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Dr Johnston McMaster

Adjunct Assistant Professor



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Johnston McMaster is lecturer and co-ordinator of the Education for Reconciliation programme, Irish School of Ecumenics, Belfast. His doctorate is from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, USA on Methodist Stewardship in Irish Politics. The research was interdisciplinary including history, theology and politics and critically examined the period from the first Home Rule Bill of 1886 to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985.

Dr McMaster has co-authored Communities of Reconciliation: Living Faith in the Public Place and Churches Working Together: A Practical Resource. A co-authored chapter is included in an ISE Festschrift, Towards a Life-Giving Ethic: Engaging Biblical Texts of Violence in the Violent Context of Northern Ireland. He is the author of Churches on the Edge: Responding Creatively to a Changing Time and has contributed chapters to publications and journals on Ethical Remembering: Commemoration in a New Context, Living Towards the Vision: A Theological Praxis of Conflict Resolution, The Role of Religion in Making Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland, An Inter-Religious Cartography of Peace. His most recent publication was A Passion for Justice: Social Ethics in the Celtic Tradition.

Dr McMaster has been involved in the development of a community education programme for Northern Ireland and the Border Counties. This includes the development of teaching methodologies, curriculum design and delivery. He has lectured in Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka, South Korea and the USA and has been involved in the development of inter-church fora in Northern Ireland. He has also been engaged as consultant with statutory and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland and chairs a number of initiatives as well as working collaboratively with community relations networks.

Dr McMaster’s areas of interest and on-going research include reconciliation and peacebuilding, socio-political hermeneutics, empire studies, faith after Christendom, Celtic Christianity and spirituality, ethical remembering, social ethics and inter-faith dialogue. He is currently engaged in researching and writing a book on Skills for a Ministry of Reconciliation, and has planned another on Decommissioning a Culture of Violence: Towards an Irish theology of Active Non-Violence. Forthcoming contributions to publications will include Hikma, Hokmah, Sophia as an Abrahamic Ethic for Life: Fethullah Gülen in Dialogue with the Wisdom Traditions of Judaism and Christianity, On Fire with the Justice of God: Re-reading Romans as a Political Proclamation Towards a Desired Future and Acknowledging the Past Through Visioning the Future.

Areas of expertise

Celtic spirituality and contemporary social ethics, communities of reconciliation, religion and violence, the shape of faith in a post-Christendom era, peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, socio-political biblical hermeneutics

Select publications

Celtic Spirituality and Contemporary Social Ethics, forthcoming.

Churches as Communities of Resistance, with Cathy Higgins, forthcoming.

Churches on the Edge: Responding Creatively to a Changing Time, Belfast: Catalyst Publications, 2001.



Last updated 14 September 2015 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).