Lecturers & Authors

Charles Scott Sherrington

Sometime Professor of Physiology, Oxford
1857 to 1952

Born in London on 27 November 1857, Charles Scott Sherrington attended Queen Elizabeth’s School in Ipswich and later Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1876, he began studying medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital, passing his primary examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1878. In 1880, he entered Gonville and Caius to study physiology under Sir Michael Foster, completing his B.A. in 1883. That year he was appointed demonstrator of anatomy at Cambridge and also worked at St Thomas’s Hospital, where he would qualify in medicine the following year.

Lisa Sideris

Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington (USA)

Professor Sideris received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2000. Before coming (back) to IU, she taught both at Pace University in New York City and at McGill University in Montreal. 

Ninian Roderick Smart

Professor of Religious Studies, University of California
1927 to 2001

Ninian Smart was born in Cambridge England in 1927. Smart attended the Glasgow Academy before joining the military in 1945 serving until 1948 in the British Army Intelligence Corps. Leaving the army as a Captain with a scholarship to Queen’s College University of Oxford he reverted to his Glasgow major Classics and Philosophy. However for his B.Phil. work he returned to world religions writing what he came to consider the first dissertation in Oxford on philosophy of religion after World War II.

John Alexander Smith

Waynflete Professor of Mental Philosophy, Oxford
1863 to 1939

John Alexander Smith was born in Dingwall, Ross-shire on 21 April 1863, the second son of Andrew Smith and Jane Eliza Fraser. His father was the solicitor and county clerk of Ross. John attended the University of Edinburgh where in 1884 he was the Ferguson classical scholar. Later, he was admitted to Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a first class in classics (1885) and literae humaniores (1887). In 1891 he was elected a fellow of Balliol and later in 1896 he was appointed Jowett Lecturer in Philosophy.

Nathan Söderblom

Archbishop of Uppsala
1866 to 1931

Lars Olof Jonathon (known as Nathan) Söderblom was born on 15 January 1866, in Trönö, 200 kilometres north of Uppsala. His father was a Pietist pastor and his mother the descendent of an Oslo bishop. Söderblom attended the University of Uppsala, where he took his bachelor’s degree in 1866 with honours in Greek and adeptness in Hebrew, Arabic and Latin. Upon graduation he entered Uppsala’s School of Theology, where he studied theology and the history of religion and served as editor of the student missionary review, Meddelanden, from its founding in 1888.

Richard Sorabji

Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Kings College, London

Richard (Ruston Kharsendji) Sorabji historian of ancient Western philosophy was born in Oxford on 8 November 1934 the son of an Indian father and English mother. After an early education at the Dragon School (1943–1948) and Charterhouse (1948–1953) and two years in compulsory military service in London he attended Pembroke College Oxford on a scholarship and studied ancient history and philosophy (1955–1959). Sorabji completed a B.Phil. under Gwil Owen and John Ackrill at Oxford.

William Ritchie Sorley

Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge
1855 to 1935

William Ritchie Sorley was born on 4 November 1855 at Selkirk in Scotland, the son of Anna Ritchie and William Sorley, a Free Church of Scotland minister. He was schooled in Birkenhead and enrolled at the University of Edinburgh at the age of fifteen. After graduating, he continued at University for several years, studying theology at Edinburgh and also Berlin. His intention was to echo his father’s vocation, but this was not to be. Instead, at the age of twenty-four, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882 he was awarded a first class in the moral science tripos.

R. W. Southern

President, St. John's College, Oxford
1912 to 2001

Sir Richard William Southern was born 8 February 1912 in Newcastle upon Tyne, the second of timber merchant Matthew Henry and Elizabeth Eleanor Southern’s four children. In 1921 Richard was enrolled in the Royal Grammar School of Newcastle and in 1929 began reading modern history at Balliol College, Oxford. While at Balliol, he fostered a love for medieval history, assisted in no small part by the influence of his tutor, Vivian Galbraith. Following the completion of his first degree, he was offered and accepted a junior research fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford.

David Stafford-Clark

Consultant, Department of Psychiatry, Guy's Hospital, London
1916 to 1999

David Stafford-Clark was born on 17 March 1916 in Kent. Following the completion of his medical studies at London University in 1939 he served as a member of the house staff at the university until the beginning of the Second World War during which he served in the RAF and published two volumes of war poetry. His time in charge of the station hospital at Bomber Command in Cambridgeshire proved influential to his later life as it enabled him to gain enough experience of psychiatry that he chose to specialise in the discipline at the close of the war. He married Dorothy Stewart in 1941.

