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Revd,Canon,Professor Richard Burridge

Professor of Biblical Interpretation


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.

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.

Research interests

  • Jesus and the Gospels, particularly their genre
  • Graeco-Roman literature, especially biography
  • New Testament ethics

Professor Burridge’s doctoral thesis, published as ‘What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography’ (1992, revised 2004), is widely recognised as having significantly influenced the field of study of Gospel genre. He has built on this work since then, looking particularly at how New Testament ethics should be interpreted in the light of the recognition that the Gospels are essentially ‘bioi’ (biographies) of Jesus, and using South African apartheid as a case study. This has been published as ‘Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics’ (2007). He has also worked in the area of Biblical interpretation and commentary, and his commentary on John’s Gospel (in the BRF People's Bible Commentary series) was selected by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the recommended book to accompany the preparatory Bible study for all Bishops before the 2008 Lambeth Conference. He is also General Editor of the PBC series.

Professor Burridge welcomes enquiries about applications for MPhil/PhD study in areas appropriate to his work, particularly those of the Gospels, and New Testament ethics.

For more details, please see his full research profile.


Professor Burridge contributes to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the area of New Testament, as well as teaching on the Biblical Studies tracks for the DThMin (Doctorate in Theology & Ministry) and the MAThMin (MAs in Theology & Ministry).Professor Burridge has also acted as External Examiner for PhD theses at institutions including the University of Birmingham, the University of Gloucestershire, and the University of Sheffield.

Expertise and public exposure

Professor Burridge has presented papers on his ongoing work on Gospel genre and New Testament ethics at numerous external conferences, such as the British New Testament Conference and Annual and International Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, and at seminars within King’s, including the Research Institute in Systematic Theology. He is also involved with the Department’s Biblical Studies Research Seminar, and lectures and teaches regularly in the USA and South Africa, as well as frequently leading study days for both clergy and lay people across the UK.

He also often appears on television and radio to comment on theology and church affairs; in December 2013 he appeared on the ‘Today’ programme on BBC Radio 4 with members of the Monty Python team to discuss the impact and legacy of ‘The Life of Brian’.