawal’ Religious Studies, forthcoming
  12. ‘Experiencing the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist’, Journal of Analytic Theology, forthcoming (Co-authored with David Efird, Gordon Haynes, August Ludwigs, Daniel Molto, Richard Tamburro and Jack Warman)
  13. ‘Contemporaneity and Communion: Kierkegaard on the personal presence of Christ’ British Journal for the History of Philosophy, vol. 25.1, pp. 41-62
  14. ‘The Imitation Game: Becoming Imitators of Christ’ Religious Studies, vol. 53.1, pp. 3-24
  15. ‘Empathy and Divine Union in Kierkegaard: Solving the faith/history problem in Philosophical FragmentsReligious Studies, vol. 51.4, pp. 455-76

Christa L. McKirland’s research revolves around theological anthropology. Currently, she is developing a Pneumatologically-Christocentric anthropology based upon the significance and uniqueness of a fundamental human need for intentional dependence upon the divine presence. She plans to complete her Ph.D. in analytic and exegetical theology fall of 2018. Before attending the University of St Andrews, she completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Georgia, studying Philosophy and Women’s Studies. She then earned her Master of Arts at Biola University in Bible Exposition before pursuing a Master of Theology in Systematic Theology at the same institution.

She is the Director of Logia, a new initiative aimed at supporting women who are considering pursuing postgraduate studies in a Divinity-related discipline, or who are already studying or teaching at this level. Logia hopes to increase the visibility of women in the Academy and the Church so that women’s voices may be more valued in these contexts.

Her Academic publications include:

  1. Christa L. McKirland. “Era of Kings: Huldah: Malfunction with the Wardrobe-Keeper’s Wife,” in Vindicating the Vixens: Men and Women Revisiting Gendered Bible Stories, edited by Sandra Glahn. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2017.
  2. Christa L. McKirland.Review, “Sexual Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God.” Journal of Psychology and Theology(Spring 2016).
  3. Christa L. McKirland.Review, “Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God.”
  4. Priscilla Papers, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Autumn, 2015), 27-29.
  5. Christa McKirland and Matthew McKirland. “Who’s in Charge? Questioning our Common.
  6. Assumptions about Spiritual Authority.” PriscillaPapers, Vol. 27, Issue 1 (Winter, 2013): 15-25.

Non-Academic publication:

  1. Christa L. McKirland. “The Image of God: An Inclusive Invitation,” Gendercide: 200
  2. Million Missing Girls: How Will the Church Respond? Sept-Oct, 2017, Mission Frontiers.


Dr. R.T. Mullins specializes in philosophical theology. Currently, he is working on a book manuscript on God and emotion. He has previously published on topics such as models of God, the philosophy of time, theological anthropology, the Trinity, the Incarnation, disability theology, and the problem of evil. His book, The End of the Timeless God,  was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press. He has previously held research and teaching fellowships at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cambridge. When not engaging in philosophical theology, he is often found at a metal show.

His recent publications include:

  1. “Flourishing in the Spirit: Distinguishing Incarnation and Indwelling for Theological Anthropology,” with Joanna Leidenhag, in eds. Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders, The Christian Doctrine of Humanity (Zondervan, 2018).
  2. “Identity through Time, Anthropology, and Salvation,” in eds. Marc Cortez, Joshua Farris, and S. Mark Hamilton, Being Saved: Explorations in Soteriology and Human Ontology (SCM Press, 2018).
  3. “Hypertime and Forgiveness,” Association for the Philosophy of Judaism Symposia (January, 2018).
  4. “Why Can’t the Impassible God Suffer? Reflections on Divine Blessedness,”TheoLogica 2 (2018).
  5. “Hasker on the Divine Processions of the Trinitarian Persons,” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (2017).
  6. “Physicalist Christology and the Two Sons Worry” in eds. R. Keith Loftin and Joshua Farris, Christian Physicalism? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Dr Jonathan Rutledge’s current projects primarily revolve around questions concerning the atonement and the epistemology of theology. Among the topics he is exploring are the development of a sacrificial explanation of the atonement, the implausibility of locating a strongly retributivist ethical commitment in scripture and bringing the work of contemporary analytic epistemology into conversation with mainstream theology.

He received his PhD in philosophy at the University of Oklahoma (2016) under Linda Zagzebski for his work on skeptical theism as a response to the argument from suffering and received a PhD in theology at the University of St Andrews (2018) under Alan Torrance for his work on the nature of forgiveness and divine-human reconciliation.

His recent publications include:

  1.  “Analyzing the Muddles of ‘Analysis’: (Some of) What Analytic Theologians Can Learn  from the History of Analytic Feminism,Modern Theology (forthcoming).
  2. “Tempering the Cosmic Scope Problem for Christian Soteriology: Hylemorphic Animalism and Gregory of Nazianzus,” Religious Studies (forthcoming).
  3. “Perspectival Skeptical Theism,” Faith and Philosophy (forthcoming).
  4. “Purgatory, Hypertime and Temporal Experience,” Journal of Analytic Theology(forthcoming).
  5. “Retributivism Rejected: A Restorative Hope for Justice in the Age to Come,” in Being Saved: Explorations in Soteriology and Human Ontology,edited by Marc Cortez, Joshua Farris, and Mark Hamilton (London: SCM Press, forthcoming).
  6. “Original Sin, the Fall, and Epistemic Self-Trust,” TheoLogica(forthcoming).
  7. “Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Different Sorts of Closure of Inquiry Defeat,” Faith and Philosophy1 (2017): 17-32.
  8. “Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism & Epistemic Propriety,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion3 (2017): 263-272.
  9. “The Parent Analogy: A Reassessment,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming)
  10. “An Epistemological Corrective for Doctrines of Assurance,” European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2017): 163-177.
  11. Review of Locating Atonement, edited by Oliver Crisp & Fred Sanders (Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies)
  12. Review of The Problem of Evil, by Peter van Inwagen (Gifford Lecture Book Review)
  13. Review of Exemplarist Moral Theory, by Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (Gifford Lecture Book Review)