Dr Marius Felderhof

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am fundamentally a systematic theologian with interests in the philosophical theology, philosophy of religion and education.


  • BA (Hons) in Philosophy - Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • BD (Hons) in Divinity with OT - The University of St. Andrews,  Scotland
  • MA in the Philosophy of Religion - Department of Philosophy, Dalhousie University
  • PhD in Philosophy - Department of Philosophy, the University of Wales, Swansea
  • Licentiate, Church of Scotland and The Presbyterian Church in Canad


I started my university teaching career at St. Mary’s College, the University of St. Andrews in the Department of Divinity. This was quickly followed with a move to the Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham, where I taught in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies of Westhill College. I eventually became head of the Department in 1995. Since Westhill College was largely, though not exclusively, devoted to teacher training I developed an interest in religious education as it is provided in British schools. My own teaching, however, was generally in the area of Modern Theology, Philosophical Theology, Christian Ethics, Philosophy of Religion with additional courses on the Introduction to Christian Theology and Human Self-Understanding. I joined the Department of Theology and Religion of the University of Birmingham in 2001.

I have never thought of theology as merely abstract speculation but as a subject that arises out of the practicalities of life. As a consequence theology is a form of reflection that attempts to make sense of our religious lives with a view to being a rational influence on our life’s character and direction. For this reason I have immersed myself in such activities as: the City of Birmingham’s Standing Advisory Council of Religious Education, which eventually led me to draft the City’s 2007 Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education; the Faiths for the City Initiative which seeks to foster collaboration between the University, the City’s Faith Leaders Group and with representatives of the City Council and other bodies of the City; and more recently, in the attempts to develop a Museum of World Religions in order to foster good inter-religious relations and to educate the wider public in and about religious life.


My current research activities are largely in contemporary theology and in religious education

Other activities

Professional bodies

  • British Society for the Philosophy of Religion
  • Society for the Study of Theology
  • British Society for the Philosophy of Education
  • International Seminar on Religious Education and Value


Books and chapters

  • Review Article: “Reflections on Faith and Its Contemporary Critics”, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 32, Number 1, 2011
  • “Secular Humanism” in P. Barnes, Debates in Religious Education, Routledge, London, 2011.
  • “National and Local RE: a further contributions to discussions, the QCA and RE: a tour de force” REsource vol. 32, Number 2, Spring, 2010, pp. 10 - 12
  • “The 2007 Birmingham Agreed Syllabus: Educating Pupils and the Community” with Simone E. Whitehouse in M. Grimmitt (ed.) (2010) Religious Education and Social and Community Cohesion, McCrimmons, Great Wakering
  • “Degeneracy and English Religious Education”, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 31, number 2, August, 2010, pp.155-164
  • “Temperance, with a consideration of Evil, Violence and Pedagogy” Journal of Beliefs and Value, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2009, pp. 145 - 158
  • “The Unfriendly Agora and Secular Hypocrisy”, Journal of Beliefs and Value, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2008, pp.97 - 100
  • “RE in Birmingham: A Way Forward? REsource, Vol. 30, No. 3, Summer, 2008 pp.13 – 15
  • “Religionsunterricht in Grossbritannien” (“RE in England and Wales”), in Religionen in der Schule, Bildung in Deutschland und Europa vor neuen Herausforderungen, Herbert Quandt Stiftung, Bad Homburg v. d. Hohe, 2007, pp171 - 187
  •  “A Pioneering Experiment: A Report on Islamic Education within a Teaching Qualification”, with W.S. Campbell in Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol., 28, No. 3, 2007, pp. 297 – 308
  • “R.E.: Religions, Equality and Curriculum Time”, Journal of Beliefs and Value, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2005, pp.201-214
  • “Professionalisng (Religious) Education”, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2005, pp.119-122 [Guest Editor of the whole issue]
  • ‘The New National Framework for RE in England and Wales: a critique’ in The Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 25, Number 2, 2004
  •  “Evil: Theodicy or Resistance” in The Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 57, Number 4, 2004
  • A Review Article: “Christian Faith and Higher Education” in Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2003
  • “Religious Schools and Discipline”, in Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2002
  • “On Understanding Worship in School. Part Two: on worship and educating”, pp 17-26 in Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 21, no. 1, 2000

Website articles

Supporting documents published in January 2008 in relation to my role as the drafting secretary to the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus Conference, which met over a period of more than two years (2005 – 2007) and which devised the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education

  • “The Process of Coming to Agreement”, pp1-4
  • “Forming a View: The Agreed Syllabus for Birmingham”, pp 1-29
  • “The Legal Basis for Religious Education in Schools (an Overview of relevant statute)”
  • “Three, Four or Six…?”, pp. 1-6
  • “Syllabus”, pp 1-3
  • “Religious Instruction, Religious Studies, and Religious Education”, pp. 1-6