About Beard Theology

"On the face of it tracking the history and theology of men’s facial hair throughout the Bible and the history of the church may “be-a-rd-ifficult” concept for some of us to take seriously. But I “mustache-sure” you that it leads to an unusual yet intriguing read. 
Beyond the fuzz Mouse helps us to explore male identity, gender disparity, cultural appropriation and the contextualisation of the gospel. 
This book does not short cut the issues, trim off the rough bits or split unnecessary theological hairs. Razor sharp in its wit and charm it offers us a whisker-stop tour of all sorts of hairy and prickly issue."
Dr Krish Kandiah, Founding Director of Home for Good and author of God is Stranger and Paradoxology


Beards have had cultural and religious significance for thousands of years. A fascinating story is told in this book of the religious significance of beards from the ancient civilisations to today. This book surveys beard theology from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia, to the Jews of Jesus's day and through to the early Church fathers who strongly promoted the beard, the Latin church which outlawed it leading up to and after the Great Schism of 1054. It pursues the story of the protestant reformers and reveals that the leaders of the evangelical revival of the 19th century all had plenty to say about the beard.

This largely untold and intriguing story of the religious significance of beards and contains a series of entertaining true historical stories, such as the cardinal who lost the papacy due to his beard, the female pharaoh who wore the fake beard and how beards were cited in the papal bull of excommunication that formalised the split of the Eastern and Western churches in the great schism.

"Smart, funny and absolutely fascinating. Lurking behind all that facial hair is an unexpectedly profound exploration of the way beliefs turn to rules and change the way we look and act. This book is wonderfully revealing about human nature."
Cole Moreton, writer and broadcaster


As well as providing a unique historical narrative, it also provides a subtle basis for reflection on current theological disputes and debates, gently inviting you to consider what parallels there are to the historical theological disputes which today seem trivial but caused heated passions in their day. It will entertain and inform in equal measure.

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