Lecturers & Authors

John Macmurray

Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Edinburgh
1891 to 1976

John Macmurray, moral philosopher, was born in Maxwellton, near Dumfries, on 16 February 1891 to a Scottish Presbyterian family. When John was ten, his family moved to Aberdeen, where he attended Aberdeen Grammar School and Robert Gordon’s College. His strongest childhood influence was the religion he inherited from his parents. Even when he began to distance himself from the Presbyterianism of his upbringing during his first year at the University of Glasgow, having discovered what he believed to be a more biblical vision of God.

John Macquarrie

Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford
1919 to 2007

John Macquarrie was born in Renfrew, Scotland on 27 June 1919. He was a man who remained closely tied to his Celtic roots and cherished his Scottish ancestry. Between the years of 1934–1936 John attended Paisley Grammar School. After attending this local secondary school, he enrolled at the University of Glasgow where he would end up receiving all of his advanced degrees (MA BD PhD DLitt). From 1945–1949 Macquarrie spent time in the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department and then proceeded to become a parish minister at St Ninian’s in Brechin.

Gabriel Marcel

Writer and Philosopher
1889 to 1973

Gabriel Marcel was born in Paris on 7 December 1889, the son of a French diplomat. When he was only four years old his mother died. He was raised by his father and his mother’s sister, who eventually married. He was brilliant in his studies and shone particularly brightly when he discovered philosophy. In his early years of philosophical reflection, he leaned toward idealism, in part due to the tremendous influence his mother’s death had upon him.

Robert Ranulph Marett

Rector of Exeter College, Oxford
1866 to 1943

Robert Ranulph Marett, a philosopher and anthropologist, was born on 13 June 1866 at Blanc Pignon on Jersey to Sir Robert Pipon (1820-1884), attorney-general and later bailiff, and his wife and cousin, Julia Anne (born ca. 1820), the youngest daughter of Philip Marett of La Haule.

Jean-Luc Marion

Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Professor of Catholic Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and Theology, University of Chicago

Jean-Luc Marion is the John Nuveen Professor in the Divinity School, Philosophy, and Social Thought. He studies both the history of modern philosophy and contemporary phenomenology.

Eric Lionel Mascall

Professor of Historical Theology, University of London
1905 to 1993

Eric Lionel Mascall was born on 12 December 1905 in Seaford, East Sussex. As a young student at Latymer Upper School he showed an aptitude for mathematics which earned him a scholarship to Pembroke College Cambridge. In 1931 he entered Ely Theological College and after two years was ordained in the Church of England. He served in various London parishes until 1937 when he went to Lincoln Theological College as the newly appointed Sub-warden. He joined the Oratory of the Good Shepherd in 1938 a community of Anglicans bound to celibate chastity, responsible spending and direction in life.

Robert N. McCauley

William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor of Philosophy

Robert N. McCauley (born in 1952) is William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor of Philosophy and was the founding Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University (2008-2016). McCauley, who also has associated appointments at Emory in psychology, religion, and anthropology, has been described as one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion. He earned his B.A. from Western Michigan University in 1974, his M.A. from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago in 1975, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1979.

Alister E. McGrath

Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, University of Oxford

Alister McGrath was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1953. He grew up in Downpatrick, Co. Down, where he attended Down High School. In September 1966 he became a pupil at the Methodist College, Belfast, majoring in pure and applied mathematics, physics and chemistry. He was elected to an open major scholarship at Wadham College, Oxford University, to study chemistry from October 1971, where his tutors included Jeremy R. Knowles and R. J. P. Williams.

Ralph McInerny

Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
1929 to 2010

Ralph M. McInerny, philosopher and novelist, was born in Minnesota on 24 February 1929. He received his secondary education at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary in St. Paul. After a short stint in the U.S. Marine Corps (1946–1947), McInerny entered St. Paul Seminary, graduating BA in 1951. He then completed his postgraduate degrees in philosophy with astonishingly speed: MA from the University of Minnesota in 1952, and PhL and PhD (summa cum laude) from Université Laval, Quebec, in 1953 and 1954 respectively.

