Edinburgh Research Explorer

Ulrich Schmiedel

Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


Ulrich Schmiedel is Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. The Deputy Director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues, he has written widely on political and public theology. He also serves as Chair of the Academic Advisory Board of A World of Neighbours, a multi-faith network of actors working with migrants across Europe.

Ulrich is the author of Elasticized Ecclesiology: The Concept of Community after Ernst Troeltsch (2017) and the co-author of The Claim to Christianity: Responding to the Far Right (2020), written with Hannah Strømmen. His publications also include the co-edited compilations Dynamics of Difference: Christianity and Alterity (2015), Religious Experience Revisited: Expressing the Inexpressible? (2016), Religion in the European Refugee Crisis (2018), and Liberale Theologie heute – Liberal Theology Today (2019).

Prior to his appointment at Edinburgh, Ulrich was Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Munich, Germany. He completed his doctorate in theology at the University of Oxford, after studying theology, sociology and hermeneutics at the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling as well as the Universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg.


M.Litt. (Glasgow), Dipl.Theol. (Leipzig), D.Phil. (Oxford)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland

Research Interests

Ulrich specialises in political and public theology. Methodologically, his research combines systematic theology with both sociology of religion and philosophy of religion. His research interests include:

  • comparative theology and coalitional theory
  • ecclesiology
  • faith-based activism
  • history of theology, particularly the 19th and the 20th century
  • Islam in Christian theology
  • liberal theologies
  • migration and post-migration in theology, politics and ethics
  • religion in the far right
  • theories of religion

Current Research Interests

Most of Ulrich’s recent research has been concerned with the significance of Christianity for migrant and post-migrant societies, particularly in Europe. He was awarded a membership at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ, USA, where he participated in the interdisciplinary inquiry on religion and migration. Currently, he is completing a study of the conceptualizations of religion in political theologies in the UK and the US during the so-called 9/11 decade. Concentrating on the interpretations of Islam in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the study makes a case for a comparative and coalitional political theology that can resist the instrumentalization of religion for the contagious concept of the clash of civilizations.

Research outputs

  1. Public Theologian avant la lettre? N.F.S. Grundtvig as Historian and Politician

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. The Claim to Christianity: Responding to the Far Right

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  3. Migration

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

View all (47) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Advice for Kirkelig Dialogsenter, Oslo

    Activity: Consultancy typesConsultancy

  2. Who May Belong? Nationalism, Conservative Religion, and Identity

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

View all (43) »

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