Darren Sarisky

Associate Fellow and Departmental Lecturer in Theology and Religion, University of Oxford
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Dr Sarisky works in the area of Christian doctrine or systematic theology.  His primary research specialization is theological hermeneutics of the Bible, that is, the interconnection between biblical reading and Christian doctrine. In this work, Dr Sarisky brings theological insights from early Christian theologians into conversation with voices from our own day.  He has also written on theologies of retrieval, which are approaches to theology that make significant recourse to classic texts from within the Christian tradition.

Dr Sarisky has recently completed his second monograph, Reading the Bible Theologically, which is part of the Current Issues series from Cambridge University Press in its. The subject of the book is the nature of theological interpretation. The ongoing discussion of theological exegesis is one of the most significant discussions taking place today in Theology and Religious Studies. Though a great deal of energy is being directed at present into this debate, there is nevertheless a lack of clarity regarding the defining characteristics of the enterprise itself. Dr Sarisky aims to make a contribution there.

This new book builds on Dr Sarisky’s first work, Scriptural Interpretation: A Theological Exploration, which was published in 2013 by Wiley-Blackwell within its Challenges in Contemporary Theology series. The book brings an important fourth-century theologian, Basil of Caesarea, into dialogue with two leading lights in contemporary theology, Stanley Hauerwas and Rowan Williams.  The question on which the book focuses is what is happening, in specifically theological terms, when the Bible is read by the church.  The text culminates with a constructive contribution to the discussion that presents a thoroughly theological account of reading, including analyses of the identity of the reader, the nature of text being read, the practice of reading itself, and the social context of interpretation.

Prior to coming to Oxford, Dr Sarisky held academic appointments in Cambridge (as a Teaching Associate and a Junior Research Fellow) and at King’s College London (as a Lecturer in Systematic Theology).


Teaching Excellence Award from Oxford’s Humanities Division for the module “Key Themes in Systematic Theology.”



  • Reading the Bible Theologically, Current Issues in Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), xx + 408 pp.
  • Scriptural Interpretation: A Theological Exploration, Challenges in Contemporary Theology (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), xvi + 276 pp. 

Edited Volumes

  • Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal (London: T. & T. Clark, 2017)
  • R. David Nelson, Darren Sarisky, and Justin Stratis, eds., Theological Theology: Essays in Honor of John B. Webster (London: T. & T. Clark, 2015)
  • Theology, History, and Biblical Interpretation: Modern Readings (London: T. & T. Clark, 2015)

Peer-Reviewed Essays

  • “Theological Reading of Non-scriptural Texts,” Scottish Journal of Theology (forthcoming 2020)
  • “Religious Commitment in Scriptural Reasoning: A Critical Engagement with Gavin D’Costa’s ‘Catholics Reading the Scripture of Other Religions,’” Modern Theology (forthcoming 2020)
  • “Ascriptive Realism and the Book of Daniel: Questions for Richard Briggs,” Journal of Theological Interpretation (forthcoming 2020)
  • “The Ontology of Scripture and the Ethics of Interpretation in the Theology of John Webster,” International Journal of Systematic Theology (invited essay, forthcoming 2019)
  • “Biblical Interpretation and Analytic Reflection,” Journal of Analytic Theology 6 (2018): 162-182
  • “The Meaning of the missio Dei: Critical Reflections on Lesslie Newbigin’s Proposal that Mission is of the Essence of the Church,” Missiology: An International Review 42 (2014): 257-270
  • “Who Can Listen to Sermons on Genesis?  Theological Exegesis and Theological Anthropology in Basil of Caesarea’s Hexaemeron Homilies,” Studia Patristica 67 (2013): 13-23
  • “The End of Interpretation in Basil of Caesarea’s De spiritu sancto,” Studia Patristica 47 (2010): 91-95
  • “What is Theological Interpretation?  The Example of Robert W. Jenson,” International Journal of Systematic Theology 12 (2010): 201-216
  • “T. F. Torrance on Biblical Interpretation,” International Journal of Systematic Theology 11 (2009): 332-346

Chapters in Books

  • “John Webster on the Doctrine of Scripture,” in A Companion to the Theology of John Webster, ed. Michael Allen and R. David Nelson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020)
  • “Tradition II: Thinking with Historical Texts—Reflections on Theologies of Retrieval,” in Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal, ed. Darren Sarisky (London: T. & T. Clark, 2017), 193-209
  • “Introduction,” in Theologies of Retrieval: An Exploration and Appraisal, ed. Darren Sarisky (London: T. & T. Clark, 2017), 1-5
  • “Theological Theology,” in Theological Theology: Essays in Honor of John B. Webster, ed. R. David Nelson, Darren Sarisky, and Justin Stratis (London: T. & T. Clark, 2015), 1-15
  • “A Prolegomenon to an Account of Theological Interpretation of Scripture,” in Theological Theology: Essays in Honor of John B. Webster, ed. R. David Nelson, Darren Sarisky, and Justin Stratis (London: T. & T. Clark, 2015), 247-265
  • “Introduction,” and chapter prefaces in Theology, History, and Biblical Interpretation: Modern Readings, ed. Darren Sarisky (London: T. & T. Clark, 2015), 1-10 and passim
  • “Participation in Augustine: Some Reflections on his Exegesis of Romans,” in “In Christ” in Paul: Explorations in Paul’s Theology of Union and Participation, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament II, ed. Michael J. Thate, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, and Constantine R. Campbell (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014), 357-374

Contributions to Reference Works

  • “Incarnation,” “Redemption,” and “Soteriology,” in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 4th ed., ed. F. L. Cross et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “Tradition,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, ed. Samuel E. Balentine et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • Angus Paddison and Darren Sarisky, “A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Writings of Stanley Hauerwas,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 84 (2010): 311-355
  • Daniel J. Treier with Darren Sarisky, “Models,” in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, ed. Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005)

Review Essays and Book Reviews

  • “Participation and Exegesis: A Review Essay,” Journal of Theological Interpretation 3 (2009): 299-306
  • Reviews in Anglican Theological Review, International Journal of Systematic Theology, and Scottish Journal of Theology

Works for a Broader Audience

  • “Scriptural Interpretation: An Interview with Darren Sarisky,” Aqueduct Project, last modified December 15, 2013, accessed January 11, 2014, http://aqueductproject.org/darren-sarisky-scriptural-interpretation
  • “Stanley Hauerwas: Life and Theology,” St John’s Nottingham: The Video Timeline Project, last modified November 14, 2102, accessed January 11, 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCzZMl-o4KE
  • “Despair and Redemption: A Theological Account of Eminem,” in Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends, ed. Kevin J. Vanhoozer et al. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 81-97.  Chinese edition. Trans. Kwan-ying Chan and Andy Tai-tak Wong. Hong Kong: Tien Dao, 2011.  Indonesian English edition. Malang, Indonesia: Literatur Saat, 2011.  Korean edition. Trans. Suk-In Yook. Seoul: Revival and Reformation, 2009.