Dr Christopher Grey

Dr Christopher Grey

Academic Summary

The Open University UK, PhD in Philosophy and Music, (AHRC Scholar) 2017-2021

University College London, Institute of Education, MA in Music Education, 2004-2006

Royal Academy of Music, London University, BMus, LRAM, 1987-1990


Research Interests

Aesthetics, beauty, the conjunction of philosophy, theology and art (particularly music), Thomism



Lecturer in Theological Aesthetics, The London School of Theology

Member, The American Maritain Association

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham


Conference papers

2023, ‘A Music Which Only the Intellect Can Understand: Interpreting Maritain’s Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry.’ American Maritain Association, University of Dallas.

2022, ‘Reason Hears: Music, Goodness and the Virtuous Aesthetic Experience.’ American Maritain Association, DeSales University.

2022, ‘Maritain and Music: Developing a Thomist Philosophy of Music.’ Postgraduate Research Seminar, Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St Andrews.

2020, ‘Realist Solutions to the Problem of Music and the Ineffable.’ American Maritain Association, Franciscan University and Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius.

2019, ‘Thomist Foundations for a Theological Aesthetic of Musical Beauty.’ Theology, Creativity and the Arts, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge.

2019, ‘Thomist Foundations for a Theological Aesthetic of Musical Beauty.’ American Maritain Association, DeSales University.

2019, ‘Understanding Tragedy Truthfully: J.S. Bach’s Zerfliesse Mein Hertze.’ Plenary at American Maritain Association, DeSales University.

2019, ‘Musical Beauty, God and the Church: Early Historical-Ecclesiological Contexts.’ Music Research Conference, The Open University, UK.

2017, ‘Events in the Life of Christ in Art: John Donne, Josef Ratzinger and a Few Painters.’ Michaelmas Public Lectures, The Parish Church of St Michael, Highgate.

2017, ‘The Musical Aesthetic Inside Maritain’s Notion of Poetic Knowledge.’ American Maritain Association, Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans.

2015, ‘The Melodic, Harmonic and Rhythmic Decline of Vocal Memory in Congregational Singing.’ Christian Congregational Music Conference, Ripon College, Oxford.

2010, ‘The Dynamics of Knowing: Process in the Experience of Composer, Performer and Listener.’ The Society for the Study of Theology, Manchester University.


Other details

Chris has enjoyed a diverse career, mainly in education and teaching. He studied initially at the Purcell School, then trained at the Royal Academy of Music, and later he completed an MA in Music Education at UCL. Chris taught in secondary music education for over twenty years, commencing his doctoral studies in 2017, supported by an AHRC scholarship. In a parallel academic existence, Chris has been a member of the permanent faculty of London School of Theology since 2009. There he teaches undergraduate modules—Christianity and the Arts, Music, Philosophy and God, and History of Music in the Church—as well as supervising postgraduate work in theological and philosophical aesthetics. Chris completed his PhD in 2021, and having discovered Jacques Maritain (via Rowan Williams), his thesis outlined an aesthetics of music from a Thomistic theological and philosophical perspective. From Maritain’s revolutionary aesthetic works, together with Aquinas and Patristic sources, he constructed an account of musical creation that aims to overcome enlightenment definitions of beauty, which is pertinent to the modern era, whilst remaining tradition-constituted.

Current research

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Maritain’s death, and the 70th anniversary of the publication of his monumental Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry. Chris’ research activities at MBIT acknowledge these milestones by aiming to generate greater interest in the life and work of Jacques Maritain and his beloved wife Raïssa. There are two strands to his research. First, to work on a monograph in musical aesthetics which develops Maritain’s inchoate theory of music. Maritain himself suggested in Creative Intuition that a musician should complete this task—inferring that music helps to interpret the ontology of artistic poesis itself, but noting that he was insufficiently qualified to pursue this line of inquiry. Chris will also be convening a conference on the 13th of March 2024 to appraise the spiritual and intellectual mission of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, noting their profound witness to the mission of the laity, which stands as an exemplar of lives lived in the pursuit of beauty and goodness. There is far less Maritain interest in the UK than in the USA or Europe, so the anniversary affords an opportunity to address this. As a relatively recent convert to Catholicism—in no small part due to Jacques and Raïssa Maritain—Chris is committed to furthering their spiritual and intellectual legacy as a point of personal witness, as much as scholarly endeavour. He is always keen to hear from anyone with a Maritain interest.