Chris has been involved in a number of major projects in the last few years, including:

‘Eating and Believing’, an AHRC-funded project with Rachel Muers and David Grumett, looking at diet in the Christian tradition. Read Chris’s article on whether Christians need be vegetarians (pdf).

‘Uses of the Bible in Environmental Ethics’, an AHRC-funded project with David Horrell, Francesca Stavrakopoulou and Cherryl Hunt. This led to the following books:

  • Ecological Hermeneutics edited by the team and published by Continuum in 2010.
  • Greening Paul: re-reading the Apostle in a time of ecological crisis, co-written by Horrell, Hunt and Southgate and published by Baylor in 2010.

See Library for further details of these books.

‘Interpretation and the Origin of Life’, with Andrew Robinson, funded by the Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series.

Chris currently supervises ten research students. He welcomes enquiries from prospective graduate students (email ).

Chris’s 2014 Sarum lectures on divine glory led to a monograph ‘Glory and Longing: theology in a suffering world’, published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Chris’s longstanding interest in the problem of suffering (see his chapter in ‘The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil’, CUP, 2017) found practical expression in his project on tragedy and trauma in congregations, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The book from the project, ‘Tragedies and Christian Congregations’ ed Meg Warner, Christopher Southgate, Carla A. Grosch-Miller and Hilary Ison, was published by Routledge in 2020. See also This work drew extensively on the experience of trauma in the USA. See for more details. During 2022 Chris’s work on trauma led to invitations to speak to the National Methodist Conference and the Strategic Leadership Development Programme of the Church of England.

Chris’s latest theological project is a further exploration of the problem for Christian theology of suffering and struggle in the non-human world. This project is funded by the British Academy. See for details. Chris has published a summary of the field as it stood in 2023 as Monotheism and the Suffering of Animals in Nature (Cambridge University Press, 2023). This updates his work in The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution and the Problem of Evil (Westminster John Knox, 2008), and his explorations in the 2022 Boyle Lecture, available at