Dr Paul Tyson

Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Research Interests

As Director of the Emmanuel Centre for the Study of Science, Religion and Society (Emmanuel College, UQ) my interests are strongly interdisciplinary across the broad fields of the Social Sciences, Philosophy and Theology. The manner in which knowledge, power and belief interact with each other, constructing and challenging our life-world, is my main area of interest. Within philosophy, my area of academic specialization is Plato with a particular interest in epistemology, metaphysics and the Christian Platonism of Patristic and Medieval thought. Within theology, my areas of specialization are Kierkegaard and John Milbank, concerned primarily with theological epistemology, political theology, and the theological genealogy of secular modernity. Within the social sciences, my areas of specialization are the sociology of knowledge and the sociology of religion, drawing on Peter Berger’s work, and the sociology of technology and media studies, drawing on the work of Jacques Ellul.

Current Research Interests

At present I am exploring the manner in which finance has no metaphysics (as money has no naturalistic or transcendent existence) and yet shapes the social and (post)political realities of the dominant powers of the globalized technological age. I am finding the troubles of the Eurozone very ‘interesting’ in regard to how they disclose what relations there may need to be between reality and financial power. The “erratic Marxism” of Yanis Varoufakis and the theology of money being developed by Philip Goodchild are the central avenues of my research interests at present.

Current Research Projects

I am finishing a book on the relations between ontology, epistemology and faith.

I am keen to set up research units within the Emmanuel Centre looking at: (a) Climate change; (b) Medical Ethics; (c) Indigenous justice and theology; (d) Economics and theology; (e) Law and politics.

Selected Recent Publications


  • Returning to Reality: Christian Platonism for Our Times (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2014).
  • Faith’s Knowledge: Explorations into the Theory and Application of Theological Epistemology, (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2013).

Book Chapters

  • “Towards a Prophetic Response to Global Financial Idolatry.” In Charles Ringma, Karen Hollenbeck-Wuerst, Athena Gorospe, (Eds.), God at the Borders: Globalization, Migration and Diaspora, OMF Literature, Mandaluyon, Philippines, 2015, 15–33.
  • “Plato against Ontotheology.” In Peter Candler & Conor Cunningham (Eds.), Belief and Metaphysics, SCM Press, London, 2007, 393–412.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • “The Politics of the Metaphysical Imagination. Critiquing transnational corporate power via Plato’s cave.” Im@go. A Journal of the Social Imaginary, (2015), Vol 1, No 6: 151–170.
  • “The Wounds of Faith and Medicine, and the Balm of Paradox.” Christian Bioethics, (2014), 20 (3): 330–358, Oxford University Press.
  • “Can Modern Science be Theologically Salvaged?” Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics, Vol. 2, Number 1, (January 2014): 118–139.
  • “Taming the Spirit.” Pneuma 34 (2012) 229–244. Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
  • "Ecological Disaster and Jacques Ellul’s Theological Vision." Co-authored with Dr Matthew Tan, Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics Vol. 2, Issue 1, Article 3, April 2012.
  • “Australian Universities in Transition: Moral, Pragmatic or Religious Drivers?” Australian Ejournal of Theology, Issue 13, March 2009.
  • “Transcendence and Epistemology.” Modern Theology, Blackwell, Vol 24, Issue 2, pp 245–270, April 2008.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Qld. UT


View all Publications


View all Grants



Book Chapter

  • Tyson, Paul (2015). Towards a Prophetic Response to Global Financial Idolatry. In Charles R. Ringma, Karen Hollenbeck-Wuest and Athena O. Gorospe (Ed.), God at the Borders: Globalization, Migration and Diaspora (pp. 15-33) Mandaluyon, Philippines: OMF Literature.

  • Tyson, Paul (2007). Plato against Ontotheology. In Conor Cunningham and Peter M. Candler (Ed.), Belief and Metaphysics (pp. 393-412) London, United Kingdom: SCM Press.

  • Tyson, Paul (1994). “Darkness is as light to you” on Psalms, Kierkegaard and apophaticism. In Croucher, Rowland (Ed.), Gentle Darkness (pp. 188-196) Sydney, Australia: Albatross Books.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)