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David Fergusson

Professor of Divinity and Principal of New College

David Fergusson is a leading Protestant theologian in Scotland, a leader in church and theological education, and the author of many works that focus on modern Reformed theology and issues in science and religion. He serves as principal of New College, University of Edinburgh.

He studied philosophy and theology, and earned his MA BD and DPhil in Edinburgh. Afterward, he served for several years as a parish minister in the Church of Scotland. From 1990 to 2000 Fergusson was professor of systematic theology at the University of Aberdeen. He returned to Edinburgh and was appointed professor of divinity at New College.

His academic interests have included issues in Christian doctrine, theological ethics, and the history of Reformed theology, especially in its Scottish context. He has served as President of the Society for the Study of Theology (2000–2) and is a director and editorial board member of the Scottish Journal of Theology. From 2005–2008 he was chair of the U.K. Association of University Departments of Theology and Religious Studies.

Fergusson has delivered the Warfield Lectures at Princeton (2009), the Bampton Lectures in Oxford (2001), and the Cunningham Lectures in Edinburgh (1996). He has also lectured in Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. From 2010–2012 he was principal investigator for a project on Christianity Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Scotland, 1945–2000. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the project included a collection of oral histories and a scholarly evaluation of the postwar influences that pastoral counseling and psychotherapy shared in Scotland.

Fergusson has written more than sixty book, chapters, and journal articles on theological topics. Among his books are: Blackwell Companion to 19th Century Theology (2010); Faith and Its Critics (2009); Scottish Philosophical Theology (2007); Church, State, and Civil Society (2004); Community Liberalism and Christian Ethics (1998); The Cosmos and the Creator: Introduction to the Theology of Creation (1998); and Bultmann (1992). He is coeditor for: Cambridge Dictionary of Theology (2011); Scottish Philosophical Theology (2007); and The Future as God’s Gift: Explorations in Christian Eschatology (2001).

  • —L. Witham