Lecturers & Authors

Henri Bergson

Professor, College de France, Paris
1859 to 1941

Born in Paris in 1859 of Jewish parents, Henri Bergson received his education there and subsequently taught at Angers and Clermont-Ferraud before returning to Paris. He was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the College de France in 1900 and elected a member of the French Academy in 1914. Bergson developed his philosophy by stressing the biological and evolutionary elements involved in thinking, reasoning and creating. He saw the vitalistic dimension of the human species as being of the greatest importance.

R. J. (Sam) Berry

Professor, University College, London

Professor R. J. (Robert James) Berry was born on 26 October 1934 to Albert Edward James and Nellie (née Hodgson) Berry. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Caius College, Cambridge where he progressed to M.A. He earned his Ph.D. and his Doctorate of Science from University College London in 1976. From 1978 until his retirement in 2000, he served as Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor in Genetics at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.

Edwyn Robert Bevan

Lecturer in Hellenistic History and Literature, King's College, London
1870 to 1943

Edywn Robert Bevan, historian of comparative religion, was born in London on 15 February 1870 as the seventh son of banker Robert Cooper Lee Bevan. After his early education at Monkton Combe School in Bath, Bevan won an open classical scholarship to New College, Oxford (1888), where he obtained first classes in classical moderations (1890) and literae humaniores (1892). After taking his degree Bevan spent a year in travel.

Joseph Bidez

Professor of Classical Philology and the History of Philosophy, University of Ghent
1867 to 1945

Classical scholar Joseph Marie Auguste Bidez was born 9 April 1867 in Frameries, Belgium, the son of a doctor. He studied philosophy and literature at the University of Liège and by 1894 had earned three doctorates, in philosophy, laws, and classical philology. He then began teaching classical philology at the University of Ghent, becoming a full professor in 1907. Among his more prominent students was George Sarton, known as the father of the history of science.

Simon Blackburn

Professor, Cambridge

Simon Blackburn was born near Bristol in July 1944. He was educated at Clifton College (1957–1962) and Trinity College Cambridge (moral sciences 1962–1965). He was a junior research fellow at Churchill College Cambridge (1967–1969) and subsequently a fellow and tutor in philosophy at Pembroke College Oxford (1969–1990). From 1990 to 2001 he was the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Brand Blanshard

Stirling Professor of Philosophy, Yale University
1892 to 1966

Percy Brand Blanshard was born August 27 1892 in Fredericksburg Ohio. His father Francis a Congregational minister and his mother Emily Coulter Blanshard were both Canadians by birth and naturalized American citizens.

Niels Henrick David Bohr

Director, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Copenhagen
1885 to 1962

A pioneer in the field of quantum mechanics and nuclear fission, Niels Bohr is considered one of the most important theoretical physicists of the twentieth century. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1885, into a distinguished scientific family. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1911, Bohr went to England to work with Joseph John Thomson, discoverer of the electron, and later with Ernest Rutherford, who, in 1911, had shown that the atom consists of a small central nucleus surrounded by relatively distant electrons.

Bernard Bosanquet

Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of St. Andrews
1848 to 1923

Bernard Bosanquet, philosopher and social worker, was born on 14 June 1848 at Rock Hall, Northumberland, England, the youngest of five sons born to the Reverend Robert William Bosanquet and Caroline MacDowall, the daughter of Colonel Day Hort MacDowall of Castle Semple, Renfrewshire. Bosanquet attended various schools before studying for five years at Harrow starting in 1862. In 1867 he went to Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied the classics, including Plato and other Greek philosophers, under the guidance of Richard Lewis Nettleship.

Emile Boutroux

Professor of Philosophy, Sorbonne
1845 to 1921

Émile Boutroux was born on 21 July 1845 in Montrouge near Paris. He received his secondary education at lycée Napoléon (now lycée Henri IV), where in 1865 he graduated to the École Normale Supérieure. While engaged in tertiary education, Boutroux was influenced by the philosophy of Maine de Biran, whose work in the early nineteenth century laid the metaphysical foundations for modern French psychology. Here also Boutroux encountered Biran's follower J.

