Modern Church publications

Modern Church produces a range of publications to help you keep up to date with contemporary thought in liberal theology, including:

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Modern Believing online

Accessing Modern Believing online for Modern Church members

On the Modern Church website we publish the editorial from each quarterly issue, plus abstracts from each article and a list of books reviewed and received. This is available to all.

You can find the journal in full on the Liverpool University Press (LUP) website. This is usually only available to Modern Church members.

How do I join?

If you have not previously registered on the LUP website please follow the steps below to activate your online access:
  1. Visit
  2. At the top right of the page, above the banner, click 'Register'.
  3. Provide your information in all the required registration fields. Please use the email address you provided when you joined Modern Church.
  4. Once all required data is provided, click 'Submit' to create your account.
  5. You will be directed to a screen that allows you to sign in to your account and gives you the option to reset your password.
  6. An e-mail will be sent to you asking you to confirm your email address. When you confirm your email address you will be directed to a page that confirms that your registration is complete and you will automatically be logged in.
  7. Once logged in to the LUP website, you will be able to access Modern Believing. You can either search for 'Modern Believing or go to

If you experience any trouble logging into your account, registering, or accessing the journal please do not hesitate to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Modern Believing - an invitation to authors

Publishing in Modern Believing

The Editor invites contributions from authors. Modern Believing publishes articles in theology and related disciplines to promote theological liberalism.

Modern Believing has a century long record of contributions from church leaders, established theologians, and newly-emerging theological minds. It is committed to high academic standards and to high accessibility, and it values each equally. It seeks to promote a critical, creative and constructive spirit in theological enquiry. It provides opportunities for new voices in the Academy and in the Church to become heard.

Peer Review Criteria

Articles are peer reviewed against three criteria:

  • the promotion of liberal theology in the Church and in the Academy;
  • originality and academic integrity; and
  • accessibility to its readers in academic and church life, and beyond.


LENGTH: Articles should not exceed 3,500 words. Exceptionally and by agreement with the Editor an article may be up to 5,000 words.

ABSTRACT: The article should be preceded by an abstract of not more than 100 words,  printed in italics.

KEYWORDS: The article should also be preceded by a list of keywords, up to a maximum of 12,  in capital letters and alphabetical order.  Abstracts and keywords will facilitate electronic searches and increase the on-line readership of the article.

LANGUAGE: Inclusive language must be used. In order to increase accessibility, a clear, simple style of writing should be attempted, and technical words avoided or explained.

ORIGINALITY: Only articles that have not previously appeared or been presented concurrently elsewhere will be considered for publication. The Editor welcomes responses to articles previously published in Modern Believing.

THE REVIEW PROCESS: The article will be peer reviewed, by one or two reviewers and by the Editor.  Authors should omit references to themselves within the article so that the process of review can be undertaken anonymously.

BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT: The article should be accompanied by a short 'bio', up to a maximum  of 25 words. If accepted for publication, the statement will appear at the end of the article.

AUTHOR'S POSTAL ADDRESS: Authors receive two copies of the edition in which their article appears.  These are sent to the postal address which should be included in the bio.

Preparation of Files

TITLE: The author's name should be omitted  (to enable review to be anonymous).

PARAGRAPHS: The first line of each paragraph should be indented by 1 centimetre.  There should be one line space between paragraphs.

SUB-HEADINGS: In addition to the title, up to three levels of headings may be used.

BIBLICAL QUOTATIONS: The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) are preferred.

Both are readily available on-line:

ABBREVIATIONS OF BIBLICAL BOOKS: Abbreviations should follow the form given in the Revised Standard Version.

PROOF-READING: The text of the article and the accuracy of the references should be very carefully  checked prior to presentation.

Text Style

Spelling: UK English

Quotations: Single quotation marks, with double quotation marks for quotes-within-quotes. Quotations of four or more lines to be indented left and right without quotation marks and in a font size less than the body text.

Punctuation: UK style, for example:

  • Commas and full points outside brackets or quotation marks (as here), rather than the US practice of putting them inside (as here.) (The exception is that when the bracket or quotation contains a full sentence, then the closing full point does come inside, as here.)
  • In a list of words or phrases separated by commas, there is no comma before the final item if it is preceded by the word ‘and’.

Initials: Followed with a full point when in people’s names, as in J. Smith, but generally without full points, as in USA, BCE.

Footnote references: These should come after any punctuation that follows the referenced word, i.e. like this,3 not like this3.

Numerals up to twenty normally to be in words; above that in digits.


All citations in the text are given using endnotes. Initial references to a work should be in full, according to this format:

Peter Harrison, The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 4.

All subsequent citations to that work should use the shorter form, ie:

Harrison, p. 5.


Editorial Policy

REVIEWS: The Editor will invite members of the Editorial Board, or members of an independent panel  of reviewers, to review articles presented for publication. The process of review will be conducted  as speedily as possible, but no guarantee can be given about the length of time required.

REVISIONS: If reviewers recommend revisions prior to publication, the Editor will forward  the recommendations to the author so that the revisions may be made.

REJECTIONS: The Editor may give reasons for rejecting a manuscript but is under no obligation  to do so. The Editor's decision is final.

LOSS OF FILES: The Editor accepts no responsibility for the loss of files. Authors are therefore advised to keep at least one copy of their file.

AMENDMENTS: The Editor reserves the right to shorten, and to make editorial amendments to,  any article prior to publication.

GUARANTEE OF PUBLICATION: The Editor cannot guarantee a date for the publication of an article that has been accepted.


