News archive 2008
World-leading Theologian joins King’s21 Apr 2008, PR 70/08
Scientist, and former atheist, turned internationally-regarded theologian and prolific author, Revd Professor Alister McGrath, has been appointed to the newly created Chair in Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College London. Professor McGrath famously challenged Richard Dawkins’ views of religion.
Following a first class degree from Oxford in Chemistry in 1975 and research in molecular biophysics, Alister McGrath went onto be awarded a first class degree in Theology in 1978, before being ordained in 1980.
Currently at the University of Oxford, his research interests include the interaction of science and faith with the development of a ‘scientific theology’ and the relation of Christian theology and the natural sciences with special reference to the history of the relationship and its contemporary development in the fields of quantum theory and molecular biology.
In recent years he has been especially interested in the emergence of “scientific atheism”. His international bestseller The Dawkins Delusion? co-written with Joanna Collicutt McGrath and published in 2007, was a response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. In his 2004 book The Twilight of Atheism, he suggested that atheism was in decline. He has written more than 30 books and his latest, The Open Secret: A new Vision for Natural Theology, will be published later this year.
He says of his appointment at King’s, which he will take up in September 2008: ‘I am delighted to be able to join such a vibrant and forward-looking department. London is presently the most dynamic centre for new ventures in theological education, and I am very excited about the opportunities this appointment brings.”
Based in the Department of Education & Professional Studies, Head of the Department Professor Jonathan Osborne welcomes this prestigious appointment, saying: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Alister McGrath, a leading contemporary theologian and public intellectual has decided to join our Department. It recognises the strength of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, its interdisciplinary work and the range of postgraduate courses it offers in theology and religious education.’
Professor McGrath’s appointment coincides with an innovative, new masters programme which has been designed by the Department in a unique cooperation between theologians and ministers, the programme combines intellectual depth with a wide range of practical issues – from contemporary worship to Fair Trade.
The Department also offers a Doctorate in Ministry which is designed to offer clergy, ministers, and those in full-time church-related ministry an opportunity to pursue doctoral level studies via a programme which is relevant to their ministerial and theological interests.
The Dean of King’s College London, the Revd Dr Richard Burridge, comments: ‘I greatly look forward to welcoming Alister McGrath’s to King’s. His appointment to this new chair will be very important in our partnership in providing professional training for those in the Christian ministry and very helpful for the new MA programmes in Theology and Ministry.’
Notes to editors
Professor Alister McGrath
Professor McGrath is currently Professor Historical Theology at the University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College Oxford and was Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford from 1995-2004.http://resources.theology.ox.ac.uk/staff.phtml?lecturer_code=Amcgrath
His books include academic and text books plus a series written for the clergy and others engaged in ministry. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005. He will be giving the Riddell Endowed Academic Lectures at the University of Newcastle in 2008; the Gifford endowed lectures at the University of Aberdeen in 2009 and the Hulsean endowed lecture series at the University of Cambridge in 2009/10.
Department for Education & Professional Studies
King’s first entered the field of education in 1890 and was one of the earliest institutions to do so among British universities. It has a proud history of educational research which has contributed to improving practice, debates on public policy and addressing the concerns of professional communities. The Department provides programmes of study that help professionals critically analyse and effectively respond to changes in thinking and policy in their fields. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/education/
The new Masters courses offered by the Department for Education & Professional Studies are designed to challenge, inspire and refresh anyone engaged in Christian ministry, from ministers and ordinands, to laity and members of faith based organisations. The courses include: MA in Youth Ministry; MA in Theology, Politics and Faith Based Organisations; MA in Contemporary Ecclesiology; MA in Contemporary Worship; MA in Christian Education; MA in Pastoral Ethics; MA in Bible and Ministry; and MA in Mission and Ministry in the Modern Age.
King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher 2007) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has 19,700 students from more than 140 countries, and 5,400 employees. King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. The College is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings and has an annual income of approximately £400 million. An investment of £500 million has been made in the redevelopment of its estate.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, social sciences, the health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres - more than any other university.
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer
Public Relations Department
King’s College London
Tel: 020 7848 3073
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