Dr Jonathan Chaplin

Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE)

Contact Details:


B.A. (PPE: Pembroke College, Oxford)

M.Phil (Political Theory: Institute for Christian Studies (ICS), Toronto)

Ph.D (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Previous Academic Positions:

Lecturer in Politics, London Guildhall University 1987-1990

Tutor in Politics, Plater College, Oxford 1990-1997

Fellow in Christian Political Thought, Sarum College, Salisbury 1997-1998

Associate Professor of Political Theory, ICS, 1999-2006;

Holder of Doyeweerd Chair in Social and Political Philosophy, 2004-6

Academic Dean, ICS, 2005-6

Senior Fellow, Cardus, Hamilton, Ontario 2006-

Research Interests:

  • Christian political thought
  • Religion, liberalism and multiculturalism
  • Religion, the state and civil society
  • Christian democracy
  • Environmental political theory



  • J.P. Chaplin, ed., Politics and the Parties (When Christians Disagree) (Leicester, UK: Intervarsity Press, 1992).
  • Co-editor with P. Marshall, eds., Political Theory and Christian Vision: Essays in Memory of Bernard Zylstra (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994).
  • Co-editor with Craig Bartholomew, Al Wolters, & Robert Song, A Royal Priesthood: Using the Bible Ethically and Politically. A Dialogue with Oliver O’Donovan (Paternoster/Zondervan, 2002). Vol. 3 of ‘Scripture and Hermeneutics  Seminar’ series.
  • Talking God: The Legitimacy of Religious Public Reasoning (Theos 2009).
  • Co-editor with Nick Spencer, God and Government (SPCK 2009)
  • Herman Dooyeweerd: Christian Philosopher of State and Civil Society (University of Notre Dame Press, forthcoming 2010).
  • Editor with Robert Joustra, God and Global Order: The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy (Baylor University Press, forthcoming).

