Professor Jolyon Mitchell

Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh

Jolyon specialises in religion, violence and peacebuilding, including the role of the arts and media in inciting violence and promoting peace. 

A former BBC World Service producer and journalist, he is Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh, as well as a former President of Theology and Religious Studies UK (2012-18) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Nominated for over ten teaching awards, he is open to providing lectures on a wide range of other topics, including Searching for Peace in Theatre, Peacebuilding through the Arts, Decolonizing the Arts, the Making of Martyrs, and Searching for Truth and Reconciliation through Film.

Virtual lectures

Jolyon is available to deliver his lectures online, via Zoom or streaming. Please ask about this option when making your booking.


War and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2021)
Promoting Peace, Inciting Violence: The Role of Religion and Media (Routledge 2012)
Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2012)
Media Violence and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press 2007)

His co-edited books include:

Peacebuilding and the Arts (Palgrave MacMillan 2020)
Religion and the News (Ashgate 2012)
The Religion and Film Reader (Routledge 2007)
Mediating Religion: Conversations in Media, Religion and Culture (Continuum, 2003)

His lectures build upon original research undertaken for these and other publications.

Further information

For further information, please visit:

TEDx Talk: Published on April 20, 2015 - Jolyon takes a look at the relationship between art and warfare, using his experience as a BBC journalist as inspiration. In this thought provoking talk he explores how the perspective with which we view something can change its very nature.

Staff Profile: The University of Edinburgh

Lecture titles

  • Passion Play: The Mysterious Revivals of Religious Drama
  • Reframing News about Violence and Distant Suffering
  • ‘Swords into Ploughshares’: Promoting Peace through the Arts