Welcome to   the website of  Prof. John M Hull

What's New

John Hull's latest book:
Towards the Prophetic Church: A Study of Christian Mission
(SCM Press, 2014)        ISBN: 9780334052340        £30.00        Order it at:
http://www.scmpress.co.uk/books/9780334052340/towards-the-prophetic-church or call 01603 785 925.     Also available from all good Christian bookshops.

Book cover Towards The Prophetic Church

"There are many, including this reviewer, who regard John Hull as a prophet. . This is a timely book" (Church Times)

From the publisher: John Hull is one of the UK’s leading thinkers in Christian theological education and through his work over many years has shaped the discipline. This long awaited text draws together the different strands of Hull’s work, who began academic life as a biblical scholar. He traces the tradition of the prophetic voice and prophetic action from the Old Testament to the present day and identifies it as a key resource for the renewal of the Church, not least through theological education. This book will be of interest to all who regard social action as a key element of the life and work of the Church and seek to inspire others to do so.

Report of BOOK LAUNCH for the above book on 13 October 2014
at The Queen’s Foundation, chaired by David Hewlett, Principal.

David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, spoke about the importance of the book to the churches.

Gary Hall, Lecturer in Practical Theology in The Queen’s Foundation, spoke about its importance to mission.

Elisabet Haakedal, a Professor in the Department of Religion, Philosophy and History, University of Agder, Norway, and a past Trustee of The International Seminar for Religious Education and Values (ISREV), spoke about its importance to religious education.

John Hull spoke of his reasons for writing the book. General discussion followed.


ANOTHER RECENT BOOK    Disability - The Inclusive Church Resource by John Hull and others. (The Inclusive Church Resources Series)  Includes A Theology of Disability by John M. Hull. July 2014. Details: Writings on Blindness and Disability


Report of BOOK LAUNCH at The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham.

Photo of the audience On Monday 14th October 2013, The Queen’s Foundation celebrated the recent publication of two books by Professor John Hull, The Tactile Heart and a new edition of Touching the Rock (both described below). The launch was attended by more than 70 people including representatives from several organisations of blind people, students and staff of the Foundation, and Natalie Watson of the SCM Press and Alison Barr of SPCK.

Photo of Doctor Hewlett speakingPhoto of Kevin Carey speaking

Guests were welcomed by Queen’s Principal, Revd. Dr David Hewlett (left), and by Kevin Carey (right), Chair of RNIB Group (incorporating The Royal National Institute of Blind People), who gave the opening address.


Photo of Professor McLinden speakingPhoto of Doctor Barton speaking

Professor Mike McLinden (left) of the University of Birmingham, and Dr Mukti Barton (right) of the Queen’s Foundation, spoke about the books.

Photo of Professor Hull 
speaking, Kevin Carey in the chair
Professor Hull (far right) replied by describing the experiences of blindness which lead to his writing the books.

The event included the West Midlands première of the short film Rainfall presented by Peter Middleton and James Spinney of Fee Fie Foe Films. This is part of the feature film Into Darkness based on John Hull’s experience of sight loss, which will be released late in 2014.

(Photos of the launch by Dede Tyndall)

New book on blindness by John M. Hull

The Tactile Heart book cover photo John Hull’s fourth book on blindness, The Tactile Heart: Blindness and Faith was published by SCM Press on 30th August 2013. ISBN: 9780334049333. £25 (pb). Order it at www.scmpress.co.uk/books/9780334049333/Tactile-Heart.

The Tactile Heart is a collection of theological essays on relating blindness and faith, and developing a theology of blindness that makes a constructive contribution to the wider field of disability theology. John Hull looks at key texts in the Christian tradition, such as the Bible, written as a text for sighted people, and at hymns, which often use blindness as a metaphor for ignorance; and explores how these perpetuate an ancient prejudice against disabled people.

Touching The Rock book cover photo
New edition of Touching the Rock by John M. Hull

On 16th May 2013 the SPCK published a new edition of Touching the Rock: an Experience of Blindness, in their series of SPCK Classics. The first edition of the book appeared in 1990. There is a foreword by Oliver Sacks, who describes Touching the Rock as ‘a masterpiece’ and ‘a unique exploration’ of blindness. ISBN: 978-0-281-07073-2. £10.99 (pb). Order it at

Touching the Rock is a diary kept by John Hull when he was adjusting to total blindness. First published in 1990, it is now in 14 foreign languages and editions from other countries. It is now republished as a 'classic'. The book is a unique exploration of that distant, infinitely strange, ‘other world’ of blindness. John Hull writes of odd sounds and echoes, of people without faces, of a curious new relationship between waking and dreaming, of a changed perception of nature and human personality. Oliver Sacks says “The incisiveness of Hull’s observation, the beauty of his language, make this book poetry . . .”


Rainfall, a short film describing John Hull’s experience of rain, has won first prize at the Hot Docs short film festival in Toronto. It can now become one of 25 short documentaries submitted for the award of an Oscar. From these the final five films will be selected for the shortlist. Rainfall is part of a longer documentary Into Darkness being made by Fee Fie Foe Films of London. The film, which will be released in 2014, includes material from the original recordings which were later adapted for publication in Touching the Rock.   Rainfall is also an official selection for the London Short Film Festival 2013.  For more information, see www.intodarkness.co.uk/rainfall.html

There is a link below to The New York Times web page dated January 15, 2014. This page has links to play the 13 minute original version of the film Notes on Blindness (here preceded by adverts), or to play it with Audio Description, or with Closed Caption.  There are then three two-minute audio recordings, in which John responded to the diary entries in the film, reflecting on his memories of sight, alarm at the onset of darkness and his eventual discovery of beauty. Finally there is a written account of The Story Behind ‘Notes on Blindness’, by the directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney.
New York Times web page ‘Notes on Blindness’

For another link to the 13 minute film Notes on Blindness, with details of the Directors, and other credits, go to the Sundance Film Festival website


The following additions or major updates
have recently been made to the website. The latest are at the top, and you will find the titles of any newly-added writings are shown in bold on the indicated page.

Links to external pages about the film Notes on Blindness were added just above here in January 2014.

The 'Home' page was updated in May 2013 with links to an extensive interview with John about his interests and life, published in the Church Times.

The 'Sermons' page in the Writings section was updated in May and June 2013 with another three sermons.

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