Lecturers & Authors

Arthur Darby Nock

Frothingham Professor of History of Religion, Harvard University
1902 to 1963

For centuries Christian scholars have debated Paul’s Hellenistic influences. ‘Paul didn’t know enough about Hellenism to pass the mid-term exam in my under-graduate course,’ Arthur Darby Nock once commented (as recalled by one of his students Edgar Krentz). Born in the south of England in 1902 and trained as a classicist at Cambridge where he won a scholarship Nock was known to have three attributes: he was an eminent scholar and was said to have been ‘charmingly eccentric even in a world of eccentrics’. He was also one who did not pull his punches.

David Novak

J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

David Novak was born in Chicago, Illinois on 19 August 1941. He received his AB from the University of Chicago on 10 June 1961, and from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America he received his MHL (Master of Hebrew Literature) on 7 June 1964 and his rabbinical diploma on 5 June 1966. He received his PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University on 23 May 1971.

Helga Nowotny

Professor emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich

Helga Nowotny is Professor emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich, and a founding member of the European Research Council. In 2007 she was elected ERC Vice President. From March 2010 until December 2013, she served as President of the ERC. Currently she is Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria, member of the Austrian Council and Vice-President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. She is Nanyang Technological University Singapore Visiting Professor.

Martha Nussbaum

Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Profess of Law and Ethics, University of Chicago

Martha Nussbaum received her BA from New York University (1969) and her MA and PhD from Harvard (1972 and 1975, respectively). She taught philosophy and classics at Harvard in the 1970s and 1980s, before moving to Brown. Her 1986 book, The Fragility of Goodness, on ancient Greek ethics, made her a prominent figure throughout the social sciences and humanities. Nussbaum's other major area of philosophical work was on the emotions, where she specifically defended a neo-Stoic approach.

Onora O'Neill

Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge; CBE, FBA

Onora Sylvia O’Neill, now Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve (CBE, PBA), was born 23 August 1941.

She studied philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University, before continuing her studies at Harvard, where she completed a doctorate under the supervision of John Rawls. She then taught philosophy and served as the principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, until October 2006.

Mark Pagel

Professor of Evolutionary Biology & Director of the Evolution Laboratory, University of Reading

From the University of Glasgow Gifford Lectures page:

Mark Pagel is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Reading University in the UK.

Raimon Panikkar

Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy of Religion, University of Madrid
1918 to 2010

Raimon Panikkar was a Roman Catholic priest and theologian who, by merging Hindu and Buddhist thought with Christianity, became a leader of interreligious dialogue. His early commitment to Catholicism and his three doctorates and mastery of Hindu texts led to a significant modern audience for his work and the founding of several interfaith organizations.

William Paterson Paterson

Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
1860 to 1939

William Paterson Paterson, Church of Scotland minister and theologian, was born on 25 October 1860 at Skirling Mains, Peeblesshire, the first-born son of John Paterson, a farmer, and his wife Mary. He was educated at Skirling school and the Royal High School of Edinburgh before proceeding on to the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated Master of Arts with honours in classics (1880) and Bachelor of Divinity (1883).

Herbert James Paton

White's Professor Emeritus of Moral Philosophy, Oxford
1887 to 1969

Herbert James [Hamish] Paton philosopher was born in Abernethy Perthshire on 30 March 1887 with his twin to William Macalister Paton a Free Church minister and Jean Robertson Miller. Paton was educated at the University of Glasgow where he obtained a first-class honours degree in classics. At Glasgow he also learned philosophy in the idealist tradition taught by Sir Henry Jones. In 1908 he went to Balliol College Oxford as a Snell exhibitioner. His tutor was J. A. Smith who interested him in the idealism of Croce.

Stephen Pattison

Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Practice, University of Birmingham

Stephen Pattison, born 14 September 1953, is professor of Religion, Ethics and Practice at the University of Birmingham, a position he has held since May 2007. Formerly head of the School of Religious and Theological Studies at the University of Cardiff Professor Pattison received his BA degree in theology and religious studies in 1976 from the University of Cambridge.

