Christopher Longhurst

Dr Christopher Longhurst

S.T.D. Dogmatic Theology, Summa cum laude

S.T.L. Dogmatic Theology, Summa cum laude

M.A. Moral Theology, Summa cum laude

S.T.B. Magna Cum Laude: Pontificia Studiorum Universitas a Sancto Thoma Aquinate in Urbe, “Angelicum,” Rome, Italy

Role at Te Kupenga: Lecturer in Theology

Contact Details: c.longhurst@ctc.ac.nz

My primary academic interests revolve around intersections between theology and visual arts. My doctoral dissertation considered how all genuine pictorial artworks can have potentially and inextricably an emotive and intellective god-centeredness evident not only when the artwork has a religious theme or when the artist knows how to create an artwork of spiritual value, but even for presumably secular artworks and also where the artist provides a provocation to religion.

My most recent research addresses theology in global dialogue and theology in comparative tension.

I am also interested in how the Catholic Church’s institutional crisis of clerical child sexual abuse impacts Catholic theology and vice-versa.

Prior to returning to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2017, I worked as an operatore didattico (educational officer) for the Scientific and Administrative Management of the Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy. I also served as assistant professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.

I am a Fellow of the KAICIID (King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) 2020 International Fellows Programme. I also serve on the Council of the Wellington Theological Consortium, the Wellington Interfaith Council, and the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations.

Favorite quote: “In life, you will fall out with people you never thought you would. Get betrayed by people you trusted with all your heart. And get used by people you would do anything for. But life also has a beautiful side to it. You will get loved by someone you never thought you would. Form new friendships with people that will establish more meaningful and stronger relationships. And overcome things you never thought you would get over.”

Publications

Book chapters

“Listening to Intercultural Visual Imagery: Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa’s Interculturated Christian Faith,” in Weaving Theology in Oceania: Culture, Context and Practice. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, ch. 12, pp. tbc.

“Western Mosque and Muslim Integration: Identity Crisis and Resolution.” Muslim Integration: Pluralism and multiculturalism in New Zealand and Australia, Lexington Books, 2016, ch. 3. pp. 49-66.

 

Peer reviewed articles

“Interreligious Dialogue? Interfaith Relations? Or, Perhaps Some Other Term?” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 51(1), 2020, pp. 117-124.

“Epiphanic Paintings: A Universal Subjective Relationality.” Stimulus, Laidlaw College, New Zealand, vol. 26(2), 2019.

“Nuclear-free New Zealand and Catholic Moral Theology Interwoven by the David Lange Address.” Australasian Catholic Record, 96(1) January 2019, pp. 45-55.

“Christian-Muslim Perspectives on God as Love and a Loving Community.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 53(3), 2018, pp. 444-449.

Te Kahurangi o Māhutonga.” Stimulus, Laidlaw College, New Zealand, vol. 25(1), 2018.

Maryam bint ‘Imran as ‘Our Lady of Muslims’.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 52(3). (University of Pennsylvania Press), Summer 2017, pp. 465-469.

“Confluence Between Christian and Muslim Iconography.” ENCOUNTER – Documents for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and Islamology, Rome, Italy, vol. 42(1), 2017, 42 pp.

“A Pictorial Response to Religious Disunity.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 49(4), Fall 2014, pp. 657-660.

“Islamic Cosmogony According to Sūrah Al-Hashr Verse 24: ‘He Is Allāh, The Creator, The Originator, The Fashioner of Forms’.” European Scientific Journal. Special edition 2, December 2013, pp. 116-125.

“Tawhīd and Homooúsios: Narrowing the gaps between Muslim and Christian understanding of God’s divine oneness.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 48(2), Spring 2013, pp. 255-258.

“Mihrab: Symbol of Unity and Masterpiece of Islamic Art and Architecture.” LONAARD, Art and Architecture Magazine – London 14(3), March 2013, pp. 33-46.

“Eucharistic Spirit of Islam: Parallels between Islam and Christianity on the Eucharist.” ENCOUNTER – Documents for Muslim-Christian Understanding 382 & 383, Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and IslamologyRome, Italy, February-March 2013.

