Dr Jonathan Birch

  • Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies (Theology & Religious Studies)
  • Tutor - Lifelong Learning (External Relations)

email: Jonathan.Birch@glasgow.ac.uk

Room 303 (1/1), No. 4 The Square, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8qq

Import to contacts

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6424-6232

Biography

Jonathan Birch is an intellectual historian who works at the intersection of religion and philosophy in European thought and culture. With an academic background in philosophy (BA Hons, MA), and the New Testament and its early modern reception (PhD), his primary research interest is the relationship between biblical hermeneutics and modern philosophy during the intellectual and cultural ferment of the European Enlightenment.
 
Jonathan graduated with his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2013 and has held a number of posts in Theology and Religious Studies at the university since then. He teaches across a wide range of courses in the discipline, at different academic levels, from access to postgraduate. By vocational training, Jonathan is a teacher (PGCE, QTS), and this remains his first love. With twenty years of experience, Jonathan has taught thousands of students in the United Kingdom, beginning in his native Yorkshire, from very diverse backgrounds. In parallel to his work as an academic, Jonathan has worked in widening participation and lifelong learning at Glasgow for fifteen years and is committed to supporting students - from atypical educational backgrounds - to access higher education. 
 
As an assessment professional with over twenty years of experience, Jonathan has maintained professional ties to the main educational systems in England, Wales, and North Ireland. He has served as a senior GCSE examiner in religious studies, principal A-Level philosophy examiner and lead assessment writer; he is currently chief A-Level philosophy examiner. 

Research interests

  • The early modern reception of the Bible (especially philosophical)
  • Religion, irreligion and the Enlightenment
  • The philosophy of religion
  • The relationship between religion and science
  • The modern reception of medieval theology and philosophy 
  • Historical Jesus studies

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2009
Number of items: 23.

2024

Birch, J. (2024) Narrating the Origins of the Quest: The Historical Jesus in Early Modern Cultural Complexity. Lexington Books/Fortress Academic: Minneapolis. (In Press)

2023

Birch, J. C.P. (2023) Let in the light: learning to read St. Augustine’s confessions. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, (doi: 10.1080/1474225X.2023.2246292)[Book Review] (Early Online Publication)

Birch, J. C.P. (2023) Science and Religion in Western Literature. Expository Times, 134(11), pp. 497-499. (doi: 10.1177/00145246231181774)[Book Review]

2022

Birch, J. C.P. (2022) The theological house that Jack (un)built: Halberstam on an aesthetics of collapse and mushrooms among the ruin. Theology in Scotland, 29(2), pp. 60-73. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i2.2525)

Birch, J. C.P. (2022) Three Lions, divine comedy and making Jews count: Baddiel and Skinner, then and now. Theology in Scotland, 29(2), pp. 74-91. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i2.2526)

Birch, J. C. P. (2022) Imagining the Gifford Lectures: 134 not out. Theology in Scotland, 29(1), pp. 55-71. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i1.2433)

2021

Birch, J. C.P. (2021) Review essay: When the dancing turned to mourning: Theological responses to the pandemic. Theology in Scotland, 28(1), pp. 62-80. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v28i1.2186)

Birch, J. (2021) Robert R. Beck: Jesus and His Enemies: Narrative Conflict in the Four Gospels: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017. Pp. x, 237. Pb. £29.99: ISBN 978-1-62698-243-7. Modern Believing, 62(3), pp. 286-288. (doi: 10.3828/mb.2021.18)[Book Review]

2020

Birch, J. C.P. (2020) Review essay: To Hell and back with David Bentley Hart. Theology in Scotland, 27(2), pp. 61-74. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v27i2.2140)

Birch, J. (2020) Genesis and Cosmos: Basil and Origen on Genesis 1 and Cosmology, Adam Rasmussen: BAC 14; Leiden: Brill, 2019, 978-90-04-39692-0, €121.00, 210 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 42(5), p. 128. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X20928853)[Book Review]

Birch, J. (2020) History and Eschatology: Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology. The 2018 Gifford Lectures, N.T. Wright: Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019, 978-1-4813-0962-2, $34.75, xxi + 343 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 42(5), pp. 11-12. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X20928815)[Book Review]

2019

Birch, J. C.P. (2019) Revolutionary contexts for the quest: Jesus in the rhetoric and methods of Early Modern intellectual history. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, 17(1-2), pp. 35-80. (doi: 10.1163/17455197-01701005)

Birch, J. C.P. (2019) Jesus in an Age of Enlightenment: Radical Gospels from Thomas Hobbes to Thomas Jefferson. Series: Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World. Palgrave Macmillan: London. ISBN 9781137512758 (doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-51276-5)

2018

Birch, J. (2018) A History of Biblical Interpretation. III. The Enlightenment through the Nineteenth Century, Alan J. Hauser & Duane F. Watson, eds.: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2017, 978-0-8028-4275-6, $60.00, xii + 428 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 40(5), p. 148. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X18777156)[Book Review]

Birch, J. C.P. (2018) Reimarus and the religious Enlightenment: his apologetic project. Expository Times, 129(6), pp. 245-253. (doi: 10.1177/0014524617744991)

2015

Birch, J. (2015) Gospel narratives, miracles, and the ‘critical’ reader: the eclipse of the supernatural. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 5(1), pp. 61-93.

