What’s your PhD about?

I’m researching for a PhD in Theology, specifically in the field of Public Theology*, at University of Wales, Bangor’s Theology Department. The exact title of my work is…

R .Tudur Jones and Welsh Christian nationalism in the context of historical theology

And this, in short, is what my thesis will be about:


R. Tudur Jones (1921-1998)

R. Tudur Jones (1921-1998)

During the twentieth century, R. Tudur Jones (1922-1998) was Wales’s foremost theologian. Though an academic by training, a minister by vocation, he also took a prominent role in public life, commenting on contemporary events and defending the nationalist position through his leadership in Plaid Cymru. Despite an extensive bibliography including religious historiography, social comment, theology and politics, there has been no academic assessment of his contribution. This project seeks to assess specifically his political contribution and thought, particularly his understanding of Nationalism as a development of theological beliefs.


For RTJ, there were two basic sources for Nationalism, the Hegelian and the Calvinistic. In the former, the nation held a vocation on the world stage. However, there appears to be nothing beyond the nation which can offer a critique of the state. The danger inherent in such nationalism is that it will create an idol of the state, as it did in Nazi Germany, for example. For the Calvinist, the state is always subordinate to the sovereignty of God: it can never become an idol and it is continuously subject to critique. This project will place RTJ’s standpoints into the wider context (a) of theology’s teaching on the church and the state (b) the development of nationalist thought (c) Welsh nationalism itself and its place in Welsh theological thinking. It will primarily seek to establish (1) whether or not RTJ’s political ideas were formed from Christian beliefs and the theological tradition (2) whether or not there can be, more generally, such a thing as Christian nationalism.

* ‘What is Public Theology?’ (PDF)

7 Responses to “What’s your PhD about?”

  1. huw powell-davies Says:

    Yn cael fy atgoffa o’i fawredd eto yr wythnos diwethaf wrth bori yn ‘Yr Ysbryd Glân’. Yn ddeifiol o bregethwyr hunan anfonedig wrth drafod ‘Galwad’

  2. The principles of love and justice to the nations « Says:

    […] of love and justice to the nations By welshwilderness I’m giving a paper about my research in the department on Monday; I’ll be giving the paper in Welsh but many of the audience will […]

  3. The Political Bible « Says:

    […] my words but the words of R. Tudur Jones. Very […]

  4. Emma Reese Says:

    ‘whether or not there can be, more generally, such a thing as Christian nationalism.’

    There is. Of course I haven’t researched on the subject, but there should be or why on earth Revelation repeatedly mention ‘every nation, tribe, people and LANGUAGE’ who will be worshipping God?

  5. Dieter Schneider Says:

    Does your thesis make any reference to D Bonhoeffer?

  6. ezbo Says:

    Someone suggested to me this week that they believe the Welsh language itself to be a God. Presumably, an Idol and False God. What is your opinion on this?

  7. welshwilderness Says:

    That person obviously treats the Welsh Language as an Idol and False God, and that is heresy. Who told you that?

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