Martyn Percy

Dean of Christ Church

Degree: BA, M.Ed, PhD

College: Christ Church

Research Areas: Sociology of Religion.

Email: Martyn Percy

Tel.: 01865 276161

Office: Christ Church

Further Links: College profile

The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, BA M.Ed PhD is the 45th Dean of Christ Church. Educated at the Universities of Bristol, Durham, London (King’s) and Sheffield, he trained for ordination after a career in publishing, serving as curate of St Andrew’s Bedford from 1990-94. He was Chaplain and Director of Theology and Religious Studies, at Christ’s College, Cambridge from 1994-97, and from 1997-2004, Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute for the Study of Religion and Society.

In 2004 he was appointed as Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon. The College developed to become one of the largest Anglican ordination training centres in the country. Martyn is a member of the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University, Professor of Theological Education at King’s College London and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London.

Martyn has undertaken a number of roles in public life, serving as a Director of the Advertising Standards Authority, and as an Adjudicator for the Portman Group (the self-regulating body for the alcoholic drinks industry). He is currently a member of the British Academy Steering Group on 'The Future of the Corporation' as well as an Advisor to the British Board of Film Classification.

Martyn writes and teaches on modern ecclesiology. His most recent books include The Future Shapes of Anglicanism: Charts, Currents, Contours (Routledge), and Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion (Ashgate).

My research consists of three interrelated strands: Practical/Pastoral Theology; Modern Ecclesiology; and Christianity and Contemporary Culture. My doctoral research was concerned with power and authority in modern ecclesial contexts, focussing on the dynamics of charisma leadership. The work drew on anthropology, sociology and theology and primarily focussed on contemporary fundamentalism and revivalism, developing a framework to enable a richer understanding of the conflation between divine and human power (i.e., leadership) that occurs in churches and contemporary Christian movements.

On completion and publication, the insights were extended into mainstream ecclesiology, exploring issues of leadership and authority in polity and praxis. My current research engages in the study of organisation (leadership, etc. – planned monograph with Brill Publishing) and institutions, ecclesiology, social theory and theology, and the parameters of contemporary religion.

In 2003, I formed an International Study Group – the Study of Anglicanism Programme at the American Academy of Religion. The programme was established in 2002, and draws upon Anglican scholars throughout the world. My current research students work on Christianity within contemporary culture, writing on the leadership of institutions and their formation, pastoral and practical theology, theology, anthropology and sociology, and analysing aspects of modern ecclesiology (e.g., congregational studies, ongoing research and writing on Anglican polity, etc.). My work has been the subject of a symposium in the USA and now a subsequent book (Reasonable Radical? Reading Martyn Percy, Wipf & Stock Publishing, 2017, edited by Ian Markham, and with contributors from social sciences, theology, etc.).

Professor Percy currently acts as a supervisor and examiner for students at the doctoral level, as well as contributing to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Theology and Religion, Social Sciences and the MBA programme in the Saïd Business School.

In addition, Professor Percy is a Visiting Professor at the Values Studies Institute at the University of Winchester, and a Founding Fellow of the Centre for Theologically Engaged Anthropology at the University of Georgia. He has taught courses at the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester, has participated as an Examiner (internal or external) in nearly 70 doctoral-level Viva Voce examinations, and has served as an Examiner and Moderator for several programmes at a number of universities.


1. Authored Books:

1996 Words, Wonders and Power: Understanding Contemporary Christian Fundamentalism and Revivalism, SPCK, [pb]

1998 Power and the Church: Ecclesiology in an Age of Transition, Cassell, [hb &pb]

2002 Salt of the Earth: Religious Resilience in a Secular Age, Sheffield Academic Press and T&T Clark, [hb & pb] (*Reissued in Bloomsbury Academic Collection, 2016)

2005 Engaging with Contemporary Culture: Christianity, Theology and the Concrete Church, Ashgate, [hb & pb]

2006 Clergy: The Origins of the Species, T&T Clark International, [hb & pb]

2010 Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology, Ashgate, [hb & pb]

2012 The Ecclesial Canopy: Faith, Hope, Charity, Ashgate, [hb & pb]

2013 Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion, Ashgate, [hb & pb]

2013 Thirty-Nine New Articles: An Anglican Landscape of Faith, Canterbury-SCM, [pb]

2017 The Future Shapes of Anglicanism: Charts, Currents, Contours, Routledge, [hb]

2. Edited and Co-Authored Books:

1997 Intimate Affairs: Spirituality & Sexuality in Perspective, DLT, [pb]

2000 Previous Convictions: Studies in Religious Conversion, SPCK, [pb]

2000 Managing the Church? Order and Organisation in a Secular Age, (with G.R. Evans), Sheffield Academic Press/T&T Clark International, [hb]

2000 Calling Time: Religion, Society and Change at the Turn of the Millennium, Sheffield Academic Press/T&T Clark International, [hb] (*Reissued in Bloomsbury Academic Collection, 2016)

2001 Restoring the Image: Essays in Honour of David Martin (with A. Walker), Sheffield Academic Press/T&T Clark International, [hb]

