Lecturers & Authors

Hilary Putnam

Walter Beverly Pearson Professor of Mathematical Logic & Modern Mathematics & Professor of Philosophy
1926 to 2016

One of the most prominent philosophers operating in the English-speaking world from the second half of the twentieth century, Hilary Putnam has written and continues to write extensively on a large array of subjects and is arguably most well-known for his contributions to the philosophy of mind, language and mathematics.

Vilayanur S. Ramachandran

Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Distinguished Professor with the Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego

V. S. Ramachandran, a leading neuroscientist from India who has taught in the United States since 1983, is prominent for his hypothesis that religious experience is linked to temporal lobe epilepsy. He is also a bestselling author of books on brain science and has argued, contrary to many naturalists, that humans are “unique” in their mental qualities compared to other species.

William Mitchell Ramsay

Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art, Oxford; Regius Professor of Humanity, Aberdeen
1851 to 1939

Classical scholar and archaeologist, as well as the foremost authority of his day on the topography, antiquities and history of Asia Minor in ancient times, William Mitchell Ramsay was born in Glasgow on 15 March 1851, the youngest son of Thomas Ramsay and Jane Mitchell, both of Alloa. Ramsay’s father died in 1857, and the family returned to its native shire to settle in a rural home near Alloa.

Charles Earle Raven

Regius Professor Emeritus of Divinity, Cambridge
1885 to 1964

Charles Earle Raven was born on 4 July 1885 in Paddington, London, to John Earle Raven, barrister, and Alice (née Comber). Educated at Uppingham School, Raven went up to Cambridge with a classical scholarship, and specialised in early Christian doctrine. He became engaged to Margaret Ermyntrude Buchanan Wollaston in 1906 and they married in 1910. The couple had a son and three daughters.

Michael Rea

Professor of Philosophy

Michael Rea is the Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 2001. Rea is also a Professorial Fellow at the Logos Institute for Analytic & Exegetical Theology at the University of St. Andrews. His research focuses primarily on topics in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and analytic theology.

Martin Rees

Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University

Martin Rees, the son of two teachers, was born 23 June 1942 in Shropshire. In 1963, he received the BA degree in mathematics from Trinity College of the University of Cambridge. He also received his MA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge (1967). After studying at Cambridge, he did postdoctoral work at Caltech.

William Ridgeway

Brereton Reader in Classics, Cambridge
1853 to 1926

William Ridgeway was born on 6 August 1858 in King’s County, Ulster, to Marianna and the Reverend John Henry Ridgeway. He was sent to Portarlington School and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, from which he graduated as senior moderator in classics and modern literature. Having attained a remarkable collection of academic prizes, he advanced to Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he stayed for two years before moving to Gonville and Caius College.

Jonathan Riley-Smith

Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Cambridge
1938 to 2016

Jonathan Riley-Smith, former Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge, was born 27 June 1938. He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He received his BA (1960), MA (1964), PhD (1964) and LittD (2001) from Cambridge.

John Morris Roberts

Warden, Merton College, University of Oxford
1928 to 2003

John Roberts is a renowned European historian. Of his many professional achievements, he was Prize Fellow, Magdalen College, Oxford (1951–1953); Commonwealth Fund Fellow, Princeton and Yale (1953–1954); Fellow and Tutor at Merton College, Oxford (1953–1979); acting Warden of Merton College (1969–1970, 1977–1979); Senior Proctor, Oxford University (1967–1968); Vice Chancellor and Professor, University of Southampton (1979–1985); and Warden of Merton College, Oxford (1984–1994).

John W. Rogerson

Professor of Biblical Studies Emeritus University of Sheffield

Perhaps it was a sense of social justice that led J. W. Rogerson to write a book about the unfair dismissal of two Victorian professors of theology, both of whom were ahead of their time. Social issues are the golden thread that runs through his many books.

Holmes Rolston III

University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Colorado State University

Holmes Rolston, III, is University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Colorado State University.