Birch, J. C. P. (2015) Andrew Davison, The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy for Theologians (London: SCM Press, 2013), pp. xvii + 310. £25.00. Theology in Scotland, 22(2), pp. 78-82. [Book Review]

Birch, J. C. P. (2015) John Hughes, ed., The Unknown God: Responses to the New Atheists (London: SCM Press, 2013), pp. xiv + 106. £12.99. Theology in Scotland, 22(2), pp. 71-75. [Book Review]

2014

Birch, J. (2014) Cracking the canon: John Toland, "lost" gospels and the challenge to religious hegemony. In: Adam, A.K.M. and Tongue, S. (eds.) Looking Through a Glass Bible: Post Disciplinary Interpretations from the Glasgow School. Series: Biblical interpretation series, 125. Brill: Leiden, pp. 85-112. ISBN 9789004259072 (doi: 10.1163/9789004259096_006)

2013

Birch, J. C.P. (2013) Review of: Filip Ivanović (ed.), Dionysius the Areopagite Between Orthodoxy and Heresy (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011). International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, 7(2), pp. 237-240. (doi: 10.1163/18725473-12341266)[Book Review]

2011

Birch, J. (2011) The road to Reimarus: origins of the quest for the historical Jesus. In: Whitelam, K. W. (ed.) Holy Land as Homeland? Models for Constructing the Historic Landscapes of Jesus. Series: Social world of biblical antiquity (7). Phoenix Press: Sheffield, pp. 19-47. ISBN 9781907534324

Birch, J. C.P. (2011) Review of: Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of Nature: The Re-Enchantment of the World in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, by Avihu Zakai. Reformation and Renaissance Review, 13(1), pp. 133-136. (doi: 10.1558/rrr.v13i1.133)[Book Review]

2009

Birch, J. C.P. (2009) Review of: God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, by James Hannam. Reformation and Renaissance Review, 11(2), pp. 235-237. (doi: 10.1558/rrr.v11i2.235)[Book Review]

This list was generated on Fri Jun 21 13:21:58 2024 BST.
Number of items: 23.

Articles

Birch, J. C.P. (2022) The theological house that Jack (un)built: Halberstam on an aesthetics of collapse and mushrooms among the ruin. Theology in Scotland, 29(2), pp. 60-73. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i2.2525)

Birch, J. C.P. (2022) Three Lions, divine comedy and making Jews count: Baddiel and Skinner, then and now. Theology in Scotland, 29(2), pp. 74-91. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i2.2526)

Birch, J. C. P. (2022) Imagining the Gifford Lectures: 134 not out. Theology in Scotland, 29(1), pp. 55-71. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v29i1.2433)

Birch, J. C.P. (2021) Review essay: When the dancing turned to mourning: Theological responses to the pandemic. Theology in Scotland, 28(1), pp. 62-80. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v28i1.2186)

Birch, J. C.P. (2020) Review essay: To Hell and back with David Bentley Hart. Theology in Scotland, 27(2), pp. 61-74. (doi: 10.15664/tis.v27i2.2140)

Birch, J. C.P. (2019) Revolutionary contexts for the quest: Jesus in the rhetoric and methods of Early Modern intellectual history. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, 17(1-2), pp. 35-80. (doi: 10.1163/17455197-01701005)

Birch, J. C.P. (2018) Reimarus and the religious Enlightenment: his apologetic project. Expository Times, 129(6), pp. 245-253. (doi: 10.1177/0014524617744991)

Birch, J. (2015) Gospel narratives, miracles, and the ‘critical’ reader: the eclipse of the supernatural. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 5(1), pp. 61-93.

Books

Birch, J. (2024) Narrating the Origins of the Quest: The Historical Jesus in Early Modern Cultural Complexity. Lexington Books/Fortress Academic: Minneapolis. (In Press)

Birch, J. C.P. (2019) Jesus in an Age of Enlightenment: Radical Gospels from Thomas Hobbes to Thomas Jefferson. Series: Christianities in the Trans-Atlantic World. Palgrave Macmillan: London. ISBN 9781137512758 (doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-51276-5)

Book Sections

Birch, J. (2014) Cracking the canon: John Toland, "lost" gospels and the challenge to religious hegemony. In: Adam, A.K.M. and Tongue, S. (eds.) Looking Through a Glass Bible: Post Disciplinary Interpretations from the Glasgow School. Series: Biblical interpretation series, 125. Brill: Leiden, pp. 85-112. ISBN 9789004259072 (doi: 10.1163/9789004259096_006)