2001 Darkness Yielding, (with Rowan Williams et al), Cairns Publishing, [pb]

2009 Darkness Yielding (Third Edition, Revised), SCM-Canterbury Press, [pb]

2002 Fundamentalism, Church and Society, (with I. Jones), SPCK, [pb]

2004 The Character of Wisdom: Essays for Wesley Carr (with S. Lowe), Ashgate [hb & pb]

2005 Why Liberal Churches are Growing, (with I. Markham), T&T Clark, [hb & pb]

2008 Evaluating Fresh Expressions, (with L. Nelstrop), SCM-Canterbury [pb]

2010 Christ and Culture: Essays After Lambeth, (with I. Markham et al), Canterbury, [pb]

2010 Transfiguring Episcope: Women, Church, Leadership, (with C. Rees), Canterbury, [pb]

2012 A Point of Balance, (with R. Slocum), Canterbury, [pb]

2014 The Bright Field, (with Rowan Williams, Sam Wells, et al), Canterbury [pb]

2014 The Wisdom of the Spirit: Gospel, Church & Culture, (with Peter Ward), Ashgate, [hb]

2015 The Curate’s Survival Guide (with Matthew Caminer & Beau Stevenson), SPCK [pb]

2015 Oxford Handbook of Anglican Studies, (edited with Mark Chapman and Sathi Clarke), Oxford University Press, [hb & pb]

2017 Untamed Gospel: Poems, Prose and Protests (title TBC; with Jim Cotter et al), Canterbury Press [pb]

2017 Clergy, Culture and Ministry The dynamics of Roles and Relations in Church and Society, by Ian Tomlinson, SCM Press (ed. M. Percy)

2018 SPCK Handbook (Study of Ministry), (edited with Ian Markham & Emma Percy), SPCK [hb & pb] (forthcoming)

3. Edited Works – Selected Contributions:

  • Wide range of articles and chapters in international encyclopaedias.
  • ‘Falling Far Short: Taking Sin Seriously’ in Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics, eds. R. Harries & S. Platten, OUP, 2010.
  • ‘The Future of Religion’ (with Grace Davie) in the Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare, eds. M. Cobb, C. Puchalski & B. Rumbold, OUP, 2012.
  • ‘Jazz and Anglican Spirituality: Some Notes on Connections’ in Christian Congregational Music: Performance, Identity and Experience, eds. M. Ingalls, C. Landau & T. Wagner, Ashgate, 2013.
  • ‘The Anatomy of Fundamentalism’ in ed. James Dunn, Fundamentalisms: Threats and Ideologies in the Modern World, I B Taurus, 2015.
  • ‘Protestantism’, The Handbook of Christian Movements, ed. S. Hunt, Brill, 2015.
  • ‘Identity, Character and Practices in Rural Anglican Congregation’, in ed., Derrick Lemmons, Theologically-Engaged Anthropology, John Templeton Press/OUP, 2017.
  • ‘Class, Ethnicity and Education: Leadership, Congregations and the Sociology of Anglicanism’, Oxford History of the Anglican Church in the Twentieth Century, ed. Jeremy Morris, OUP, 2017.
  • ‘The Household of Faith: Anglican Obliquity and the Lambeth Conference’ in ed., Paul Avis, The Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Communion, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017.
  • ‘Restoration, Retrieval and Renewal: Recovering Healing Ministry in the Church – Some Critical Reflections’ in ed., Darren Sarisky, Theologies of Retrieval: Practices and Perspectives, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017.
  • ‘A Self-Critical Retrospect’ in eds. Ian Markham and Joshua Daniels, Reasonable Radical? Reading Martyn Percy, Wipf & Stock Publishing, 2017.

4. Series Editorships (current):

  • Ashgate - Contemporary Ecclesiology Series (with Bruce Kaye & Tom Hughson)
  • Ashgate - Explorations in Practical & Pastoral Theology (with J. Astley & L. Francis)
  • Canterbury Press Studies in Anglicanism (with Ian Markham)
  • Ashgate - Congregational Music Studies (with Monique Ingalls et al)
  • Brill Publishing - Church, Theology & Culture Series (with Pete Ward, Clare Watkins and Christian Scharen - forthcoming)
  • SPCK - Reimagining the Church for the Twenty-First Century (Three Volumes; edited with Paula Gooder and John Swinton. Commissioned by and Forewords from the Archbishop of Canterbury).

5. Booklets:

1996 Catching the Fire: The Sociology of Exchange in the Toronto Blessing, Oxford, Latimer House Publishers, [pb]
1999 Richard Hooker: An Introduction, Darton, Longman & Todd, [pb]

6. Lincoln Theological Institute Research Reports:

2000 Healthcare Chaplaincy: Modern, Dependable? (Helen Orchard), Sheffield Academic Press, [pb]
2004 Women Priests: Reception and Communion (Ian Jones), CHP, [pb]

7. Editorships of Journals:

Editor of Modern Believing (1998-2004); Editorial Board, Journal of Contemporary Religion (1997-2004 & 2015 onwards); Political Theology (1997-2003); Journal for the Study of Spirituality (since 2010): Journal of Anglican Studies (2009 onwards).

8. Articles:

Assorted in international peer-reviewed journals include Journal of Contemporary Religion, Journal of Anglican Studies, Ecclesiology, Religion, etc. Articles in other academic journals include Theology, Modern Believing, Anvil, Reviews in Religion and Theology, etc. Shorter articles on religion/society have appeared in The Guardian, Telegraph and Independent, etc.