Articles and chapters

  • ‘Subsidiarity and Sphere Sovereignty: Catholic and Reformed Conceptions of the Role of the State,’ in F. McHugh & S. Natale, eds., Things Old and New: Catholic Social Teaching Revisited (Lanham, NY: UPA, 1993): 175-202.
  • ‘How Much Cultural and Religious Pluralism Can Liberalism Tolerate?,’ in J. Horton, ed., Liberalism, Multiculturalism and Toleration (London: Macmillan, 1993): 32-49.
  • ‘Government,’ entry in New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology (Leicester: IVP, 1995): 415-417.
  • ‘Dooyeweerd’s Notion of Societal Structural Principles,’ in Philosophia Reformata (60/1, 1995): 16-36.
  • ‘Christians and the Public Realm,’ in T. Cooling and J. Shortt, eds., Agenda for Educational Change (Leicester: IVP/Apollos, 1997): 57-75.
  • ‘Catholic Political Thought: What Can Evangelicals Learn?’ in Transformation (July, 1997): 10-14.
  • ‘Subsidiarity: the concept and the connections,’ Ethical Perspectives (Leuven) (4/2, 1997): 117-130.
  • ‘Christian Theories of Democracy,’ in J. Stanyer, ed., Contemporary Political Studies 1998 (Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Political Studies Association, University of Keele, April 1998): 998-1003.
  • ‘Faith in the State: The Peril and Promise of Christian Politics’ (Inaugural Lecture, November 1999) (Institute for Christian Studies, 2000).
  • ‘Beyond Liberal Restraint: Defending Religiously-based Arguments in Law and Public Policy,’ University of British Columbia Law Review (Special Issue on Law, Morality and Religion) 33/2 (2000): 617-646.
  • ‘Silencing the Silencers: Reclaiming a Public Voice for Christian Faith,’ Pro Rege XXIX/1 (Sept. 2000): 1-10.
  • ‘Prospects for an ‘Evangelical Political Philosophy,’ Evangelical Review of Theology, 24/4 (Oct 2000): 354-373.
  • ‘Political Eschatology and Responsible Government: Oliver O’Donovan’s Christian Liberalism,’ in A Royal Priesthood (2002): 265-308.
  • ‘Defining Public Justice in a Pluralistic Society: Probing a Key Neo-Calvinist Insight,’ Pro Rege (March, 2004): 1-10.
  • Review essay on M. Stackhouse et al, God and Globalization, vols. 1, 2, 3 (Trinity Press International, 2000-2002), Political Theology 5/4 (October 2004): 493-500.
  • ‘Toward a Social Pluralist Theory of Institutional Rights,’ Ave Maria Law Review 3/1 (2005), 147-170.
  • ‘Suspended Communities or Covenanted Communities?: Reformed Reflections on the Social Thought of Radical Orthodoxy,’ in James K. Smith and James H. Olthuis, eds., Creation, Covenant and Participation: Radical Orthodoxy and the Reformed Tradition (Baker Academic, 2005), 151-182.
  • ‘Political Theology,’ in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of Scripture, ed. K. J. Vanhoozer (Baker Academic, 2005), 597-600.
  • ‘Rejecting Neutrality, Respecting Diversity: From “Liberal Pluralism” to “Christian Pluralism,”’ Christian Scholar’s Review (35/2, Winter 2006), 143-175. Awarded the ‘Charles J. Miller Christian Scholar’s Award’ for the best article in 2006.
  • ‘Toward an Ecumenical Social Theory: Revisiting Herman Dooyeweerd’s Critique of Thomism,’ in That the World May Believe: Essays on Mission and Unity in Honour of George Vandervelde, eds. M. Goheen & M. O’Gara (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006), 214-238.
  • ‘Law, Liberty and Plurality: The Political Problem of “Interculturality,”’in Sander Griffioen et al, Een weg gaan: cultuurfilosofie tussen West en Oost (Damon, 2006), 72-80.
  • ‘Herman Dooyeweerd,’ in New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (Leicester: Intervarsity Press, 2006), 224-226.
  • ‘Christian Justifications of Democracy’, Ethics in Brief 11/3 (2006), 1-4.
  • Review article on D. Farrow, ed., Recognizing Religion in a Secular Society (McGill-Queens, 2004), and T. Cuneo, ed., Religion in the Liberal Polity (Notre Dame, 2005), in Philosophia Reformata (2006).
  • ‘State and Civil Society: the Neo-Calvinist Perspective,’ in Jeanne Heffernan, ed., Christianity and Civil Society: Catholic and Neo-Calvinist Perspectives (Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2008).
  • ‘Mediating Structures,’ and ‘State, Catholic Thought on,’ entries in Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy: An Encyclopedia, ed. Joseph A Varacalli et al (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008).
  • ‘Representing a People: Oliver O’Donovan on Democracy and Tradition’, Political Theology 9/3 (2008), 299-313.
  • ‘Legal Monism and Religious Pluralism: Rowan Williams on Religion, Loyalty and Law’, International Journal of Public Theology 2/4 (2008), 418-441.
  • Co-author of review article on Kristen Deede Johnston, Theology, Political Theory and Pluralism: Beyond Tolerance and Difference (Cambridge University Press, 2007), in Evangelical Review of Society and Politics 2/2 (October 2008), 30-49.
  • ‘Beyond Multiculturalism - but to where?’ Philosophia Reformata 73/2 (2008), 190-209.
  • ‘Toward A Social Pluralist Theory of Institutional Rights’, in B P Frohnen and K L Grasso, eds., Rethinking Rights: Historical, Political and Philosophical Perspectives (University of Missouri Press, 2009), 212-240.
  • ‘God, Globalization and Grace: An Exercise in Public Theology’, in Michael W. Goheen and Erin Glanville, eds., Globalization and The Gospel: Probing the Religious Foundations of Globalization (Vancouver: Regent Press and Geneva Society, 2009), 49-68.
  • ‘The Place of Religious Arguments for Law Reform in a “Secular” State’, Law and Justice: The Christian Law Review 162 (Hilary/Easter, 2009), 18-35.
  • ‘Conclusion’, Nick Spencer and Jonathan Chaplin, eds., God and Government (SPCK, 2009), 205-237.
  • ‘Can Nations Be Christian?’ in Theology (November/December 2009), 410-424.
  • ‘Why We Can Talk to Each Other’ (response to Robin Lovin, ‘Consensus and Commitment: Religious Reasons, Real People and Public Discourse,’ in Kenneth L. Grasso, ed., Theology, Morality, and Public Life (Eerdmans, forthcoming).
  • Entry on ‘Ethics’, in New Dictionary of Theology, revised ed. (IVP, forthcoming).
  • Response to J. Budzizewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide (Dallas: Spence, 2003), Political Science Reviewer (forthcoming).