“Approaching the Divine through Form and Colour: A theological reflection on the pictorial apophasis of Malevič and Reinhardt.” American Theological Inquiry: A Biannual Journal of Theology, Culture & History 5, 2, Minneapolis, USA: 15 July 2012, pp. 67-82.

“How to ‘Read’ a Mosque (Part 2): Theological contextualization of masjid architecture and decoration according to principles of Islamic theology.” ENCOUNTER – Documents for Muslim-Christian Understanding 375, Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and Islamology, Rome, Italy, May 2012.

“How to ‘Read’ a Mosque (Part 1): Theological contextualization of masjid architecture and decoration according to principles of Islamic theology.” ENCOUNTER – Documents for Muslim-Christian Understanding 374, Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and Islamology, Rome, Italy, April 2012.

“What ‘Mary’ Means to Muslims.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 47, 1, Winter 2012, pp. 115-118.

“Theology of a Mosque: The Sacred Inspiring Form, Function and Design in Islamic Architecture.” LONAARD, Art and Architecture Magazine – London 8, 2, March 2012, pp. 3-13.

“Dominican Complex at Magnanapoli Rome: An architectural and theological interface.” Journal of the Institute for Sacred Architecture 20, December 2011, pp. 18-21.

“Beautiful Holiness of Kalām Allāh: On the Transmission of the Divine Word in Islam through Art.” ENCOUNTER – Documents for Muslim-Christian Understanding 365, Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and Islamology, Rome, Italy, May 2011.

“Discovering the Sacred in Secular Art – An Aesthetic Modality that Speaks of God.” American Theological Inquiry: A Biannual Journal of Theology, Culture & History 4, 1, Minneapolis, USA: 15 January 2011, pp. 13-21.

“A Roman Christmas Ritual: Micro-Architecture and the Theatre of the Presepio.” Journal of the Institute for Sacred Architecture 16, January 2010, pp. 12-16.

Other articles

“Modern-Day Martyrdom in Christianity and Islam.” Tui Motu InterIslands, 236, May 2019, pp. 6-7.

“Theologies of Lament, Listening and Healing: Responses to the Institutional Crisis of Clerical Child Sexual Abuse.” Catholic Thinking. WelCom, 1 April 2019.

“Epiphanies and “The Epiphany” in Pictorial Art.” The Catholic Response XV, 4, January-February 2019, pp. 36-40.

“God’s Continuous Creation.” Tui Motu InterIslands, 233, December 2018, pp. 28-29.

“Michelangelo’s “Genderfullness” as True Image of God.” AORAKI: Journal for Catholic Education Professionals. Wellington: New Zealand Catholic Education Office, 2018, pp. 34-40.

“Non-figural Pictorial Art for Religious Education.” AORAKI: Journal for Catholic Education Professionals. Wellington: New Zealand Catholic Education Office, 2018, pp. 40-45.

“Beauty: ‘Neither peacocks, nor soap bubbles’” Catholic Thinking. WelCom, 1 July 2018.

Māhutonga: Transcending Tāngata Whenua.” L’Osservatore Romano 1, Vatican City State: 5 January 2018, p. 16.

“A Stone in Rome, ‘A chosen and precious cornerstone’.” The Catholic Response XII, 4, January-February 2016, pp. 20-28.

“More Than Just Subject Matter: Marc Chagall at the Vatican Museums.” L’Osservatore Romano 23, Vatican City State: 5 June 2015, p. 16.

“Remembering Death Through Art: Reflections on the art of memento mori.” L’Osservatore Romano 45, Vatican City State: 7 November 2014, pp. 10 & 12.

“Palestrina’s Outworking of Sacred Music: Divine Infinitude and Omnipotence in the Sounds and Silences of Missa Papae Marcelli.” The Catholic Response X, 3, November-December 2013, pp. 25-29.

“Forty Years of Modern Art in Vatican City.” L’Osservatore Romano 35, Vatican City State: 28 August 2013, p. 12.

“A Sculpture Revisited: When Modern Art Meets Religion.” L’Osservatore Romano 20, Vatican City State: 15 May 2013, p. 9.

“How Theology Forms the Good Educator.” The Catholic Educator 15, Spring 2013, pp. 12-14.

