Keith Ward

Keith Ward

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Keith Ward'
Start a new discussion about 'Keith Ward'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Keith Ward is a British cleric, philosopher, theologian and scholar. He is a Fellow of the British Academy
British Academy
The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national body for the humanities and the social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.It receives an annual...

 and (since 1972) an ordained priest of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. He was a canon of Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

 until 2003. Comparative theology
Comparative theology
Comparative Theology is a branch of Christian theology which study the religious diversity and its comparison, as well as theological reflection upon it. Comparative Theology requires the introduction and learning of other religious traditions directly through shared experience...

 and the interplay between science and faith are two of his main topics of interest.

Academic work


Ward graduated in 1962 with a BA from the University of Wales
University of Wales
The University of Wales was a confederal university founded in 1893. It had accredited institutions throughout Wales, and formerly accredited courses in Britain and abroad, with over 100,000 students, but in October 2011, after a number of scandals, it withdrew all accreditation, and it was...

, and from 1964-69 was a Lecturer in Logic at the University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

. He earned a BLitt from Linacre College, Oxford
Linacre College, Oxford
Linacre College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the UK, currently offering graduate entry only. It is located on St Cross Road at the corner of St Cross Road and South Parks Road, next to the University Parks and opposite the Tinbergen Building, which is shared by...

 in 1968. From 1969-1971 he was Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

. In 1972, he was ordained priest in the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. From 1971-75 he was Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

. From 1975-83, he was Dean of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Trinity Hall is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. It is the fifth-oldest college of the university, having been founded in 1350 by William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich.- Foundation :...

. He was appointed F. D. Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology at the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

 in 1982, Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion at King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

 in 1985, and Regius Professor of Divinity
Regius Professor of Divinity
The Regius Professorship of Divinity is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the professorships at the University of Oxford and at the University of Cambridge.Both chairs were founded by Henry VIII...

 at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 in 1991, a post from which he retired in 2004.

In 1992, he was a visiting professor at the Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate University is a private, all-graduate research university located in Claremont, California, a city east of downtown Los Angeles...

 in California. In 1993-94, he delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures
Gifford Lectures
The Gifford Lectures were established by the will of Adam Lord Gifford . They were established to "promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term — in other words, the knowledge of God." The term natural theology as used by Gifford means theology supported...

 at the University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

. Ward was the Gresham Professor of Divinity
Gresham Professor of Divinity
The Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, gives free educational lectures to the general public. The college was founded for this purpose in 1596/7, when it appointed seven professors; this has since increased to eight and in addition the college now has visiting professors.The...

 between 2004 and 2008 at Gresham College
Gresham College
Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Barnard's Inn Hall off Holborn in central London, England. It was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham and today it hosts over 140 free public lectures every year within the City of London.-History:Sir Thomas Gresham,...

, London.

He is on the council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy
Royal Institute of Philosophy
The Royal Institute of Philosophy, founded in 1925, is a charity organisation based in London that offers lectures and conferences on philosophical topics. The Institute is not committed to any particular philosophical school, method or ideology...

 and is a member of the Editorial Board
Editorial board
The editorial board is a group of people, usually at a publication, who dictate the tone and direction the publication's editorial policy will take.- Board makeup :...

s of Religious Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion
Journal of Contemporary Religion
The Journal of Contemporary Religion is a triannual peer-reviewed academic journal which covers anthropological, sociological, psychological, and philosophical aspects of religion.- History and format :...

, Studies in Inter-Religious Dialogue and World Faiths Encounter. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, founded in 1997, is a Recognised Independent Centre of Oxford University. The Centre is engaged in developing academic programmes of education, research and publishing in the field of Hindu studies...

. He has also been a visiting professor at Drake University
Drake University
Drake University is a private, co-educational university located in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The institution offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in law and pharmacy. Today, Drake is one of the twenty-five oldest law schools in the country....

, Iowa, and at the University of Tulsa
University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa is a private university awarding bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It is currently ranked 75th among doctoral degree granting universities in the nation by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the "Best 366 Colleges" by...

, Oklahoma.

Ward has an MA and DD degrees from both Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 and Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, and an honorary DD from the University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Located in Glasgow, the university was founded in 1451 and is presently one of seventeen British higher education institutions ranked amongst the top 100 of the...

.

Focus and beliefs


One of his main focuses is the dialogue between religious traditions, an interest which led him to be Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths (WCF) between 1992 and 2001. His work also explores concepts of God and the idea of revelation. Ward has also written about his opinion of a relationship between science and religion. As an advocate of theistic evolution
Theistic evolution
Theistic evolution or evolutionary creation is a concept that asserts that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution...

, he regards them as essentially compatible, a belief he has described in his book God, Chance and Necessity, and which is in contrast to his Oxford colleague Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

, an ethologist and vocal and prominent atheist. Ward has said that Dawkins's conclusion that there is no God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or any purpose in the universe is "naive" and not based on science but on a hatred of religion. Dawkins's strong anti-religious views originate, according to Ward, from earlier encounters with "certain forms of religion which are anti-intellectual and anti-scientific...and also emotionally pressuring." He has also been highly critical of materialist philosophers of consciousness such as Daniel Dennett
Daniel Dennett
Daniel Clement Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of...

, as well as social scientists such as Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 and Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

, arguing that they each attempt to reduce the human person into aspects of their own discipline.
Ward has described his own Christian faith as follows:


I am a born-again Christian. I can give a precise day when Christ came to me and began to transform my life with his power and love. He did not make me a saint. But he did make me a forgiven sinner, liberated and renewed, touched by divine power and given the immense gift of an intimate sense of the personal presence of God. I have no difficulty in saying that I wholeheartedly accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour.


