Department of Education

Associate Professor Liam Gearon

Associate Professor

College Affiliation: Harris Manchester College

A philosopher and theorist of education, Liam Francis Gearon is a specialist in critical, historical and contemporary analyses of education in multi-disciplinary contexts. His research takes a multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches:

  • philosophical and history of ideas approaches to religion in education, particularly focused on the epistemological foundations of contemporary religious education, post-Enlightenment paradigms of religion in education, political theologies, particularly the politicisation and securitisation of religion in education (key works including the award-winning On Holy Ground; MasterClass in Religious Education; and highlighted in numerous journal articles discussing the ‘Gearon-Jackson’ debate);
  • philosophy of education through history of ideas applications to cultural and political life, particularly analyses of the arts and literature, including multiple grant funded projects, articles, edited collections, monographs, seminars, conferences and international colloquia with beyond-the-Academy impacts;
  • the historical emergence and contemporary governance of human rights education, particularly historical-political framings of totalitarianism;
  • the historical and theoretical framing of UK-US security and intelligence agency relationships with universities, including a guest edited volume of British Journal of Educational Studies which initiated this sub-field, conceptualisations of the securitised university, and collaborations with US Military Intelligence on research ethics; and, drawing together many elements of the foregoing;
  • the historical determinants of counter-extremism in education, including recent substantial articles on counter-terrorism, publications on value learning and the life trajectory, and empirical research with Arniika Kuusisto (Helsinki/Stockholm/Oxford) on value learning and life history research in political and security contexts, a four year collaborative project funded by the Academy of Finland.

Concurrently Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Liam was formerly Adjunct Professor at the Australian Catholic University and also previously Professor of Education at the University of Roehampton and Research Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Plymouth. With a published doctorate in English Literature, I am the author and or editor of over thirty books and seventy peer-review articles and chapters in a multiple range of disciplines, including the arts, literature and philosophy, political theology, as well as citizenship, human rights and religion in education.

As Principal Investigator, he led research projects over twenty years, with funding including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, and the Society for Educational Studies, with recent co-investigator roles with the Academy of Finland.

For over two decades, this scholarship has transgressed but interconnected the epistemological boundaries between the arts, humanities and social sciences, enabling new theoretical directions and research collaborations to create problem-solving frameworks for interdisciplinary investigation.

He has delivered keynote lectures, seminars and colloquia in Australia, Austria, Canada, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia (former Soviet Union), Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

He has recently convened two major international invitation-colloquia which have attempted to extend the theoretical boundaries of educational studies. With substantial funding from the Society for Educational Studies, these colloquia were both convened at Oriel College, Oxford:

  • Education, Security and Intelligence Studies (2017)
  • Writers and their Education (with Emma Williams) (2018)

Further details are available at http://soc-for-ed-studies.org.uk/seminars/, and both colloquia continuing to produce a number of individual and collaborative research outputs.

He has guest edited seven international peer-review journals, including the British Journal of Children’s Spirituality (on Children’s Rights), the British Journal of Religious Education (on Religion, Human Rights and Religious Education), Education Research International (with Kirsi Tirri, Terence Lovat and Elizabeth Campbell on The Moral Core of Teaching); the British Journal of Educational Studies (twice, on Education, Security and Intelligence Studies; and guest editing this journal a second time for a forthcoming special issue on Writers and their Education); the international journal Religions for a special issue on Religion, Security and Education; and with Emma Williams the Journal of Philosophy of Education (on Philosophy, Literature and Education).

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Liam Francis Gearon is an appointed member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College, serving too on the Peer Review College of Research Councils UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

He has also made sustained contributions of service to the following international research councils: Academy of Finland; Austrian Science Fund; EU 7th Framework Program for Research; Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s Public Policy Research Fund; Irish Research Council; National Research Foundation, South Africa; and  Templeton Foundation.

A graduate of the Curtis Brown novel-writing course, his debut novel, Eleven Notebooks, is published in 2018. A further novel is forthcoming, The Corridor of Centuries.

Doctoral Applications

  • Religion and education
  • Philosophy of education
  • Philosophy, literature, education
  • Education, security and intelligence studies
  • University relations with security and intelligence agencies

  • Subjects Taught

    Doctor of Philosophy

    MSc Education

    MSc Learning and Teaching

    PGCE

Publications:

  • Featured Publications

  • Books

    • Gearon, L, Prud'homme, J (2018) State Religious Education and the State of Religious Life. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

    • Gearon, LF (2015) Religious authority and the arts: Conversations in political theology.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.3726/978-1-4539-1641-4

    • Gearon, LF, Runcie, K (2013) Christianity. Oxford: Macmillan.

