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2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Edinburgh

What is Caesar’s? Adjudicating Faith in Modern Constitutional Democracies to be held on Monday 19 May 2014. [More…]

2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Glasgow

Givenness and Revelation begins Tuesday 20 May 2014. [More…]

YouTube Channel

Gifford Lectures now has a YouTube Channel! [More…]


A new Gifford Lectures page for St. Andrews. [More…]

Eight Books Based on Gifford Lectures

Eight books derived from the Gifford lectures are available. [More…]


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Vigo Auguste Demant

1893 - 1983

Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford



Theologian and social commentator Vigo Auguste Demant was born 8 November 1893 into a family with French and Danish roots. After attending school at Newcastle and in France, he earned a degree in engineering at Armstrong College (later King’s College). In 1916 Demant went to Oxford to study anthropology but changed direction. He attended Ely Theological College, being ordained as a deacon of the Church of England in 1919 and as a priest in 1920.
Demant served curacies in Oxford and London, then became a vicar in Surrey. In 1941 he was named a canon of St Paul’s and in 1949 he became Canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at Oxford University, a position he would hold until retirement in 1971.
Considered a founder of Christian sociology in England, Demant was a member of T. S. Eliot’s Christendom Group, which published a Anglo-Catholic sociology journal. The group also organized the annual Anglo-Catholic Summer Schools in Sociology from 1925 to 1955. In 1950 Demant gave a series of eight lectures, titled “Religion and the Decline of Capitalism,” on the BBC’s Third Programme. His Gifford Lectures at St Andrew’s, in 1957-1958, concerned what he called “the natural history of Christianity.”
Demant’s writings include The Just Price (1930); This Unemployment—Disaster or Opportunity? (1932); God, Man and Society (1933); Christian Polity (1936); The Religious Prospect (1939); Theology of Society (1947); Our Culture: Its Christian Roots and Present Crisis (1947); The Responsibility and Scope of Pastoral Theology To-Day (1950); Religion and the Decline of Capitalism (1952); The Elements of Christianity (1955); A Two-Way Religion (1957); Christian Sex Ethics (1963), The Idea of a Natural Order (1966); and Why the Christian Priesthood Is Male (1972)
Demant married Marjorie Tickner in 1925 and they had three children. He retired in 1971 to Headington, Oxford, and died 3 March 1983.
Therese Boyd
Templeton Press