Andrew Cecil Bradley

Professor of Poetry, Oxford
1851 to 1935

Andrew Cecil Bradley (1851-1935) was a literary critic and professor of literature and poetry at the Universities of Liverpool, Glasgow and Oxford. He was one of the most highly regarded English critics of Shakespeare. Bradley was born at Park Hill, Clapham, Surrey on 26th March 1851. He was the fourth and youngest son of the twenty-one children of Charles Bradley (1789-1871), former vicar of Glasbury, noted evangelical preacher, and leader of the so-called Clapham Sect.

Sydney Brenner

Director of Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

Sydney Brenner British geneticist and winner of the Noble Prize in Physiology of Medicine in 2002 was born 13 January 1927 in Germiston South Africa son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father a shoe repairer came to South Africa from Lithuania in 1910 his mother from Latvia in 1922.

Alexander Broadie

Professor of Logic and Rhetoric, University of Glasgow

Alexander Broadie was born in Edinburgh on 18 October 1942. While growing up in Edinburgh he was a pupil at Royal High School and was later an undergraduate at Edinburgh University from which he graduated with first class honours in mental philosophy. Later at the University of Glasgow Broadie was awarded a doctorate of philosophy for his thesis ‘Investigation into the Cultural Ethos of the Samaritan Memar Marqah, with special reference to the work of Philo of Alexandria’. In 1967 Professor Broadie joined the philosophy department at the University of Glasgow.

John Hedley Brooke

Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Center Unv. Oxford

John Hedley Brooke is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford where he is also a fellow of Harris Manchester College. Before moving to Oxford in October 1999 he was Professor of the History of Science at Lancaster University.

Alexander Balmain Bruce

Professor of Apologetics and New Testament Exegesis, Free Church College, Glasgow
1831 to 1899

Alexander Balmain Bruce, a Scottish churchman and theologian, Professor of Apologetics and New Testament Exegesis at Free Church College, Glasgow, was born on 30 January 1831 in Aberargie in the parish of Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland, son of David Bruce. His father, a farmer who adhered to the Free Church at the Disruption, moved to Edinburgh in 1843.

Emil Brunner

Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, University of Zurich
1899 to 1966

Emil Brunner was born near Zurich on 23 December 1889. He studied at both Zurich and Berlin universities and received his doctorate in theology from Zurich in 1913. His doctoral dissertation was entitled ‘The Symbolic Element in Religious Knowledge’. In 1916–1917. Brunner served as pastor in the mountain village of Obstalden in the Canton of Glarus. In 1919–1920 he spent a year in New York studying at Union Theological Seminary.

Rudolf Bultmann

Professor of Theology, University of Marburg
1884 to 1976

Rudolf Karl Bultmann a highly acclaimed New Testament scholar was born in the former German state of Oldenburg in 1884. His theological training which began at the University of Tübingen in 1903 was subsequently carried out at the universities of Marburg and Berlin. Adolf von Harnack Wilhelm Herrmann and Johannes Weiss rank high among professors who most influenced Bultmann.

Walter Burkert

Professor of Classical Philology, University of Zurich

Walter Burkert was born in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, on 2 February 1931. He was educated in philology, history and philosophy at the University of Erlangen and the University of Munich, and obtained his PhD from Erlangen in 1955. He served there as an assistant teacher from 1957 to 1961, and as a lecturer from 1961 to 1965. He spent a year as a junior fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC, before becoming a professor of classical philology at the Technical University of Berlin in 1966.

James Henderson Burns

Emeritus Professor of the History of Political Thought, University College, London
1921 to 2012

James Henderson Burns is a leading historian of European political thought, specializing in the Reformation, the Scottish Enlightenment, and the works of Jeremy Bentham, the eighteenth-century British jurist and reformer. Burns is known for his many years of teaching at University College, London, and his long tenure as an editor of History of Political Thought journal and the Collected Works of Bentham. For nearly twenty years, Burns oversaw the Bentham Project, which is editing the Works.

Judith Butler

Maxine Elliot Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Yale University in 1984.

Herbert Butterfield

Regius Professor of Modern History, Cambridge
1900 to 1979

Sir Herbert Butterfield, historian, was born in Oxenhope, Yorkshire, on 7 October 1900. His father, Albert Butterfield, was forced to leave school at the age of ten because of his own father’s premature death and had been unable to fulfil his desire to train for the Methodist ministry. Instead, he was employed as a clerk (later chief clerk) in a Keighley wool firm whose chairman gave both Albert and young Herbert a good deal of literary and intellectual encouragement. Albert’s wife, Ada Mary Buckland, was a member of the Plymouth Brethren who came from Leominster.