    • Gearon, L (2013) MasterClass in Religious Education: Transforming Teaching and Learning. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

    • Gearon, L (2013) On holy ground: The theory and practice of religious education.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203117576

    • Gearon, L, Naval, C (2013) Foreword.

    • Gearon, L (2013) Education in the United Kingdom Structures and Organisation. Routledge.

    • Gearon, L (2012) Introduction.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6091-936-7

    • Gearon, L (2011) Contemporary Issues in Human Rights Education. Paris: UNESCO.

    • Arthur, J, Gearon, L, Sears, A (2010) Education, politics and religion: Reconciling the civil and the sacred in education.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203846575

    • Gearon, LF (2010) The Religious Education Handbook. London: DfE and Religious Education Council for England and Wales.

    • Engebretson, K, Souza, MD, Durka, G, Gearon, L (2010) International Handbook of Inter-religious Education. Springer.

    • Gearon, L (2009) Introduction.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203874561

    • Gearon, L (2009) Learning to teach citizenship in the secondary school: A companion to school experience: Second edition.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203874561

    • Gearon, L (2006) A Practical Guide to Teaching Citizenship in the Secondary School. Routledge.

    • Gearon, LF, Hayes, MA (2006) Contemporary Catholic Theology: A Reader (Russian Edition). St Petersburg:

    • Gearon, L (2006) Freedom of expression and human rights historical, literary and political contexts. Sussex Academic Pr.

    • Gearon, L (2004) A Noble Life The Story of Aung San Suu Kyi.

    • Gearon, LF (2004) Brother Roger and the Story of Taize. Canterbury: SCM.

    • Gearon, L (2003) Learning to teach citizenship in the secondary school: A companion to school experience.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203417812

    • Gearon, LF (2003) Citizenship Through Secondary Religious Education. Citizenship Education in Secondary Schools. London: Routledge.

    • Gearon, L (2003) The Human Rights Handbook A Global Perspective for Education. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

    • Chaplain, MAH, Gearon, L (2002) Contemporary Catholic Education. Gracewing Publishing.

    • Gearon, L (2002) Landscapes of Encounter The Portrayal of Catholicism in the Novels of Brian Moore. University of Calgary Press.

    • Gearon, L (2002) Human Rights & Religion A Reader. Sussex Academic Press.

    • Gearon, LF (2001) Pope John Paul II. Canterbury: SCM.

    • Hayes, MA, Gearon, L (1999) Contemporary Catholic Theology A Reader. New York: Continuum.

    • Gearon, L (1999) English Literature, Theology and the Curriculum. Bloomsbury Publishing.

    • Gearon, LF (1998) A Modern Martyr: The Story of Oscar Romero. Canterbury: SCM.

    • Gearon, LF, Hayes, MA (1998) Contemporary Catholic Theology: A Reader. Leominster: Gracewing.

  • Book chapters

    • Gearon, L (2013) “Freedom and identity: Case study by Germany”, In: Images and Identity: Educating Citizenship Through Visual Arts. 266-275

    • Gearon, L (2013) “Religious Education and citizenship: A human rights approach”, In: Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Second Edition. 211-222
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203717424

    • Gearon, L (2009) “Citizenship making links with religious education”, In: Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience: Second Edition. 185-198
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203874561

    • Gearon, L (2009) “Politics and pedagogy: Citizenship beyond the classroom”, In: Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience: Second Edition. 123-134
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203874561

    • Gearon, L (2005) “The teaching of human rights in religious education: The case of genocide”, In: Education, Religion and Society: Essays in honour of John M. Hull. 71-82
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203018187

    • Gearon, L (2003) Introduction.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203417812

    • Gearon, L, Holness, M, Mace, D (2003) “Mapping the complexities of citizenship”, In: Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. 73-99
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203417812

    • Gearon, L (2003) “Developing schemes of work in citizenship”, In: Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. 153-176
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203417812

    • Gearon, L, Brown, M (2003) “Active participation in citizenship”, In: Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. 203-223
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4324/9780203417812

