St. Mary's Seminary & University

Dr. Barnabas Aspray

Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology

B.Sc., University of Exeter
M.A., Regent College
M.Phil., Ph.D., University of Cambridge

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After his Computer Science undergraduate degree (University of Exeter) and several years as a BBC software engineer in London, Dr. Aspray left for a new career in academic theology. He first completed two Master’s degrees, one in Biblical Studies at Regent College, and the other in Systematic Theology at the University of Cambridge. He remained at Cambridge for his PhD in philosophy of religion, now published as Ricœur at the Limits of Philosophy (CUP: 2022). He then spent four years teaching and researching at the University of Oxford before joining the faculty of St. Mary’s in 2023.

Dr. Aspray is a philosophical theologian interested in the way Christian belief and practice interact with the concerns and questions of contemporary Western society. His current research project focuses on the Christian ethics of refugees and immigration. He is passionate about making theology accessible and relevant to the lives of those without an academic background, both Christian and non-Christian.

Dr. Aspray has lived in various places around the world, including two years in Ecuador, one year in France, and three years in Canada. He is married to Silvianne, an academic theologian from Switzerland, and together they have two daughters, Estelle and Celine.

Courses Taught

  • Doctrine of God
  • Christology and Soteriology
  • Fundamental Theology
  • Ministry in Ecumenical and Interfaith Contexts

Selected Publications


Aspray, B. Ricœur at the Limits of Philosophy: God, Creation, and Evil (Cambridge University Press: 2022).

Journal Articles

Aspray, B. ‘Jesus Was a Refugee: Unpacking the Theological Implications’, Modern Theology 40 no. 2 (2024).

Aspray, B. ‘Faith, Science, and the Wager for Reality: Meillassoux and Ricœur on post-Kantian Realism’, International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 84, no. 2 (15 March 2023): 133–56.

Aspray, B. ‘New Challenges to Character Education’, Journal of Character and Leadership Development 10, no. 2 (2023): 49–59.

Aspray, B. ‘A Throne Will Be Established in Steadfast Love’: Welcoming Refugees and the Davidic Kingdom in Isaiah 16:1-5’, Open Theology 7 (2021): 426–44.

Aspray, B. ‘How Can Phenomenology Address Classic Objections to Liturgy?’, Religions 12, no. 4 (April 2021): 236.

Aspray, B. ‘Y a-t-il une métaphysique ricœurienne ?’, Crossing: The INPR Journal 1 (2020): 73-83.

Aspray, B. ‘“No One Can Serve Two Masters”: The Unity of Philosophy and Theology in Ricœur’s Early Thought’, Open Theology 5, no. 1 (2019): 320–332.

Aspray, B. ‘“Scripture Grows with its Readers”: Doctrinal Development from a Ricœurian Perspective’, Modern Theology 35, no. 4 (2019): 746-759.

Chapter Contributions

Aspray, B. ‘A Greater Hope’, in By Strange Ways: Theologians and Their Paths to the Catholic Church, ed. Jonathan Fuqua and Daniel Strudwick (Ignatius Press, 2022).

Aspray, B. ‘From Exegesis to Allegory: Ricœur’s Challenge to Biblical Scholarship’, in Reading Scripture with Paul Ricœur, ed. Joseph Edelheit and James Moore (Lanham: Lexington Press, 2021).

Aspray, B. ‘Transforming Heideggerian Finitude? Following Pathways Opened by Falque’, in Transforming the Theological Turn: Phenomenology with Emmanuel Falque, ed. Martin Kočí and Jason Alvis (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).


Emmanuel Falque, ‘The All-Seeing: Fraternity and Vision of God in Nicholas of Cusa’, Modern Theology   35, no. 4 (2019): 760-787. Translated by Barnabas Aspray.

Paul Ricœur, ‘From One Testament to the Other’, Modern Theology 33, no. 2 (2017): 235–42. Translated by Barnabas Aspray.

Dictionary Entries

Three entries (‘Friedrich Nietzsche’; ‘Biblical Hermeneutics’; ‘Transcendence’) in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. Andrew Louth, 4th ed., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).

Online Resources

Favourite Quotations

“You are not compelled to form any opinion about this matter before you, nor to disturb your peace of mind at all. Things in themselves have no power to extort a verdict from you.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them.” – Orson Scott Card

“If the truth offend, better so than that it remain concealed.” – St. Jerome