Dr Bob RobinsonSenior Research Fellow

  • MA (Hons), BD, PhD

Bob graduated from Laidlaw College in 1967 before Anglican ministerial training at Ridley College where he completed his BD. He gained an MA (Hons) in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of Canterbury in 1975. After parish ministry in Shirley, Christchurch, he served in Singapore with the Church Missionary Society and began research into the Gospel and Hinduism which resulted in a PhD in Theology from London University. From 1984 Bob was General Secretary of the NZ Church Missionary Society. He is the author of Christians Meeting Hindus and Jesus and the Religions. He served as the Dean of Studies in Christchurch from 1996-2007.


Recent publications


‘Has Raimundo Panikkar written “one of the best and least read meditations on the Trinity” in the twentieth century (Rowan Williams)? An appraisal.’ [Forthcoming in Trinity symposium, edited by Martin Sutherland, 2016]


‘“Cancer is not a disease. It is a phenomenon”: Finding God in a cancer-strewn world’ in Tim Meadowcroft and Caroline Blyth (eds), Spirituality and Cancer (Auckland: Accent Publications, 2015), 187-206


“Inter-faith Evangelicals? Oxymoron or Opportunity? A Model to Assist Theologically Conservative Christians towards Intentional Dialogue and a Wider Ecumenism,” in Andrew Pierce, Oliver Schurgraf (Hrsg.), Den Blick weiten: Wenn Ökumene den Religionen begegnet (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt), 253-67.


‘Responsive essay. Reply to Bart Abbott’s, “One God to Rule Them All: Religious Exclusivity as a Source of Evangelism and Human Rights Abuse”.’ Sacred Tribes Journal, 8.1 (Fall 2013), 35-44.


Jesus and the Religions: Retrieving a Neglected Example for a Multi-cultural World. x + 292 pp. Eugene, OR: Cascade.

‘Evangelical Christians at the Inter-faith Dialogue Table? How?’ Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, 10 (2012), 40-48. http://irdialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/J...


‘A “Fifth Gospel” Less Torn and More Legible? On Recent Attempts to Retrieve Herodian Galilee’ in The Gospel and the Land of Promise, edited by Philip Church and Peter Walker, 86-102. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock.


‘Some New Books on Science, Faith and Evolution,’ Latimer Focus, issue 25 (Autumn 2010), 18-22.


Bob Robinson and John Dew, ‘The Uniqueness and Finality of Jesus Christ,’ in NEW VISION New Zealand, volume III, edited by Bruce Patrick, 1-18. Auckland: Tabernacle Books.

Bob Robinson and Glyn Carpenter, ‘Inter-Faith Dialogue in New Zealand,’ in NEW VISION New Zealand, volume III, 149-62.


‘The Christchurch Cathedral Altar Cloth Controversy: Upanishadic Text and Eucharistic Context,’ Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, 39 (2007), 58-78.

Bob Robinson, Frank Scrimgeour and Elizabeth Smythe, ‘Hermeneutic Reflections from Visiting a Project in Dumaria, India,’ African and Asian Studies [Leiden], 6 (2007), 495-509.


‘Christian-Hindu Dialogue—Are There Persuasive Biblical and Theological Reasons for It? A Critical Assessment,’ Dharma Deepika [Chennai / Madras], 10.2 (July-December, 2006), 7-22.


Christians Meeting Hindus: an Analysis and Theological Critique of the Hindu-Christian Encounter in India. xviii + 392 pp. Oxford: Regnum Books.


‘Lesslie Newbigin and the Christian-Hindu Encounter: A Principled Ambivalence,’ Studies in World Christianity [Edinburgh University Press], 8 (2002), 296-315 [originally a refereed paper read at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Reformed Theology Group, Denver, CO, 19 November 2001.]


‘What Exactly is Meant by the “Uniqueness of Christ”?—An Examination of the Phrase and Other Suggested Alternatives in the Context of Religious Pluralism’; Part one: Evangelical Review of Theology, 25 (2001), 362-71; Part two: Evangelical Review of Theology, 26 (2002), 76-90.

Conference and Seminar Papers (recent; selected)


‘“Cancer is not a disease. It is a phenomenon”: a theological and non-reductionist evaluation of five substantial recent studies on the aetiology, potential demise, and contemporary treatment of cancer.’ Paper read to Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer, University of Auckland, 20 February 2014.


‘Inter-faith Evangelicals? Oxymoron or Opportunity? A Model to Assist Theologically Conservative Christians towards Intentional Dialogue and a Wider Ecumenism.’ Paper read to the 17th Academic Consultation of The European Society for Ecumenical Research, Societas Oecumenica, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 27 August 2012.


‘Jesus and Gentiles: a theological reading of several Gospel passages in the light of contemporary religious pluralism.’ Paper read to the Colloquium on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture, Laidlaw College, Auckland, 20 August 2011.

‘An evangelical Protestant appreciation and critique of Raimundo Pannikar.’ Paper read to the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies, Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 25 November 2011.