“Catholic Education Owed to All: The Church’s response to the universal right to basic education.” The Catholic Educator 14, Winter 2013, pp. 27-29.

“Other Sources on the Immaculate Conception.” The Catholic Response IX, 3, November-December 2012, pp. 14-19.

“Judaism’s Aesthetic Visio: Spiritual underworking of Jewish sacred art.” L’Osservatore Romano 39, Vatican City State: 26 September 2012, p. 12.

“Science of Angelology in the Modern World: The revival of angels in contemporary culture.” The Catholic Response IX, 2, September-October 2012, pp. 32-37.

“Andrei Rublev’s ‘Trinity’ Icon: Russian Orthodox Trinitarian theology in its most famous artistic expression.” L’Osservatore Romano 23, Vatican City State: 6 June 2012, p. 20.

“Mary in Islam: Importance of the Mother of Jesus the Messiah in the Qur’an.” The Catholic Response VIII, 6, May-June 2012, pp. 6-14.

“A Sculpture Spurned: When Modern Art Meets Religion.” America 206, 16, May 14, 2012, pp. 27-30.

“The Unseen ‘Face of God’: Figurative representations of the Ineffable and Non-representable.” L’Osservatore Romano 18, Vatican City State: 2 May 2012, p. 12.

“Formation of the Whole Person (Can. 795) – A perspective on what it means and how it might be achieved.” The Catholic Educator 13, Spring 2012, pp. 18-20.

“Humanity’s Flight from the Divine and its Incessant Return through the Arts: On the soteriology of Francis Thompson as illustrated in The Hound of Heaven.” The Catholic Response VIII, 2, September-October 2011, pp. 6-15.

“Pinturicchio and the Borgia: An Artist’s Pre-eminence and a Pope’s Predilection.” L’Osservatore Romano 6, Vatican City State: 8 February 2012, p. 12.

“Verbum Caro Factum Est: Crossing Boundaries between Art and Religion.” L’Osservatore Romano 12 (Vatican City State: 23 March 2011), p. 16.

“Looking Eastwards: Reflections on the Sacred Beauty of Islamic Art.” L’Osservatore Romano 4, Vatican City State: 26 January 2011, p. 16.

“Sacredness of Ordinary Time.” The Catholic Response VII, 4, January-February 2011, pp. 21-25.

“Nativity of Christ as Inspiration for the Arts.” The Catholic Response VII, 3, November-December 2016, pp. 22-29.

“On the Universality of the Ave Maria.” The Catholic Response VII, 2, September-October 2010, pp. 21-5.

“Maria Assumpta and Dormitio Mariae: Reflections on the Theologies of East and West through Sacred Art.” L’Osservatore Romano 32, Vatican City State: 11 August 2010, p. 12.

“Thaborian Light: Reflections from the Greek tradition on The Transfiguration by Raphael.” L’Osservatore Romano 31, Vatican City State: 4 August 2010, p. 12.

“Reading the Language of Art from the Western Optic: Catholic symbolism in Byzantine art.” L’Osservatore Romano 16, Vatican City State: 30 June 2010, p. 12.

Professional Conference Papers

“Interfaith Dialogue through Comparative Theology in Abstract Pictorial Art.” International Conference on Comparative Theology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 23-24 July 2019.

“Listening to Visual Images: Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa’s Aesthetically Inculturated Gospel.” International Conference: Weaving Theology in Oceania: Culture, Context and Practice. Association for Practical Theology in Oceania. Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva, Fiji, 17-21 November 2018.

“Pseudo-Māori (Māoriesque) Visual Art in the Catholic Tradition: An Aesthetic Form of Interculturaility.” Annual Conference: Australian Catholic Theological Association, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 07 July 2018.

“Human ‘Genderfulness’ as Image of God.” New Zealand Catholic Education Organization Convention, Wellington, New Zealand, 14 June 2018.

“Non-figural Pictorial Art in Catholic Education.” New Zealand Catholic Education Organization Convention, Wellington, New Zealand, 15 June 2018.

“Christian/Muslim Perspectives on the Loving God and Loving Community.” RomArché 8. Amor Archaeology speaks, Anthropology and Archaeology of Love, 4th Edition of the Conference Anthropology and Archaeology in Comparison, Rome, Italy, 26-28 May 2017.