William David Ross

Provost of Oriel College, Oxford
1877 to 1971

William David Ross was born in Thurso (Scotland), 15 April 1877. He spent the first six years of his life in India, when his father became the Principal of the Maharajah’s College. He received his early education from the Royal High School in Edinburgh and began his academic career at the University of Edinburgh. In 1895 Ross graduated from Edinburgh with a first in classics, and entered Balliol College, Oxford to continue his education.

Josiah Royce

Professor of History of Philosophy, Harvard University
1855 to 1916

Josiah Royce was born in Grass Valley, California, on 10 November 1855. His parents, Josiah and Sarah Royce, were head of their local primary school, which Royce attended. He took his first degree, a B.A. in Classics, at the University of California in 1875. He then went to Germany to study philosophy for one year before returning to the United States to take a Ph. D. at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, completing in 1878.

James (Steven) Cochran Stevenson Runciman

Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
1903 to 2000

James Cochran Stevenson ‘Steven’ Runciman was born on 7 July 1903 in Northumberland. He was the younger son of Walter Runciman, later to become the first Viscount Runciman of Doxford, and his parents were the first married couple to sit as MPs at the same time. He studied history at his mother's alma mater, Trinity College, Cambridge, taking a first class degree in 1925. Following his postgraduate studies under J. B. Bury, he became a fellow of the college in 1927, and a lecturer in 1932.

Michael Ruse

Professor, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Michael Ruse philosopher and historian of science was born on 21 June 1940 in Birmingham England. His father William (1913–1992) was a civil servant and school bursar and his mother Margaret (1918–1953) a schoolteacher who died when Michael was 13. William was a conscientious objector and after World War II the family became involved in the Society of Friends (Quakers). Ruse attended a Quaker boarding school in York and cites his association with the Junior Friends as a significant influence on his early years.

Abdulaziz Sachedina

Frances Myers Ball Professor of Religious Studies at University of Virginia

Abdulaziz Sachedina was born into an Indian Muslim family in Tanzania in 1942. He received BA degrees from Aligarh Muslim University (in Islamic Studies) in Aligarh, India, and Ferdowsi University (in Persian language and literature) in Mashhad, Iran. In addition, he studied Islamic jurisprudence at the Madrasa of Ayatollah Milani in Mashhad. He received the MA and PhD degrees in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto.

Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is chief rabbi for Orthodox Judaism in the British Commonwealth a position he has held since 1991. In that role, he oversees members of the United Hebrew Congregations, a federation of synagogues formally recognized by the British government since 1845. He is the sixth rabbi to hold the position in the organization’s history.

Carl Sagan

David Duncan Professor Astronomy and Space Science; dir., Lab for Planetary Studies, Cornell Univ.
1934 to 1996

Carl Edward Sagan was born 9 November 1934 in Brooklyn, NY, the oldest of Sam and Rachel Sagan’s three children. When Carl was five, the Sagan family moved out of New York City to New Jersey, where he attended a public high school. He showed great academic promise in school, so much so that he was awarded a full scholarship to attend the University of Chicago. Sagan received a bachelor's degree in 1955, a master's degree in 1956 (both in physics), and a doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics in 1960, all at Chicago.

Anthony J. Sanford

Professor of Psychology, University of Glasgow

Psychologist Anthony John Sanford obtained his B.Sc. with first class honours from the University of Leeds in 1966. He was named Medical Research Council Scholar at the Applied Psychology Unit and Pembroke College, Cambridge, and under the supervision of Donald Broadbent, he completed his Ph.D. in 1970. Following this, he went to the University of Dundee as a postdoctoral fellow and was later appointed Lecturer in Psychology. In 1974 Sanford joined the faculty at the University of Glasgow, where he continues to serve as Professor of Psychology.

Archibald Henry Sayce

Professor of Assyriology, Oxford
1845 to 1933

Archibald Henry Sayce was born on 25 September 1845 in Shirehampton, not far from Bristol. His parents were Mary and Henry Samuel Sayce, perpetual curate of Caldicot in Shirehampton. Despite frequent ill health as a child, he was a voracious reader, studying Virgil and Xenophon at the age of ten, and Hebrew and comparative philology by fourteen. He entered Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1865, receiving his B.A. degree in 1869, again in spite of ill health. That year he became a fellow there, and one year later became a college tutor.