Birch, J. (2011) The road to Reimarus: origins of the quest for the historical Jesus. In: Whitelam, K. W. (ed.) Holy Land as Homeland? Models for Constructing the Historic Landscapes of Jesus. Series: Social world of biblical antiquity (7). Phoenix Press: Sheffield, pp. 19-47. ISBN 9781907534324

Book Reviews

Birch, J. C.P. (2023) Let in the light: learning to read St. Augustine’s confessions. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, (doi: 10.1080/1474225X.2023.2246292)[Book Review] (Early Online Publication)

Birch, J. C.P. (2023) Science and Religion in Western Literature. Expository Times, 134(11), pp. 497-499. (doi: 10.1177/00145246231181774)[Book Review]

Birch, J. (2021) Robert R. Beck: Jesus and His Enemies: Narrative Conflict in the Four Gospels: Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2017. Pp. x, 237. Pb. £29.99: ISBN 978-1-62698-243-7. Modern Believing, 62(3), pp. 286-288. (doi: 10.3828/mb.2021.18)[Book Review]

Birch, J. (2020) Genesis and Cosmos: Basil and Origen on Genesis 1 and Cosmology, Adam Rasmussen: BAC 14; Leiden: Brill, 2019, 978-90-04-39692-0, €121.00, 210 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 42(5), p. 128. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X20928853)[Book Review]

Birch, J. (2020) History and Eschatology: Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology. The 2018 Gifford Lectures, N.T. Wright: Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019, 978-1-4813-0962-2, $34.75, xxi + 343 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 42(5), pp. 11-12. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X20928815)[Book Review]

Birch, J. (2018) A History of Biblical Interpretation. III. The Enlightenment through the Nineteenth Century, Alan J. Hauser & Duane F. Watson, eds.: Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2017, 978-0-8028-4275-6, $60.00, xii + 428 hb. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 40(5), p. 148. (doi: 10.1177/0142064X18777156)[Book Review]

Birch, J. C. P. (2015) Andrew Davison, The Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy for Theologians (London: SCM Press, 2013), pp. xvii + 310. £25.00. Theology in Scotland, 22(2), pp. 78-82. [Book Review]

Birch, J. C. P. (2015) John Hughes, ed., The Unknown God: Responses to the New Atheists (London: SCM Press, 2013), pp. xiv + 106. £12.99. Theology in Scotland, 22(2), pp. 71-75. [Book Review]

Birch, J. C.P. (2013) Review of: Filip Ivanović (ed.), Dionysius the Areopagite Between Orthodoxy and Heresy (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011). International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, 7(2), pp. 237-240. (doi: 10.1163/18725473-12341266)[Book Review]

Birch, J. C.P. (2011) Review of: Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of Nature: The Re-Enchantment of the World in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, by Avihu Zakai. Reformation and Renaissance Review, 13(1), pp. 133-136. (doi: 10.1558/rrr.v13i1.133)[Book Review]

Birch, J. C.P. (2009) Review of: God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, by James Hannam. Reformation and Renaissance Review, 11(2), pp. 235-237. (doi: 10.1558/rrr.v11i2.235)[Book Review]

This list was generated on Fri Jun 21 13:21:58 2024 BST.

Supervision

I would be interested in supervising post-graduate students in the following areas: 

  • The early modern reception of the Bible (from apologetic to hostile perspectives and everything in between)
  • Religion and irreligion in the Enlightenment
  • The philosophy of religion
  • The relationship between religion and science
  • Historical Jesus studies
  • Mutch, Emma
    Digito Dei: An Argument for a Catholic Theology of Science
  • Rogers, Caleb
    Human Freedom and Submission in Jonathan Edwards

I am currently supervising doctoral students in the following areas:

 

  • A Roman Catholic critique of methodological naturalism 
  • The Bible and the transatlantic slave trade 
  • Modern science and scriptural authority: a comparison of Christian and Islamic approaches 
  • The epistemology of religious experience 

Teaching

Of courses that are still offered at the university I have convened and/or contributed to teaching the following:

 

  • TRS1: The God Question: Exploring Christianity
  • TRS1: The Search for Meaning: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • TRS1: Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible
  • TRS 2: Christian Traditions and Transformations
  • TRS 2: Mysticism and Spirituality
  • TRS 2: Texts and Cultures of the Bible
  • TRS 4: New Testament Texts (with Greek as an option): The Gospel and Letters of John
  • TRS 4: New Testament Themes and Topics (with Greek as an option): Ethics and Politics
  • TRS 4: Historical Jesus (with Greek as an option)
  • TRS 4: Doctrine of God
  • TRS 4: Political Theology
  • TRS 5: Religion and Violence
  • TRS 5: Church History and Theology
  • TRS 5: Dr. Williams MTH: Bible, Doctrine, and Freedom of Interpretation