Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Brian McKinlay

Proposed Title

Unity and Conflict on Rowan Williams's Theology of Church


The Church has known tension between identity and difference since its beginnings, with frequent disagreement and conflict. The motivation for this research is the question: How is conflict in the church to be understood theologically? Rowan Williams's concept is that conflict and difference are constitutive of the Church's unity, theologically and historically. This research will examine the intellectual environment in which Williams has generated his complex ideas about conflict, unity and solidarity, formulate a synthesis of his ecclesial vision, engage with criticisms and alternative proposals, and consider some implications of Williams's concept for the theology of church and its role in the wider society.

Why I chose CSU

I took up theological study after retirement from long career as a research librarian. Having completed honours and masters, specializing in systematic theology, I am pleased to be able to work on a research task of great interest to me. 


  • Participant in the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network
  • Member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools


Ludwig Wittgenstein in Rowan Williams's Theological Account of Language, New Blackfriars (2017, in press) doi 10.1111/nbfr.12225.

Revelation in Nicolas Berdyaev's Religious Philosophy,Open Theology 3 (2017): 117–133. doi 10.1515/opth-2017-0009.

Public Theology's Contribution to the Debate on Climate Change. Uniting Church Studies 20, no. 1 (2014):61-81.