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Visiting researchers

Revd Canon Vernon White

Revd Canon Vernon White Visiting Professor

July 2012 - June 2017


Address: Department of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building,
22 Kingsway


Vernon White is a Visiting Professor in Theology at King’s, specialising in modern doctrine and with a wider interest in philosophical theology.  He is also Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, with particular responsibility for theological study and teaching. He has had a longstanding concern for both academic and public theology, and is the author of a number of books. 

After studying at Cambridge and Oxford he became Tutor in Doctrine and Ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford 1977- 1983. From 1983-87 he was Chaplain and Lecturer at Exeter University, and then Rector of Wotton and Holmbury St Mary and Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Guildford 1987-1993. He was Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral and Special Lecturer in Theology at Nottingham University between 1993-2001. He was Principal of the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme at Salisbury since 2001, and was also appointed Honorary Canon Theologian of Winchester Cathedral in 2006.

He has lectured widely in both academic and church environments. Vernon is married with one son.  See below for selected publications and current research interest.

Research interests

Vernon White’s original thesis, published in 1985 as The Fall of A Sparrow, examined conceptual possibilities of belief in divine action in particular events.  He is now returning to divine action in the world, and the doctrine of providence, on a broader canvas.  His current research explores the notion of purposiveness in events more generally, including some background history of ideas and figural readings of texts, and a constructive proposal for re-imagining the doctrine.  Main interlocutors so far are Karl Barth, Hans Frei, Peter Hodgson, and some more recent analytic philosophical theology.

Selected publications


  • The Fall of a Sparrow: a concept of special divine action (Paternoster, Exeter 1985)
  • Atonement & Incarnation: an essay in universalism and particularity (CUP, Cambridge 1991)
  • Paying Attention to People: an essay on individualism and Christian belief (SPCK, London 1996)
  • Identity (SCM, London 2002)
  • Life beyond Death: threads of hope in faith, life and experience (DLT, London  2006)
  • Purpose and Providence. Taking Soundings in Western Thought, Literature and Theology (London, Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015)

 Articles/ contributions to books:

  • ‘Honest to Goodness: an essay on moral experience and the existence of God’  (Nottingham 1981)
  • ‘The Future of Theology’ in Calling Time (ed. Martyn Percy, Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield 2000)
  • ‘Re-Enchanting the World: A Fresh Look at the God of Mystical Theology’ in Theology Vol. C111   (2000)
  • ‘Varieties of Uniqueness and the Person of Christ: does uniqueness matter?’, in Comparative Theology: essays for  Keith Ward (ed. T Bartel, SPCK  2003)
  • ‘Providence, Irony and Belief.  Thomas Hardy – and an improbable comparison with Karl Barth’ in Theology Vol. CX111 (2010)
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