“Mariology in Marble: The meaning of movement in Michelangelo’s Pietà.” Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts: 1850 to the Present, Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University, Durham, UK, 5-7 July 2017.

“Philosophy of Academic Theology: Knowing, Understanding, and Believing without Faith.” New Zealand Association of Philosophers Annual Conference, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 29 November – 2 December 2016 (1 December 2016).

“Religion and Art in Post-Secularism: Overcoming a great divide or wrecking each other?” Australian Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 26 November 2016.

“Western Mosque and Modern Muslimness: Identify Crisis and Resolution.” NZASR/AASR Conference, Queenstown, New Zealand, 8-10 December 2015.

“New Zealand and The Nuclear Question: Revisiting New Zealand’s historic stance on nuclear weapons as morally indefensible in light of Christian ethical norms.” Peace, not war, shall be our boast, Conference on Peace and Christianity in New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 19 November 2015.

“Rules About Images and Depicting the Prophet in Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic Law.” Religious Studies Symposium on Sharia in the Asia-Pacific: Islam, Law and Politics, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 26 August 2015.

“Aesthetic Bearings of Kalām Allah: Grounding Islam’s Divine Revelation in Sounds and Letters.” Conference on Grounding the Sacred through Literature and the Arts, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield NSW, Australia, 24 July 2015.

“Teresa of Ávila Between Earth and Heaven: The Role of Aesthetic Experience as Necessary Component of Spiritual Realization.” Teresa of Avila 1515-2015 Mystical Theology and Spirituality in the Carmelite Tradition, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, UK, 18th – 20th June 2015.

“Religion’s Battle With The Modern Art World.” NZASR Conference: Religion In Conflict and Collaboration in the Modern World, Massey University Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand, 27 November 2014.

“Islamic Progressive Creation according to Sūrah Al-Hashr Verse 24: ‘He is Allāh, the Creator, the Originator, the Fashioner of Forms’.” International Conference on Analytic Theology: Divine Action in the World: Philosophical and Theological Inquiries, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, 5 August 2014.

“Sacred Texts as Sound Poetry.” The Society for the Study of Theology’s Annual Conference: Speech and Silence, St. John’s College, University of Durham, UK, 8 April 2014.

“Between Grace and Freewill: Outworking Thomas Aquinas’ infused virtue theory in light of human free-will.” 4th International Conference of the Thomas Institute Utrecht: Faith, Hope and Love. Thomas Aquinas on living by the infused virtues. Tilburg University, Utrecht, Netherlands, 13 December 2013.

“Figural Representation and the Muteness of the Qur’an.” Islam in the Law: Sharia, Secularism, and Society in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, 8 November 2013.

“Islamic Cosmogony According To Sūrah Al-Hashr Verse 24: ‘He Is Allāh, The Creator, The Originator, The Fashioner of Forms’.” Eurasian Multidisciplinary Forum, Grigol Robakidze University, Tbilisi, Georgia, 25 October 2013.

“Existence/Location of the ‘Human Soul’ according to Quantum Physics, and its ramifications for Christian Doctrine.” International Conference: The Soul, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, UK, 29 June 2013.

“What’s Virtue Got To Do With It? Achieving Corporate Eudaimonia.” Annual Leadership Conference: Leadership in Strategic Planning for Realizing Extraordinary Results, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Ifrane, Morocco, 8 June 2013.

“Interconnectedness of Divine Revelation and Human Salvation in Islamic Theology.” Revelation and Contemporary Culture, Postgraduate Research Conference, Heythrop College, London, UK, 21 May 2011.

Invited Lectures

 

“Pure Abstract Pictorial Art for Theology Across Religious Borders.” Spirit of Art / Art of Spirit:  A Collection of Events Celebrating the Sacred Nature of Creativity, Waikato University, New Zealand, 16 September 2019.

“Leonardo da Vinci the Humanist.” Public lecture hosted by Embassy of Italy in New Zealand. Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand, 2 May 2019.

“Art, Theology, & Science: Rediscovering the Unity of Culture.” The School of Philosophy, Wellington, New Zealand, 12 October 2018.

