The Revd Canon Professor Richard A. Burridge FKC
The Revd Canon Professor Richard A. Burridge FKC was Dean of King’s College London from 1993 to 2019.
As Dean, Professor Burridge oversaw – with the help and hard work of many outstanding colleagues in his team over the years – the restoration of King’s Chapel and the refurbishment of the Organ, the reestablishment of the Associateship of King’s College London (AKC) to over 2,500 students and staff enrolled, and the Chaplaincy’s expansion across all King’s campuses, including Jewish and Muslim chaplains, to serve the whole King’s community, staff and students, regardless of belief or background.
Before coming to King's, Professor Burridge was Lazenby Chaplain at the University of Exeter, where he also taught New Testament and Ethics. Originally a classicist and schoolmaster, he trained for the Anglican priesthood at St John’s College, Nottingham. He was ordained deacon in 1985, priest in 1986 and was a curate at St Peter and St Paul, Bromley, Kent.
In addition to his duties as Dean, he was appointed Professor of Biblical Interpretation at King’s in 2008, and served as Director of New Testament Studies until 2014.
In his service to society and the wider church, Professor Burridge represented the University of London on the General Synod for over twenty years, chairing the Church of England’s Education Validation Panel for Ordination Training, and being Deputy Chair of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.
Since 2014, he has also served as Canon Theologian for the Bishop of Salisbury. He was also elected by Gresham College as the Visiting Professor in Ethics and Theology in 2018-2019.
Professor Burridge’s doctoral thesis, What are the Gospels? A comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography (1992) turned around the previous scholarly consensus about the uniqueness of the genre of the gospels, demonstrating that they are a form of ancient biography; it was updated in a second edition in 2004, followed by major additions on the research which followed his ground breaking work over the last 25 years in a greatly expanded third edition in 2018.
His book, Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics (2007), was shortlisted for the Michael Ramsay prize 2009.
His academic scholarship and his contribution to the life of the world-wide church was recognised when he was awarded the 2013 Ratzinger Prize by Pope Francis, the first non-Roman Catholic to receive this prestigious prize.
Upon his retirement in 2019, the Bishop of Southwark presented him with the Lancelot Andrewes Medal for Godly Service and Zeal for the Gospel in recognition of his work for the Diocese of Southwark.
At his election as Dean in 1993, Professor Burridge was the youngest ever Dean of King’s, and in July 2016 he became the longest serving Dean, passing the record of the Very Revd Sydney Evans after 8,026 days of service. The photograph below shows him at his Licensing Service in 1994 with the Rt Revd David Hope (then Bishop of London) and Professor Arthur Lucas (then Principal of King’s) in front of the portraits of the two great post-war Deans, Eric Symes Abbott (1945-1955) and Sydney Evans (1955-1977). At his retirement on July 31st 2019, he had completed 25 years’ service.
In his retirement Richard Burridge continues his links with King’s as Visiting Professor of Biblical Interpretation, as he seeks to devote more time to his research and writing. He is currently finishing his major project on New Testament Ethics, and also working on a new translation of the gospels and an unauthorised biography of Jesus.