Philip studied music in the University of Melbourne before studying theology in Switzerland and the Netherlands. He became a Dominican in 1977, and has lived in Oxford since 1994. There he is a Senior Research Fellow of Mansfield College. His latest books have been A Modern Introduction to Theology: New Questions for Old Beliefs (2006); Twentieth-Century Theologians (2010), and Christianity (2011), all published by I.B. Tauris of London and New York. In April 2013, he became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.