Dr Gavin HymanSenior Lecturer
M.A. (Exon.), Ph.D. (Cantab.)
Personal and Career details
Gavin Hyman was born in 1974 and educated at Rougemont School, the University of Exeter and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Since 1999, he has taught at the University of Lancaster and is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. He is a specialist in continental philosophy and religious thought, and has published widely in this area. He serves on the departmental Management Committee as Deputy Head of Department and Director of Human Resources, and, beyond the department, he is the University Public Orator. He has also been a Visiting Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford.
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.
More recently, he has extended these explorations into the ethical and political arenas, and has recently published 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. They have argued that the psotmodern trajectory has led to a debilitating impasse when faced with the contemporary hegemony of global capitalism. Through detailed engagements with the work of Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek and John Milbank—as well as discussions of the work of Simon Critchley, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri—the book argues that many contemporary thinkers merely invert the problems intrinsic to postmodernism and therefore do not effectively escape them. It 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 and secularism. In particular, he is interested in the epistemological shifts that created the conditions for the emergence of atheism 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, has written A Short History of Atheism (2010) and has co-edited Confronting Secularism in Europe and India (2014).
The Predicament of Postmodern Theology: Radical Orthodoxy or Nihilist Textualism? (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001). 198pp.
(ed.), New Directions in Philosophical Theology: Essays in Honour of Don Cupitt (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). 200pp.
A Short History of Atheism (London: I. B. Tauris, 2010). 212 pp. Turkish translation, 2011. 208pp.
Traversing the Middle: Ethics, Politics, Religion (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013). 209pp.
(co-ed. with Brian Black and Graham M. Smith), Confronting Secularism in Europe and India: Legitimacy and Disenchantment in Contemporary Times (London: Bloomsbury, 2014). 208pp.
Articles have appeared in Theology, New Blackfriars, The Heythrop Journal, Literature and Theology, Modern Believing, The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Theology Today and Approaching Religion. Essays have also appeared in a number of edited volumes, such as The Future of Liberal Theology, edited by Mark Chapman, The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Martin and The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion, edited by Clayton Crockett, B. Keith Putt and Jeffrey W. Robbins.
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 Interests
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.
Žižek’s Hegel: a review essay
Hyman, G. 10/2014 In: ID: International Dialogue, A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs. 4, p. 4-15. 12 p.
'Between justice and my mother': reflections on and between Levinas and Zizek
Hyman, G. 2014 In: The future of continental philosophy of religion. Bloomington : Indiana University Press p. 154-166. 13 p. ISBN: 9780253013835. Electronic ISBN: 9780253013934.
Confronting secularism in Europe and India: legitimacy and disenchantment in contemporary times
Black, B., Hyman, G., Smith, G.M. 2014 London : Bloomsbury. 224 p. ISBN: 9781780935065. Electronic ISBN: 9781780937311.
Traversing the middle: a reply to Joshua Davis, Peter Escalante, Vincent Lloyd, and Marcus Pound
Hyman, G. 2014 In: Syndicate. Eugene, OR : Cascade p. 71-78. 8 p. ISBN: 9781498208765.
Understanding secularism by means of genealogy
Hyman, G. 2014 In: Confronting secularism in Europe and India. London : Bloomsbury p. 61-75. 15 p. ISBN: 9781780935065. Electronic ISBN: 9781780937311.
Traversing the middle: ethics, politics, religion
Hyman, G. 2013 Eugene, OR : Cascade. ISBN: 9781610974479.
Dialectics or Politics? Atheism and the Return to Religion
Hyman, G. 06/2012 In: Approaching Religion. 2, 1, p. 66-74. 9 p.
A review essay of William L. Sachs, 'Homosexuality and the Crisis of Anglicanism'
Hyman, G. 2011 In: Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. 11, 2, p. 240-254. 15 p.
Review Essay of William L. Sachs' Homosexuality and the Crisis of Anglicanism
Hyman, G. 2011 In: Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. 11, 2, p. 240-254. 15 p.
A Short History of Atheism.
