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Dr Gavin Hyman

Senior Lecturer

Gavin Hyman

Lancaster University

County South



Office Hours:


Mondays 4:30-5:30pm  (online via Teams)

Wednesdays 11:30am-12:30pm (in person County South B 35)

Research overview

Continental philosophy and religious thought, especially debates in contemporary theology between 'radical orthodoxy' and 'secular theology'; the dialectical tradition in philosophy and theology (Hegel and post-Hegelian thinkers such as Gillian Rose, Charles Taylor, Rowan Williams and Slavoj Zizek); religion and psychoanalytic thought (especially in the work of Freud and Michel de Certeau); religion and political thought, particularly the origins and development of the Christian Socialist tradition; the philosophical and cultural history of atheism and secularism; contemporary debates on the nature of atheism and secularism.

PhD supervision

Gavin Hyman welcomes research proposals in the following areas, broadly conceived: Christian studies: theological, philosophical and historical approaches; Philosophy and religious thought; Postmodernism, theology and ethics; Continental philosophy; Religion and Psychoanalytic Thought.



M.A. (Exon.),  Ph.D. (Cantab.)

Personal and Career details

Gavin Hyman is a specialist in continental philosophy and religious thought, and has written widely in this area. His publications include The Predicament of Postmodern Theology (2001), New Directions in Philosophical Theology (ed., 2004), A Short History of Atheism (2010), Traversing the Middle: Ethics, Poiltics, Religion (2013) and Agnosticism: Explorations in Philosophy and Religious Thought (ed. with Francis Fallon, 2020).  He was born in 1974, and has taught at Lancaster since 1999.

Current Teaching


PHIL 100:  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality (section on 'Continental Philosophy')

PPR 257:  Philosophers on Religion

PPR 351:  Modern Religious and Atheistic Thought

PPR 477:  Religion and Psychonalytic Thought

Research Interests

Gavin Hyman's research explores the implications of contemporary continental philosophy and cultural theory for religious thought, and, conversely, explores the ways in which theology both contributes to and calls into question contemporary philosophical and cultural assumptions.His first book, The Predicament of Postmodern Theology (2001) explored the relationship between two antithetical forms of postmodern theology: 'radical orthodoxy' and 'nihilist textualism'. It also raised the scaffolding for a form of religious reflection which avoids both the absolutism of radical orthodoxy on the one hand and the relativism of nihilist textualism on the other.

Subsequently, he extended these explorations into the ethical and political arenas, resulting in a book entitled Traversing the Middle: Ethics, Politics, Religion (2013).  It engages with the work of those who have called for the “return of the metanarrative” or insisted on the necessity of the domain of the “universal” on specifically ethical and political grounds.  Negotiating between post-secular "univeralism" and postmodern "particularism", the book argues that the ethical and political are best preserved and perpetuated through the negotiating of an ongoing tension between the domains of the universal, the particular and the singular.  To proceed thus would be to traverse the terrain of the middle—ethically, politically and religiously.

He has also developed research interests in the cultural and philosophical history of atheism, agnosticism and secularism. In particular, he is interested in the epistemological shifts that created the conditions for the emergence of atheism, agnosticism and secularism in the early modern period. He is also interested in exposing the hidden philosophical (and often religious) presuppositions underlying contemporary manifestations of atheism. He has contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, written A Short History of Atheism (2010) and co-edited Confronting Secularism in Europe and India (2014) and Agnosticism: Explorations in Philosophy and Religious Thought (2020).

He is currently writing a book on the French thinker Michel de Certeau (1925-86), exploring the implications of his work for philosophy and religious thought.


  • Published

    Atheism and Postmodern Philosophies

    Hyman, G., 30/09/2021, The Cambridge History of Atheism. Bullivant, S. & Ruse, M. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 632-646 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

  • Published

    Hegel, Wittgenstein, and the Question of Agnosticism

    Hyman, G., 5/11/2020, Agnosticism: Explorations in Philosophy and Religious Thought. Fallon, F. & Hyman, G. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 140-162 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

  • Published


    Fallon, F. & Hyman, G., 5/11/2020, Agnosticism: Explorations in Philosophy and Religious Thought. Fallon, F. & Hyman, G. (eds.). Oxford University Press, p. 1-28 28 p.

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

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