Authors will be asked to sign Liverpool University Press' Assignment of Copyright form, which you can download here.

Modern Believing - contact details

Articles and letters to the Editor:

Dr Steven Shakespeare
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Books for review:

The Revd Canon Dr Michael Brierley
The Chapter Office
8 College Yard
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Enquiries about subscriptions, Modern Church membership and all business correspondence:

Please contact the Modern Church office.

All other correspondence:

Dr Katherine Sarah Moody, Assistant Editor
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Modern Believing editorial board

The current members of the Modern Believing editorial board are:

j barton

John Barton

Revd Professor John Barton is Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture in the University of Oxford, where he has been throughout his academic career. He specializes in the study of the Old Testament, with an emphasis on ethics, prophecy and canon, and on biblical hermeneutics. He was ordained in the Church of England and assists in the parish of Abingdon, where he lives.

m chapman

Mark Chapman

Mark Chapman is vice-principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford, Reader in Modern Theology at the University of Oxford and Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University. He is also assistant curate in Garsington, Cuddesdon and Horspath and a clergy representative for General Synod. His many books include Anglican Theology (T & T Clark, 2012) and Doing God: Religion and Public Policy in Brown's Britain (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2008).

s cornwall2

Susannah Cornwall

Susannah Cornwall is Advanced Research Fellow at the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter. Her research focuses on contextual theologies, particularly those relating to sex, gender and sexuality. She also has interests in disability, homelessness, contextual Bible study, postcolonial theologies, queer theologies, and theologies of art.

d dormor

Duncan Dormor

The Revd Duncan J. Dormor is President and Dean of Chapel at St John's College, Cambridge where he teaches sociology of religion in the University. He is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, its Mission and Public Affairs Council and the Anglican-Roman Catholic committee, and has written primarily in the area of sexual ethics.

lj francis

Leslie J Francis

Revd Canon Professor Leslie J. Francis is Professor of Religions and Education and Director of the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, and Canon Treasurer and Canon Theologian at Bangor Cathedral. He holds visiting chairs at York St John University and Glyndwr University. His research interests are in religious education, practical, pastoral and empirical theology, and the psychology of religion.

p freston

Paul Freston

Paul Freston is a sociologist of religion. A naturalized Brazilian of British origin, most of his research has been in the area of Latin American religion. He currently holds the CIGI Chair in Religion and Politics in Global Context at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, and is professor of sociology on the post-graduate programme in sociology at the Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil.

e graham

Elaine Graham

Elaine Graham is the Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology at the University of Chester and was, until October 2009, the Samuel Ferguson Professor of Social and Pastoral Theology at the University of Manchester.   Her main research interests are in practical theology, theology and public life and media, culture and religion. She is currently writing a book on public theology and Christian apologetics.

ha hartley

Helen-Ann Hartley

Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley was appointed as Bishop of Ripon in the Diocese of Leeds in 2018. Formerly, she was the Bishop of Waikato, New Zealand, Tutor in New Testament Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and was involved in the training and formation of ordinands and teaching in the University of Oxford.

t hughson

Thomas Hughson

Revd D. Thomas Hughson SJ is Associate Professor Emeritus of Theology at Marquette University. He specializes in the social context of Catholic systematic theology.

a linzey

Andrew Linzey

The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey is a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford, and Honorary Research Fellow of St Stephen's House, Oxford. He is also Honorary Professor at the University of Winchester, Special Professor at Saint Xavier University, Chicago, and the first Professor of Animal Ethics at the Graduate Theological Foundation, Indiana.

d macculloch

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Diarmaid MacCulloch, DD, FBA, is Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford, TV presenter and author. His History of Christianity: the first three thousand years won the 2010 Cundill Prize, the world's largest prize for history. He was knighted in the New Year's Honours List of 2012.

g newlands

George Newlands

George Newlands is Professor Emeritus of Divinity in the University of Glasgow, a Fellow of the School of Divinity, Edinburgh and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and President of the Society for the Study of Theology (2013-14). His research interests are in theology and human rights.


Martyn Percy

Revd Canon Professor Martyn Percy is Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford.

s pickard

Stephen Pickard

Rt Revd Dr Stephen Pickard is Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn, and Associate Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University, Australia. He has spent two decades in theological education teaching systematics and ecclesiology. He is the author of Seeking the Church: An Introduction to Ecclesiology (SCM 2012) and Deputy Chair of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.

j tengatenga

James Tengatenga

The Rt Revd James Tengatenga is a former Bishop of Southern Malawi and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Anglicanism at the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee.


Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

The Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes is Rector of the Team Parish of St Luke in the City in the Diocese of Liverpool. Formerly she was Vicar of Belmont & Pittington in the Diocese of Durham. She is an Honorary Fellow of Durham University where she was previously Chaplain & Solway Fellow. A historian before ordination, her academic interests lie in the history of theology and the social, economic and cultural history of religion. She also has an interest in feminist theology and issues surrounding the ordination of women.

k ward

Keith Ward

Keith Ward is at present Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, London. He was formerly Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, and before that Dean of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Canon and Emeritus Student of Christ Church, Oxford. He has written a number of books, including a five-volume Comparative Theology (each volume entitled 'Religion and...'), and books on philosophy, ethics, and issues in science and religion.

l woodhead

Linda Woodhead

Linda Woodhead is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University and President of Modern Church. Her main interest is in documenting and analysing religious change in modern societies, relating it to wider social changes, and thinking through practical and political implications. She has carried out empirical research in Britain, the USA, India and parts of Europe,   and written about Christianity, spirituality, neo-Hinduism and Islam in Europe.