Hyman, G. 2010 London : I B Tauris. 240 p. ISBN: 9781848851375.
Hyman, G. 2009 In: Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. Berlin : Verlag Walter de Gruyter ISBN: 9783110199048 9783110183559 9783110183702.
Postmodern theology and modern liberalism: reconsidering the relationship
Hyman, G. 2009 In: Theology Today. 65, 4, p. 35-49. 15 p.
Augustine on the 'Nihil': an interrogation
Hyman, G. 2008 In: Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. n/a, 9.1, p. 35-49. 15 p.
Hyman, G. 2008 In: Diálogo interreligioso : el problema de su base común. Bogota´ : Editorial Universidad del Rosario p. 8-10. 3 p. ISBN: 9789588298948 9588298946.
Religion and Psychoanalytic Thought: A Contemporary Re-Evaluation.
Hyman, G. 2008 In: Theology. 111, p. 3-11. 9 p.
Must a post-metaphysical Political Theology repudiate Transcendence? The Case of Gianni Vattimo: A review essay of Gianni Vattimo, Nihilism, and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, Law
Hyman, G. 2007 In: Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. 8, 3, p. 124-134. 11 p.
Atheism in modern history
Hyman, G. 2006 In: The Cambridge companion to atheism. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press p. 27-46. 20 p. ISBN: 9780521842709 0521842700 9780521603676 0521603676.
The Study of Religion and the Return of Theology.
Hyman, G.L. 1/01/2004 In: Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 72, 1, p. 195-219. 25 p.
Disinterestedness: The Idol of Modernity.
Hyman, G. 2004 In: New Directions in Philosophical Theology: Essays in Honour of Don Cupitt. Ashgate 200 p. ISBN: 0754650618.
New directions in philosophical theology : essays in honour of Don Cupitt.
Hyman, G.(. 2004 Aldershot : Ashgate. 200 p. ISBN: 0754650618.
Radical Orthodoxy, Ethics and Ambivalence.
Hyman, G.L. 1/04/2002 In: Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory. 3, 2
Postmodern theology : the apotheosis or scourge of Liberalism?
Hyman, G. 2002 In: The future of liberal theology. Aldershot : Ashgate p. 191-207. 17 p. ISBN: 0754606864 9780754606864.
Religious language in everyday speech : a response to Don Cupitt.
Hyman, G.L. 01/2001 In: Modern Believing. 42, 1, p. 24-30. 7 p.
Hyman, G. 2001 In: The Blackwell companion to postmodern theology. Oxford : Blackwell p. 192-193. 2 p. ISBN: 0631212175 1405127198.
Hyman, G.L. 2001 In: Blackwell companion to postmodern theology. Oxford : Blackwell p. 192-193. 2 p. ISBN: 0631212175 1405127198.
Hyman, G.L. 2001 In: Concise encyclopedia of language and religion. Amsterdam : Pergamon/Elsevier p. 308-310. 3 p. ISBN: 0080431674.
The Predicament of Postmodern Theology Radical Orthodoxy or Nihilist Textualism?
Hyman, G.L. 2001 Louisville, Kentucky : Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN: 0-664-22366-4.
F. W. J. Schelling.
Hyman, G. 2000 In: Metzler Lexikon christlicher Denker : 700 Autorinnen und Autoren von den Anfängen des Christentums bis zur Gegenwart. Stuttgart : Verlag J. B. Metzler p. 605-608. 4 p. ISBN: 3476017060 9783476017062.
John Milbank and Nihilism : a metaphysical (mis)reading?
Hyman, G.L. 2000 In: Literature and Theology. 14, 4, p. 430-443. 14 p.
D. Z. Phillips : the elusive philosopher.
Hyman, G. 1999 In: Theology. 102, p. 271-278. 8 p.
Hick and Loughlin on Disputes and Frameworks.
Hyman, G. 1998 In: New Blackfriars. 79, 931, p. 391-405. 15 p.
Towards a New Religious Dialogue: Buddhism and Postmodern Theology.
Hyman, G.L. 1998 In: Heythrop Journal. 39, 4, p. 394-412. 19 p.