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‘By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established’  Proverbs 24:3

Cranmer Hall, St John’s College,

3 South Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ

Dr Samuel Tranter

Sam is Director of Postgraduate Studies and Lecturer in Doctrine and Ethics at Cranmer Hall, having joined the team in the summer of 2020. Within this role, he is responsible for overseeing the Durham MA in Theology and Ministry and (with Prof Pete Ward) co-directing the Durham Doctor of Theology and Ministry programme.

His research, supervision, and teaching are in the areas of doctrinal, moral/political, and practical/pastoral theology – often at the interfaces of these disciplines, and always as they are informed by Scripture and tradition, and the practice of the Christian life.

In terms of background, Sam is Lancastrian (so too in sporting allegiances, come rain or shine – or more rain), but comes from a mission and ministry family and spent much of his childhood in Asia (Bhutan and Indonesia) and around the UK. He came to a personal response to God’s gentle, persistent call as a teenager following a period of serious illness and some months in hospital.

Sam studied for his first degrees in theology in Aberdeen, where he also met his wife, Alex McKay, who at that time discovered a vocation in work with adults with learning disabilities. A little later Sam came to Durham to undertake AHRC-funded doctoral research, which eventuated in the publication of a book based on the thesis, entitled Oliver O’Donovan’s Moral Theology: Tensions and Triumphs (London/New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2020). Sam and Alex have two daughters, Aithne and Edith.

Sam’s first steps in teaching, during doctoral studies, were in the North East, at Lindisfarne College of Theology; more recently he taught at St Hild College, Yorkshire. In between, Sam and his family spent a year in Southeast Asia, where he was Lecturer in Theology and Pastoral Tutor at an Anglican/ecumenical theological college.

You can find out more about Sam’s academic work by checking out an issue of the journal Studies in Christian Ethics he edited, on the theme ‘Apocalyptic Theology and Christian Ethics’. Or by reading an earlier piece of work, the co-authored article ‘Ethnography, Ecclesiology, and the Ethics of Everyday Life: A Conversation with the Work of Michael Banner’, Ecclesial Practices 5 (2018): 157–71.

Sam has reviewed books for journals including Studies in Christian Ethics, Anglican Theological Review, Irish Theological Quarterly, The Expository Times, Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology, and Reviews in Religion and Theology. His current research and writing focuses on three main areas: (1) the different aspects of Christian hope; (2) the question of the nature of consolation – and dangers of false consolation; and (3) a contemporary rendering of the fruit of the Spirit, as compelling forms of freedom.

Sam is an Honorary Fellow of Durham’s Department of Theology and Religion, member of Durham’s Michael Ramsey Centre for Anglican Studies, and served from 2019–21 on the Committee of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, as Conference Secretary.

He can be contacted at samuel.tranter@durham.ac.uk

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