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Keith Ward

Regius Professor of Divinity, Christ Church, Oxford

John Stephen Keith Ward (better known as Keith Ward), Gresham Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, was born on 22 August 1938, in Hexham, Northumberland. He and his wife Marian (née Trotman) have a son, Alun James Kendal, and a daughter, Fiona Caroline. After education at Hexham Grammar School, Ward went to the University of Wales, Cardiff, from which he graduated with a B.A. He then went to Linacre College, Oxford (MA, Blitt) and Trinity Hall, Cambridge (MA, DD). Between 1964 and 1969 he was lecturer in Logic at the University of Glasgow. In 1969 Ward became lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, a post he held till 1971. Following a period (1971-1976) as lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at King’s College London he became in 1976 Fellow, Dean and Director of Studies in Philosophy and in Theology at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1983 Ward was appointed F. D. Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology at the University of London. From 1986 till 1991 he was Professor and Head of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Religion at the University of London, and between 1991 and 2003 was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He delivered a series of Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow during the academic session 1993-1994. He was also Selwyn Lecturer at St John’s College, Auckland (New Zealand) in 1993. The Gifford Lectures and the Selwyn Lectures were published in 1994 in one volume under the title Religion and Revelation. A Theology of Revelation in the World’s Religions, the first of a set of four volumes by Ward on comparative theology. At present Ward is Gresham Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, London, and Emeritus Student of Christ Church, Oxford. He is an Honorary Fellow both of Trinity Hall, Cambridge and of the University of Wales, Cardiff, and is an Honorary Doctor of the Free University of Amsterdam. In 2000 he became a Fellow of the British Academy. Ward has published widely in philosophy and theology. Among his publications are works on Kant, Christian ethics and the concept of God. His first book, Fifty Key Word in Philosophy, was published in 1968. Further publications are Ethics and Christianity (1970), Kant's View of Ethics (1972), The Concept of God (1974), The Divine Image (1976), The Christian Way (1976), The Promise (1980), Holding Fast to God (1982), Rational Theology and the Creativity of God (1984), and The Living God (1984). The Battle for the Soul, first published in 1985 was re-issued as Defending the Soul in 1992 and as In Defence of the Soul in 1998. The Turn of the Tide was published in 1986, followed by Images of Eternity (1987), re-issued as Concepts of God in 1993. Further works are The Rule of Love (1989), Divine Action (1990), and A Vision to Pursue (1991). Ward has also published a four-volume work entitled Comparative Theology. It is composed of Religion and Revelation (1994), Religion and Creation (1996), Religion and Human Nature (1998), and Religion and Community (2000). God, Chance, Necessity was published in (1996), God, Faith and the New Millennium (1998), A Short Introduction to Christianity (2000), and God: a Guide for the Perplexed (2002). His latest works are The Case for Religion and What the Bible Really Teaches, both published in 2004.

Benedikt Bock Sources: personal communication from Prof. John Stephen Keith Ward in Keith Ward, A Guide for the Perplexed; Autobiography in Comparative Theology (London: SPCK, 2003).