He has criticized modern day Christian fundamentalism, most notably in his 2004 book What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists. He believes that fundamentalists interpret the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 in implausible ways and pick and choose which of its passages to emphasise in order to fit pre-existing beliefs. Ward argues that the Bible must be taken seriously, but not always literally and he does not agree with the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

, saying that it is not found in the Bible, elaborating that


There may be discrepancies and errors in the sacred writings, but those truths that God wished to see included in the Scripture, and which are important to our salvation, are placed there without error... the Bible is not inerrant in detail, but God has ensured that no substantial errors, which mislead us about the nature of salvation, are to be found in Scripture.

Books


Ward is the author of over 20 books including:
  • Ethics and Christianity (1970) ISBN 978-0-04-241001-2
  • Divine Image (1976) ISBN 978-0-281-02935-8
  • Christian Way (1976) ISBN 978-0-281-02893-1
  • The Concept of God (1977) ISBN 978-0-312-15925-2
  • Rational Theology and the Creativity of God (1982)
  • Holding Fast to God (1982) ISBN 978-0-687-85476-9 – a critique of Taking Leave of God by the radical theologian Don Cupitt
    Don Cupitt
    Don Cupitt is an English philosopher of religion and scholar of Christian theology. He is an Anglican priest, heretic and an emeritus professor of the University of Cambridge, though is better known as a popular writer, broadcaster and commentator...

  • Living God (1984) ISBN 978-0-281-04126-8
  • Ballsman in the Basement: The Harrowing True Story of the Ballsman (1985) ISBN 978-0-234-03237-9
  • The Battle for the Soul (1985) ISBN 978-0-340-37278-4
  • Images of Eternity (1987) ISBN 978-0-232-51686-9
  • The Rule of Love (1989) ISBN 978-0-232-51824-5
  • A Vision to Pursue (1991) ISBN 978-0-334-02411-8
  • Is Christianity a Historical Religion? (1992) ISBN 978-0-85217-054-0
  • Religion and Revelation (1994) ISBN 978-0-19-826375-3 (1993-94 Gifford Lectures
    Gifford Lectures
    The Gifford Lectures were established by the will of Adam Lord Gifford . They were established to "promote and diffuse the study of Natural Theology in the widest sense of the term — in other words, the knowledge of God." The term natural theology as used by Gifford means theology supported...

    , http://www.giffordlectures.org/Browse.asp?PubID=TPPRWR&Cover=TRUE)
  • Religion and Creation (1996) ISBN 978-0-19-826394-4
  • God, Chance and Necessity (1996) ISBN 978-1-85168-116-7
  • Concepts of God (1998) ISBN 978-1-85168-064-1
  • Religion and Human Nature (1998) ISBN 978-0-19-826965-6
  • God, Faith and the New Millennium (1998)
  • In Defence of the Soul (1998) ISBN 978-1-85168-040-5
  • Christianity: A Short Introduction (2000) ISBN 978-1-85168-229-4
  • Religion and Community (2000) ISBN 978-0-19-875259-2
  • God, A Guide for the Perplexed
    God, A Guide for the Perplexed
    God, A Guide for the Perplexed is a non-fiction book by Keith Ward arguing the compatibility between science and religion.In seven chapters Keith Ward takes the reader through the history of mankind's religious thought...

    (2002) ISBN 978-1-85168-323-9
  • What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists (2004) ISBN 978-0-281-05680-4
  • Pascal's Fire - Scientific Faith and Religious Understanding (2006) ISBN 978-1-85168-446-5
  • Is Religion Dangerous?
    Is Religion Dangerous?
    Is Religion Dangerous? is a book by Keith Ward examining the questions: "Is religion dangerous? Does it do more harm than good? Is it a force for evil?" It was first published in 2006....

    (2006) ISBN 978-0-7459-5262-8
  • Re-thinking Christianity (2007) ISBN 978-1-85168-506-6
  • The Big Questions in Science and Religion (2008)
  • Why There Almost Certainly Is a God (2008) ISBN 978-0-7459-5330-4 (UK) ISBN 978-0-8254-7843-7 (US)
  • Divine Action: Examining God's Role in an Open and Emergent Universe (2008)
  • Religion & Human Fulfilment (2008) ISBN 978-0-334-04163-4
  • The God Conclusion (2009)
  • More Than Matter: What Humans Really Are (2010) ISBN 978-0-74596-247-4


Books about Keith Ward and his theology include:
  • Comparative Theology: Essays for Keith Ward ed T W Bartel (2003) ISBN 978-0-281-05474-9

Multimedia

(58:00). Downloadable video, audio & transcript. Five other lectures by Keith Ward, recorded 2007-09 are available.
  • Video interview by Robert Wright
    Robert Wright (journalist)
    Robert Wright is an American journalist, scholar, and prize-winning author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory, including The Evolution of God, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, The Moral Animal, and Three Scientists and Their Gods:...

     (39:35).
  • Philosophy, Science and The God Debate, a two-DVD set of filmed interviews with Keith Ward, Alister McGrath
    Alister McGrath
    Alister Edgar McGrath is an Anglican priest, theologian, and Christian apologist, currently Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at Kings College London and Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture...

     and John Lennox
    John Lennox
    John Carson Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics, Philosophy of Science and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College of Oxford University...

    , and produced by the Nationwide Christian Trust, ISBN 5055307601776 (November 2011)

External links