‘Jesus and Samaritans—and Some Implications for the Encounter with Islam.’ Paper read to the Aotearoa New Zealand Association for Biblical Studies, Christchurch, 5 December 2011.


‘Christ as Exegete: a Theological Reading of Luke 4:16-30.’ Paper read to Aotearoa New Zealand Association for Biblical Studies, Auckland, 3 December 2010.


‘Christ among the Religions,’ Public Lecture, Trinity Theological College, Singapore, 23 April 2008.


‘Inter-Faith Dialogue—How Christians Can Be Positive without Compromise,’ paper read to a closed meeting of invited church and political leaders convened by Bishop Rennis Ponniah and the National Council of Churches of Singapore, St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore, 30 August 2007.

‘Interfaith Evangelicals? Oxymoron or Opportunity? A Sixfold Model to Assist Conservative Christians towards Intentional Inter-faith Dialogue,’ paper read to Systematic Theology Association of Aotearoa NZ, Christchurch, 06 December 2007.


‘The Christchurch Cathedral Altar Cloth: Texts, Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts,’ paper read to the Systematic Theology Association of Aotearoa NZ, Wellington, 01 December 2006.


‘Christians meeting Hindus: implications for the global Christian community from the dialogical turn in the recent Christian-Hindu encounter in India.’ Paper read at the 2005 Pruit Memorial Symposium, ‘Global Christianity: Challenging Modernity and the West,’ Baylor University, Waco, TX, 12 November 2005.

Other Publications (recent, including commissioned book reviews)


‘“Faith Has Its Reasons” in New Zealand: Finding the Forgotten God and the Changing Face of Constructive Apologetics. Stimulus, 22.3 (November 2015), 46-58


Review: Bob Barrett, The Church Beyond … Our Leadership. In Latimer Focus, 33 (Autumn, 2014), 11-12.


Review: Edward Chia, Schillebeeckx and Interreligious Dialogue: Perspectives from Asian Theology. In Stimulus, 20.1, (April 2013), 54.


Review: Steven B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Prophetic dialogue: reflections on Christian mission today in Theological Book Review, 24.1 (2012), 76.

Review: John Corrie and Cathy Ross, eds, Mission in Context: Explorations Inspired by J. Andrew Kirk in Stimulus 19.2 (July 2012), 46-47.

Review: Terence E. Fretheim, Creation Untamed: The Bible, God and Natural Disasters in Biblical Theology Bulletin, 42 (2012), 155-56.

Review: Todd M. Johnston, Rodney L. Peterson, Gina Bello Fatto, Travis Myers, eds. 2010 Boston: The Changing Contours of World Mission and Christianity in Stimulus 19.3 (November 2012), 55.

Review: J. Andrew Kirk, Civilisations in conflict? Islam, the West and Christian faith in Theological Book Review, 24.1 (2012), 98.

Review: Brendan Leahy, Ecclesial movements and communities: origins, significance and issues in Theological Book Review, 24.1 (2012), 82-83.

Review: Thomas Power, ed, Guide for the Christian Perplexed in Stimulus 19.2 (July 2012), 45-46.

Review: Alida Leni Sewell, Calvin and the Body: An Inquiry into His Anthropology in Stimulus 19.2 (July 2012), 45.

Review: David Emmanuel Singh, ed, Jesus and the incarnation: reflections of Christians from Islamic contexts in Theological Book Review, 24.1 (2012), 51.

Review: Beth Snodderly and A Scott Moreau, eds, Evangelical and frontier mission: perspectives on the global progress of the Bible in Theological Book Review, 24.1 (2012), 78-79.

Review: Elmer Thiessen. The Ethics of Evangelism: A Philosophical Defence of Ethical Proselytizing and Persuasion in Stimulus 19.3 (November 2012), 55-56.


Review: Steven Tsoukalas, Krsna and Christ: Body-Divine Relation in the Thought of Sankara, Ramanuja, and Classical Christian Orthodoxy. In Religious Studies Review, 34.3 (September 2008), 180.

Review: John E. Colwell, The Rhythm of Doctrine. In Colloquium, 40 (2008), 216-17.

Review: Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just and Tom Thatcher (eds), John, Jesus, and History. In Colloquium, 40 (2008), 212-14.


Review: H. L. Richard, Exploring the Depths of the Mystery of Christ: K. Subba Rao’s Eclectic Praxis of Hindu Discipleship. In Religious Studies Review, 32.1 (January 2006), 61.

Book reviews published in Latimer Focus:

Issue 33 (Autumn, 2014), 16-18: eight reviews; Issue 32 (Spring 2013), 16-18: eight reviews; Issue 31 (Autumn 2013), 13-15: five reviews; Issue 30 (Winter 2012), 14f: six reviews; Issue 29 (Spring 2011), 15f: eight reviews; Issue 28 (Autumn 2011), 15f: six reviews; Issue 27 (Spring 2010), 12: one review; Issue 26 (Winter 2010), 19f: five reviews.