  • Journal articles

    • Gearon, L (2018) “Paradigm shift in religious education: a reply to Jackson, or why religious education goes to war”, JOURNAL OF BELIEFS & VALUES-STUDIES IN RELIGION & EDUCATION. 39(3) 358-378.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2017.1381438

    • Gearon, L, Kuusisto, A (2018) “Researching religious authority in education: Political theology, elites’ theory and the double nexus”, Power and Education. 10(1) 3-24.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/1757743818757256

    • Gearon, L (2018) “Terrorism and counter-terrorism policy and research in UK universities (1997–2017): an analytic-structural review of the literature and related sources”, Policy Reviews in Higher Education. 2(1) 32-60.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/23322969.2018.1424561

    • Kuusisto, A, Gearon, L (2017) “The life trajectory of the finnish religious educator”, Religion and Education. 44(1) 39-53.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15507394.2016.1272154

    • Gearon, L (2017) “SECULARISATION AND THE SECURITISATION OF THE SACRED A RESPONSE TO LEWIN'S FRAMING OF THE GEARON-JACKSON DEBATE”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 65(4) 469-480.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2017.1363375

    • Gearon, L (2017) “The counter-terrorist campus: Securitisation theory and university securitisation – Three Models”, Transformation in Higher Education. 2
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.4102/the.v2i0.13

    • Gearon, L (2015) “Religious Education and the Challenge of Pluralism”, JOURNAL OF CHURCH AND STATE. 57(3) 563-565.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1093/jcs/csv051

    • Gearon, L (2015) “EDUCATION, SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE STUDIES”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 63(3) 263-279.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2015.1079363

    • Gearon, L (2014) “Leadership and religious schools: international perspectives and challenges”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 62(4) 465-466.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2014.970791

    • Gearon, L (2013) “The King James Bible and the Politics of Religious Education: Secular State and Sacred Scripture”, RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 108(1) 9-27.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00344087.2013.747838

    • Gearon, L (2013) “The Counter Terrorist Classroom: Religion, Education, and Security”, RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 108(2) 129-147.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00344087.2013.767660

    • Gearon, L (2013) “Religion, Education and the State: An Unprincipled Doctrine in Search of Meanings.”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 61(2) 260-261.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2013.768858

    • Gearon, L (2013) “The Routledge international handbook of religious education”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 61(4) 491-492.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2013.843933

    • Gearon, L (2012) “EUROPEAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND EUROPEAN CIVIL RELIGION”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES. 60(2) 151-169.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2012.671929

    • Tirri, K, Campbell, E, Gearon, L, Lovat, TJ (2012) “The Moral Core of Teaching”, Education Research International. 2012 1-2.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/716268

    • Guest Editors: Kirsi Tirri, Elizabeth Campbell, Liam Gearon, Terence J. Lovat (2012) “Special Issue: The Moral Core of Teaching”, Education Research InternationalK Tirri, E Campbell, LF Gearon, T Lovat (eds.) . 2012

    • Gearon, L, (Guest Editor) (2008) “Special Issue: Citizenship, Human Rights and Religion”, British Journal of Religious EducationLF Gearon (ed.) . 30(2)

    • Gearon, L (2008) “Freedom from repression: Some thoughts on totalitarianism for religious, spiritual and citizenship/human rights education”, International Journal of Children's Spirituality. 13(1) 5-14.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13644360701834791

    • Gearon, L (2008) “Religion, politics and pedagogy: historical contexts”, BRITISH JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. 30(2) 93-102.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/01416200701843833

    • Gearon, L, (Guest Editor) (2006) “Special Issue: Children's Spirituality and Children's Rights”, International Journal of Children's SpiritualityLF Gearon (ed.) . 11(2)

    • Gearon, L (2006) “Children's spirituality and children's rights”, International Journal of Children's Spirituality. 11(2) 193-198.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13644360600797115

    • Gearon, L (2002) “Human rights and religious education: Some postcolonial perspectives”, British Journal of Religious Education. 24(2) 140-151.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/0141620020240207

    • Gearon, L (2001) “A spirituality of dissent: Religion, culture and post-colonial criticism”, International Journal of Children's Spirituality. 6(3) 289-298.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13644360120100469

    • Gearon, L (2001) “The imagined other: Postcolonial theory and religious education”, British Journal of Religious Education. 23(2) 98-106.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/0141620010230204

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