I am a theologian and philosopher of religion finishing my DPhil at the University of Oxford. I also serve as a pastor. I live in Marburg, Germany.
My current research project is an intellectual and theological biography of theologian Paul Tillich’s time as a student, young pastor, and army chaplain in the First World War, with particular reference to his earliest sermons. The working title is “Pastor Tillich. The Justification of the Doubter.”
I have particular interests in the history of modern German theology, in philosophy of religion (especially anti-theodicy) and have learned much about how to think about religion in the contemporary world from my study of Charles Taylor.
Please navigate to the various pages to find out more about my publications, talks, translations and research interests. You can get in touch to discuss my work at samuel.shearn [at] theology.ox.ac.uk .
1999-2002 B.Sc. Physics at the University of Nottingham
2002-2005 Ministry with students in St Andrews, Vienna, and Germany
2005-2009 B.A. Evangelische Theologie at the Evangelische Hochschule Tabor, Marburg
2009-2011 Pastoral ministry in the Landeskirchliche Gemeinschaft Plettenberg-Holthausen
2011-2012 M.A. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Birmingham
2012-2014 M.Phil. Modern Theology at the University of Oxford
2014- D.Phil. Theology at the University of Oxford
2017- Pastoral ministry in the Evangelische Gemeinschaft Hartenrod
Society for the Study of Theology
British Society for the Philosophy of Religion
Deutsche Paul Tillich Gesellschaft
My research over the years has been made possible by several generous grants, including SLG Charitable Trust (2017), The Rebecca Flowers Squire Bursary (2016), an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship (2014-2016), and The Ertegun Graduate Scholarship in the Humanities (2012-2014).
In 2013 my essay won the Religious Studies Postgraduate Essay Prize.