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Dr David Tombs

Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation


Dr. David Tombs is Assistant Professor on the Belfast-based M.Phil. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation and Director of Trinity’s Centre for Post-Conflict Justice. He has a BA in theology and philosophy from University of Oxford, an STM in theology from Union Theological Seminary, New York, an MA in applied philosophy from the Institute of Education, University of London, and a doctorate in theology at Heythrop College, University of London.

His primary focus is on religion, violence and conflict transformation and his areas of expertise are public theology and post-conflict justice. His publications include Latin American Liberation Theology (Boston and Leiden: Brill 2002), Truth and Memory: The Church and Human Rights in El Salvador and Guatemala (edited with Michael A. Hayes; Leominster: Gracewing 2001) and edited the collection Rights and Righteousness: Religious Pluralism and Human Rights (Belfast: Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, 2010). In addition to Northern Ireland he has carried out research in El Salvador, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Israel/Palestine. His current research is focussed on gender violence and torture practices, and its implications for theology.

In 2007 he received a Trinity Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2008 he was a visiting research fellow in Public Theology at the Centre of Theological Inquiry at Princeton. Ph.D. students working with Dr. Tombs are doing work on: the theological ethics of sanctuary as hospitality; the theologies of liberation and reconciliation in Northern Ireland; and political discourse on reconciliation in Peruvian blogs.

Areas of expertise

Public theology, theologies of reconciliation, truth commission research, torture and crucifixion practices

Modules taught

Dynamics of Reconciliation
Theology of Reconciliation
Post-Conflict Justice and Truth Commissions
Research Skills
Ministry for Reconciliation
Social and Political Reconciliation
Lessons from the Peace Process in Northern Ireland


Ph.D. Theology, Heythrop College, University of London
M.A. Institute of Education, University of London
PGCE, University of Birmingham
STM, Union Theological Seminary, New York
B.A. Trinity College, University of Oxford, 1987 (MA in 1990)

Contact details

Direct Tel: +44 (0) 28 9037 3989
General Tel: +44 (0) 28 9077 5010
Fax: +44 (0) 28 9037 3986

Select publications

  • Edited with Joseph Liechty, Explorations in Reconciliation: New Directions for Theology, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006
  • Latin American Liberation Theology, Religion in the Americas Series Vol. 1, Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2002
  • Edited with M.A. Hayes, Truth and Memory: The Church and Human Rights in El Salvador and Guatemala, Leominster: Gracewing, 2001

Please click here for the full CV...

Last updated 17 July 2014 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).