“Comparative Religion: Making Sense of Religion in the Global Age.” The Catholic Institute of New Zealand – Te Pūtahi Katorika ki Aotearoa, Research Seminars, Wellington, 28 August 2018.

“Beauty in Islam.” The School of Philosophy, Wellington, New Zealand, 23 June 2017.

Fides quae creditur of Religious Artworks.” University of the Third Age (U3A), Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 12 June 2017.

“Theology on the Fence: Knowing, Understanding, and Believing without Faith.” Philosophy Seminar Series, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 9 March 2017.

“Michelangelo’s Creation and Last Judgement: A Historical-Theological Reading.” Seminar for Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 25 October 2016.

“On the Unity of Being in Raphael’s Stanza della Segnatura.” The School of Philosophy, Wellington, New Zealand, 24 August 2016.

“St Peter’s Basilica, Rome – ‘Communis Patria’.” University of the Third Age (U3A), Wellington, New Zealand, 12 May 2016.

“Masjid – Between Architecture and Cosmogony.” Victoria University of Wellington, Religious Studies Seminar Series, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington New Zealand, 9 May 2016.

“Does Michelangelo Posit Matter in God? Revisiting Genesis 1:27 through Sistine Chapel ceiling iconography.” The School of Philosophy, Wellington, New Zealand, 27 April 2016.

“Religion and Spirituality in Non-figurative Painting.” Ephesus Lecture, Wellington, New Zealand, 6 March 2016.

“The Sistine Chapel.” University of the Third Age (U3A), AGM Annual Lecture, Wellington, New Zealand, 18 September 2015.

“A Stone in Rome, ‘A chosen and precious cornerstone’.” The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand, Annual Public Lecture, Wellington, New Zealand, 30 August 2015; and Auckland, New Zealand, 1 September 2015.

“Michelangelo’s Cosmogony: Reflections on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling.” Ephesus Lecture, Wellington, New Zealand, 16 August 2015.

“Philosophical and Theological Legacy of Maimonides.” International Moroccan-Jewish Heritage Conference, Association Mimouna, Ifrane, Fez, and Casablanca, Morocco, 24-26 February 2014.

“Discovering the Sacred in Secular Art – An Aesthetic Modality that Speaks of God.” AUI Authors, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, 20 February 2013.

“Approaching the Divine through Form and Colour: A Theological Reflection on the Pictorial Apophasis of Malevič and Reinhardt.” AUI Authors, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, 21 November 2012.

 

Public Lectures

“Beauty in Islam: Philosophical, Theological and Practical Explorations.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand; 12 May 2016.

“On the Unity of Being: Raphael’s Super-Synthesis in Stanza della Segnatura.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand; 12 November 2015.

“Theological Reflections on Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand; 10 November 2015.

“Public Information for The Common Good: A Philosophical Perspective.” Keynote: The 2015 Public Good Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 9 October 2015.

“New Saint Peter’s Basilica Complex, Rome 1506-1667: What the human spirit is capable of achieving.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand; 21 & 28 July 2015.

“Renaissance Pictorial Radicalism Acclaims The Feminine: What Leonardo and Michelangelo really thought of women.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 12 May 2015.

“Frescos of the Quattrocentisti: Sistine Chapel Part II.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 30 April 2015.

“Masterworks of Michelangelo: Sistine Chapel Part I.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 28 April 2015.

“Theology in Painting: An illustrated walk through and theology behind Vatican Museums masterpieces.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 10 March 2015.

“Sacred Art in Islam: Meaning and Language.” St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand, 2 December 2014.

 

Radio Presentations

“Theological Aesthetics.” Radio Presentation. Radio New Zealand National, <http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday> 24 October 2015.

“You’d better watch where you walk the next time you visit the Vatican.” Radio Presentation. Public Radio International, <http://www.pri.org.stories/2012-09-01/youd-better-watch-where-you-walk-the-next-time-you-visit-the-vatican> 1 September 2014.

 

Professional Affiliations

Association of Practical Theology in Oceania (APTO)

Australian Catholic Theological Association (ACTA)

Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA)

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations (NZCBCIR)

Società Italiana di Storia delle Religioni (SISR), Italy

Society for the Study of Theology (SST) UK

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