Arthur Peacocke

Fellow, Exeter College, University of Oxford
1924 to 2006

Dr. Arthur Peacocke was born in 1924 in Watford near London. After gaining a PhD in physical biochemistry from the University of Oxford in 1948 he became a lecturer in chemistry and then senior lecturer in biophysical chemistry at the University of Birmingham. From 1959 until 1973 he worked as a fellow and tutor at St Peter’s College in Oxford.

Jaroslav Pelikan

Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University
1923 to 2006

Jaroslav Pelikan was born in Akron, Ohio, on 17 December 1923. His father and grandfather were both Slovak Lutheran pastors, and he himself was a member of the Lutheran Church until 1998, when he and his wife Sylvia were received into the Orthodox Church. He was educated at Concordia Seminary in St Louis before earning his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1946.

Roger Penrose

Rouse Ball Professor of Mathmematics, University of Oxford

Roger Penrose was born 8 August 1931 in Essex. In 1939, he emigrated with his parents to London, Ontario, where the family remained until the end of the Second World War. They returned to Britain, and Penrose eventually entered University College London, where he earned his BSc with first class honours in mathematics. He went on to conduct research in pure mathematics at Cambridge University, working first under William Hodge, but later changing his supervisor to John Todd. He earned his PhD in 1957.

Ralph Barton Perry

Edgar Pierce Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Harvard University
1876 to 1957

American educator Ralph Barton Perry a leader of the New Realist movement was born on 3 July 1876 in Poultney, Vermont to George Adelbert Perry and Susannah Chase Barton, both teachers.

Otto Pfleiderer

Professor of Theology, University of Berlin
1839 to 1908

Born at Stetten in the region of Wurttemberg in Swabia on 1 September 1839, Otto Pfleiderer was a New Testament scholar and theologian. After training in Tübingen between 1857 and 1861, and subsequently for brief stints in Scotland and England, he served as a repentant in Tübingen before becoming the pastor of Heilbronn in 1868. Two years later he moved to Jena, where, after serving as superintendent in the church, became professor of theology.

Alvin Plantinga

John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Alvin Plantinga was born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His father, Cornelius, was then a philosophy graduate student at the University of Michigan. When Cornelius graduated with a Ph.D. from Duke University, the family lived on a relatively low income until he secured a teaching job in Huron, Michigan, in 1941.

Michael Polanyi

Professor of Social Studies, University of Manchester
1891 to 1976

Michael Polanyi was born in March 1891 in Budapest Hungary. His parents were Cecilia Wohl and Mihaly Polacsek whose background was in engineering and business. Raised and schooled in Budapest Polanyi remained there to attend the University of Budapest where he completed a degree in medicine in 1913 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry four years later on the adsorption of gases on solid surfaces.

John Polkinghorne

Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge and Canon Theologian of Liverpool, England
1930 to 2021

The Reverend Dr. John Polkinghorne was born in Weston-super-Mare, England on 16 October 1930. He began his studies in science, specifically physics. He earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected a fellow in 1954 and studied under Paul Dirac, focusing on particle physics. In 1956 he was appointed Lecturer in Mathematical Physics at the University of Edinburgh and returned to Cambridge as Lecturer two years later. Polkinghore was promoted to professor in 1968.

Henry Habberley Price

Wykeham Professor of Logic, Oxford
1899 to 1984

Henry Habberly Price was born on 17 May 1899 in Glamorgan Wales to Henry Price, a mechanical engineer, and Katherine Lombard. He was schooled in Winchester and, between 1917 and 1919, he was a member of the Royal Flying Corps. He then enrolled at New College Oxford where he attained a first in 1921.

Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison

Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh
1856 to 1931

Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison was born Andrew Seth on 20 December 1856 in the city of Edinburgh. His parents were Margaret and Smith Kinmot Seth, a bank clerk. He was schooled at the Royal High School in his home city and went on to achieve first class honours in classics and philosophy at the University of Edinburgh (1873-1878). As a postgraduate Seth spent two years in Germany, studying in Berlin, Jena and Göttingen. He returned to Edinburgh in 1880.