Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft hails from Bury in Greater Manchester. She studied Theology and Religious Studies as an undergraduate here at Sidney Sussex, before moving to Corpus Christi College Cambridge for her doctoral research. In 2015, she took up a postdoctoral research fellowship at CRASSH, on the ERC-funded project ‘Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture’. (You can read Ruth's reflections on the CRASSH website). In the 2019-20 academic year, she is the external Director of Studies for Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Corpus Christi College, and she will be running an MPhil module on Christian Theology and Gender for the Faculty of Divinity.
Ruth’s research sits at the intersection of theology, philosophy, literature, and intellectual history, and has focussed on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century thought in particular. Her first academic monograph, The Veiled God: Friedrich Schleiermacher's Theology of Finitude reappraises the early work of the German theologian and philosopher, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834). It was published in 2019 and you can preview it on Google books. Her research interests include hermeneutics, religious language, gender and epistemology.
She is also involved in two collaborative research projects.
With Dr Hanna Weibye, 'Theology and Politics in the German Imagination 1789-1848', a project which began with a conference in summer 2017, continued via a colloquium in December 2018, and culminated in a special issue of the journal Global Intellectual History in early 2020. This project has been supported and sponsored by the DAAD-University of Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies, with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO).
With Dr Simone Kotva and Dr Laura Kilbride, Theologies of Reading, a CRASSH Research Group which ran fortnightly seminars in the academic year 2017-2018. The project continues in 2019 with a professional training opportunity for primary and secondary school teachers, hosted in the Faculty of Divinity. The aim of the training opportunity will be to bring together academic researchers and classroom teachers through knowledge exchange, and to encourage educators to explore the varying relationships and dynamics operating between reader and text. In Spring 2021, the project published a special issue of the journal CounterText, published by Edinburgh University Press.
Articles and book chapters
— Contribution to a roundtable discussion on my monograph, alongside two further monographs on religion and politics in the 19th century, for the journal History of European Ideas. (2022).
— [As Co-Editor] Special Issue of the Journal CounterText (Edinburgh University Press), entitled Theologies of Reading: Positions and Responses. Volume 7, Issue 1 (April 2021).
— [As Editor] The editorial introduction to a special issue of Global Intellectual History, on the theme of Theology and Politics in the German Imagination, 1789-1848. Volume 5, Issue 1, (2020): pp.1-8.
— 'Anonymity as a Strategy in Friedrich Schleiermacher's Early Work, and its Theological and Social Implications', Publications of the English Goethe Society [PEGS] 88, no. 3 (2019): 184-201.
— ‘The Doctrine of Creation and the Problem of the Miraculous in the Modern Theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher’. In Creation from Nothing and Modern Theology, edited by Gary Anderson and Markus Bockmeuhl (Notre Dame, IN :University of Notre Dame Press, 2017).
— ‘On Gender and Theology in the Mode of Retrieval’. In Theologies of Retrieval, edited by Darren Sarisky (London: T&T Clark, 2017).
— ‘Photography, Finitude, and the Human Self through Time’, Telos 179 (Summer 2017).
— ‘Creation, Temporality and the Lord’s Supper in Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Dogmatic Theology’, Theology 116 (September/October 2013) : 332–340.
Study guides for undergraduates
— A Macat Analysis of Friedrich Schleiermacher's On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (London: Routledge, 2018).
— with Brittany Pheiffer Noble, A Macat Analysis of C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man (London: Routledge, 2017).
Resources for school teachers
— with Kathryn Wright, Theologies of Reading. New perspectives on pupil engagement with texts: An Introduction [https://www.reonline.org.uk/resources/theologies-of-reading-new-perspectives-on-pupil-engagement-with-texts-an-introduction/]
— 'A Conversation about The Veiled God: Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude, by Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft'. An interview conducted by Paul Dafydd Jones, for the Religion and Its Publics Project, at the University of Virginia [http://relpubs.as.virginia.edu/a-conversation-about-the-veiled-god-friedrich-schleiermachers-theology-of-finitude-by-ruth-jackson-ravenscroft/]
— 'Humans are more than their bodies'. A feature article for The Church Times, July 23rd 2019. [https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2019/26-july/features/features/humans-are-more-than-their-bodies]
— with Simon Ravenscroft, Rotten Riches, A Commentary on James 4:13 — 5:15, for the Visual Commentary on Scripture [https://thevcs.org/rotten-riches] (June 2019).
— 'Race, Difference, and Religion: Is There a Universal Humanity?', A review of Theodore Vial's Modern Religion, Modern Race, Marginalia Review of Books (March 2018)
— 'Why and How do we Read'?, a blog post for CRASSH about a research seminar series (January 2018)
— with Hanna Weibye, 'Can Reason Make Room for Religion in Public Life?', Aeon Magazine, (September 2017)
— 'Disturbing Faith', in John Hughes, Alison Milbank, and Arabella Milbank, eds. Preaching a Radical Orthodoxy: Sermons for the Christian Year (London: SCM Press, 2017).
— with Gareth Atkins, Brian Murray and Kate Nichols, Bible and Antiquity in Nineteenth-Century Culture, an online exhibition in partnership with the Fitzwilliam Museum. (April 2017)