Russell Stannard

Professor of Physics Emeritus, Open University, London

Russell Stannard was born in London on 24 December 1931 and educated at University College London, where he gained a first class Special Honours Physics B.Sc. degree in 1953 and was awarded the Rosa Morrison Medal for being the most outstanding science student of the year at UCL. This was followed with a Ph.D. in 1956 for research work in cosmic ray physics carried out at the Mount Marmolada research station in Italy.

George Steiner

Extraordinary Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge-Professor of English & Compar. Lit. Univ. Geneva

George Steiner (1929-), literary critic, was born on 23rd April 1929 in Paris to Jewish Viennese parents. His family moved to the United States in 1940. He studied at the Universities of Paris, Chicago, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge, and he was on the editorial staff at The Economist in London during the 1950s before being appointed a Fellow at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study in 1956, at age 27.

M. A. Stewart

Professor of Philosophy, University of Lancaster

M. A. Stewart is Honorary Research Professor in the History of Philosophy at the Universities of Aberdeen and Lancaster where he was formerly Professor of Philosophy. He is also Senior Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College Oxford and the former editor of Philosophical Books. He edited Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment (1990) coedited Hume and Hume's Connexions (1994) and has published also on Locke and on philosophy in the dissenting tradition.

James Hutchison Stirling

Writer, Philosopher and Physician
1820 to 1909

Medical doctor and philosopher James Hutchison Stirling was born on 22 June 1820 in Glasgow to William Stirling, a textile producer, and his wife Elizabeth Christie Stirling. William was known for his deeply religious views; those views never left the young James Stirling, the youngest of six, who grew up to be a vehement philosophical advocate of Natural Theology and proofs of the existence of God.

George Gabriel Stokes

Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge
1819 to 1903

Sir George Gabriel Stokes First Baronet physicist and mathematician was born on 13 August 1819 in Skreen County, Sligo, Ireland. He was the youngest of eight children born to the rector of Skreen Gabriel Stokes (1762–1834) and Elizabeth Haughton, the daughter of John Haugton, rector of Kilrea County, Londonderry. The family lineage on the Stokes side includes various rectors, mathematicians, and physicians, including Gabriel Stokes a renowned Irish engineer born in 1680, who authored a treatise on hydrostatics.

George Frederick Stout

Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of St. Andrews
1860 to 1944

G. F. (George Frederick) Stout, born in 1860, has been regarded as both a philosopher and a psychologist. He studied at Cambridge under James Ward, a former Gifford lecturer. In 1896 the University of Aberdeen appointed him to a new lectureship in Comparative Psychology. In 1903 Stout moved to St. Andrews as Professor of Logic and Metaphysics. He was also editor of Mind from 1891 to 1920.

Jeffrey Stout

Professor of Religion, Princeton University

Jeffrey Stout is professor of religion at Princeton University. He is a member of the Department of Religion, and is associated with the departments of Philosophy and Politics, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Center for Human Values. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1975, and plans to retire from active teaching in July 2018. He has received Princeton University’s Graduate Mentoring Award (2009) and Princeton’s Presidential Award for Distinguished Teaching (2010).

Eleonore Stump

Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University

Dr. Eleonore Stump is The Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. She received a B.A. in classical languages from Grinnell College in 1969, a master’s degree from Harvard University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in medieval studies and medieval philosophy from Cornell University in 1975. She taught at Oberlin College, Virginia Tech and the University of Notre Dame before coming to Saint Louis University in 1992.

Stewart Sutherland

Lord Sutherland of Houndwood

Stewart Sutherland taught philosophy in Bangor, Wales, Stirling, and King's College London, where he held the Chair of the History and Philosophy of Religion.

He was subsequently Principal of King’s College, London, Vice Chancellor of the University of London, and Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.

He is a fellow of the British Academy and Past-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Richard Granville Swinburne

Professor of Philosophy, University of Keele

Richard Granville Swinburne was born on 26 December 1934 at Smethick, Staffordshire. After school at Charterhouse, he did his compulsory national service in the Navy, becoming a Russian interpreter. He went up to Oxford as an undergraduate in 1954, reading for a B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics. After getting first class honours, he read for the B.Phil. in philosophy, which he obtained in 1959.

Kathryn Tanner

Frederick Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School

Kathryn Tanner, Marquand Professor of Systematic Theology, joined the Yale Divinity School faculty in 2010 after teaching at the University of Chicago Divinity School for 16 years and in Yale’s Department of Religious Studies for ten. Her research relates the history of Christian thought to contemporary issues of theological concern using social, cultural, and feminist theory.