Adam Willows is a theologian specialising in philosophical theology and ethics, with further expertise in the relationship between theology and the sciences. His work so far emphasizes the potential for philosophical and theological traditions to interact, often to mutual benefit. His doctoral thesis was a study of how theological thought on the virtues is well placed to respond to philosophical criticisms of virtue ethics.
He received his doctorate from Durham University in 2015 and from 2015-2017 was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Center For Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame (USA). At Notre Dame he was part of the Human Distinctiveness project, a collaboration between evolutionary anthropologists and theologians studying human nature and human development. His work there focused on the role of exemplars in moral development. Accounts of our evolutionary development indicate that individual experts are only one of the many ways we learn from each other. Dr. Willows' work aims to show how other kinds of exemplars fictional characters, children, animals, and whole communities can contribute to a more complete account of moral development
In 2017 he moved to the University of Leeds, where he joined the international St. Andrews Science-Engaged Theology project. There he worked with Professor Mark Wynn on the coherence between moral rationalism and the science of action. In September 2018 he took up the post of Senior Lecturer in Value Studies at the University of Winchester. He is currently investigating the role of reason in the action theory and ethics of Aristotle, Aquinas and Kant. His recent work argues that these three thinkers are in close agreement about the mechanics of action, but that theological disagreements lead them to draw differing conclusions about moral action overall.