Professor Simeon Zahl

University Positions
Professor of Christian Theology
Specialising in
Christian Theology

Simeon Zahl is Professor of Christian Theology in the Faculty of Divinity. Professor Zahl’s recent research has focused on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit (culminating in the publication of The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience [OUP] in 2020), the contributions to theology of affect theory and cognitive science, the place of experience and emotion in Christian religious life, and the theological legacy of the Protestant Reformation. He is working on a new book on the theology of sin and its contemporary relevance. 

Academic interests

Simeon Zahl’s academic interests include: 

  • Theologies of the Holy Spirit
  • Religious experience, emotion, and embodiment
  • Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon
  • Theology and mental health
  • Sin and fallenness
  • Theologies of salvation.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Harvard.
  • PhD, Cantab.


I received my first degree in History and Literature from Harvard and my doctorate in Theology and Religious Studies from Cambridge. Before taking up my present appointment in 2018, I was a Junior Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, and then Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Nottingham. 

From 2018-2022 I was Principal Investigator on the project Affect and Knowledge-Production in Theology and Religious Studies, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. 

Other interests

Architecture, running.

Publications, links and resources


  • Zahl, S. (2020) The Holy Spirit and Christian Experience, Oxford University Press.
  • Zahl, S. (2010) Pneumatology and Theology of the Cross in the Preaching of Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, T&T Clark/Continuum.

Articles and book chapters

  • Zahl, S. (2021) ‘Beyond the Critique of Soteriological Individualism: Relationality and Social Cognition’, Modern Theology 37(2), 336-361.
  • Zahl, S. (2020) ‘Sin and Bodily Illness in the Psalms’, Horizons in Biblical Theology 42(2), 186-207.
  • Zahl, S. (2020) ‘Incongruous Grace as Pattern of Experience’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 22(1), 60-76.
  • Zahl, S. (2019) ‘Non-Competitive Agency and Luther’s Experiential Argument Against Virtue’, Modern Theology 35(2), 199-222.
  • Zahl, S. (2019) ‘Engineering Desire: Biotechnological Enhancement as Theological Problem’, Studies in Christian Ethics 32(2), 216-228.
  • Zahl, S. (2018) ‘Tradition and its “Use”: The Ethics of Theological Retrieval’, Scottish Journal of Theology 71(3), 308-323.
  • Zahl, S. (2018) ‘Revisiting the “Nature of Protestantism”: Justification by Faith Five Hundred Years On’, New Blackfriars 99(1080), 129-146.
  • Zahl, S. (2017) ‘Experience’, in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century Christian Thought, Oxford University Press, 177-195.
  • Zahl, S. (2016) ‘The Bondage of the Affections: Willing, Feeling, and Desiring in Luther’s Theology, 1513-25’ in The Spirit, Affectivity, and the Christian Tradition. University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Zahl, S. (2015) ‘On the Affective Salience of Doctrines’, Modern Theology 31(3), 428-444.
  • Zahl, S. (2014) ‘The Drama of Agency: Affective Augustinianism and Galatians’ in Galatians and Christian Theology, Baker Academic, 335-352.
  • Zahl, S. (2013) ‘Atonement’ in The Oxford Handbook of Theology and Modern European Thought, Oxford University Press, 611-632.
  • Zahl, S. (2010) 'Rethinking “Enthusiasm”: Christoph Blumhardt on the Discernment of the Spirit’, International Journal of Systematic Theology 12(3), 341-363.

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