Mary Midgley

Professor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
1919 to 2018

An interviewer from the Guardian newspaper once wrote that Mary Midgley ‘may be the most frightening philosopher in the country: the one before whom it is least pleasant to appear a fool’. In a series of books, particularly Beast and Man (1978), Evolution as a Religion (1985), Science as Salvation (1992; her 1990 Edinburgh Gifford Lectures) and Science and Poetry (2001), Midgley offers a trenchant critique of science’s pretence to be much more than it actually is, of the ways in which science often becomes a religion.

William Mitchell

Professor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide
1861 to 1962

William Mitchell, born in the north of Scotland, Inveraveron, and now largely forgotten, was a prolific philosopher in his time. Although of Scottish decent, Mitchell spent much of his life in Australia. He was most notably connected with the city of Adelaide and Adelaide University in South Australia where he was highly regarded and held a number of distinguished positions.

Basil George Mitchell

Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Religion, Oxford

Moral philosopher Basil George Mitchell was born on 9 April 1917 to George William Mitchell and Mary Mitchell (née Loxston). Following his secondary education at King Edward VI School in Southampton and his undergraduate studies at Queen's College, Oxford (1939), he entered the Royal Navy. His service (1940–1946) was distinguished by his promotion to Lieutenant in 1942 and Instructor Lieutenant RN in 1945.

Jürgen Moltmann

Professor of Systematic Theology on the Evangelical Faculty, University of Tübingen, Germany

Jürgen Moltmann, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen in Germany, is one of the most widely read theologians of the second half of the twentieth century. Moltmann was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 8 April 1926. He states that he grew up in a secular home, without significant Christian influence. As a boy he wanted to study science and mathematics. However in 1944, his education was interrupted when he was drafted by the German army. Moltmann was sent to the front lines in the Belgian forest.

Conwy Lloyd Morgan

Professor Emeritus of Zoology and Geology, University of Bristol
1852 to 1936

Conwy Lloyd Morgan, comparative psychologist and philosopher, was born in London on 6 February 1852, to James Arthur Morgan, solicitor, and his wife, Mary Anderson. He began his education at the Brenchley, Kent, and at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, his parents having moved to Weybridge a few years after his birth. Lloyd Moran was attracted to scientific studies and at the age of seventeen entered the School of Mines in London, where he was a Duke of Cornwall Scholar, with the intention of becoming a mining engineer.

Simon Conway Morris

Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Cambridge

Simon Conway Morris was born in 1951 and brought up in London. He is professor of evolutionary palaeobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Friedrich Max Müller

Professor of Comparative Philology, Oxford
1823 to 1900

Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900), Sanskrit scholar and philologist, was a pioneer in the fields of Vedic studies, comparative philosophy, comparative mythology and comparative religion. Müller was born on 6 December 1823 in Dessau, Germany, to the popular lyric poet Willhelm Müller and his wife Adelheid, the eldest daughter of Präsident von Basedow, the prime minister of the Anhalt-Dessau duchy. Müller inherited an intense love of music from his mother and his godfather, composer C. M. von Weber.

Iris Murdoch

Fellow St. Ann's College, Oxford, Writer, Philosopher
1919 to 1999

Iris Murdoch was born in 1919 in Dublin Ireland. She attended Badminton School Bristol and read classics at Somerville College Oxford. During World War II she was an assistant principal at the Treasury and later worked with U.N.R.R.A. in London Belgium and Austria. After a short reprieve Murdoch took up a postgraduate studentship in philosophy studying under Ludwig Wittgenstein. In 1948 she was elected a fellow of St Anne’s College Oxford where she worked as a tutor for fifteen years. Between 1963 and 1967 she also lectured at the Royal College of Art.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Professor of Religion, Temple University, Philadelphia

The first Muslim to deliver the Gifford Lectures, Seyyed Hossein Nasr is a pioneer who has bridged Islamic studies with the world of Western philosophy, science and religion. He was born 7 April 1933 in Tehran, Iran, into a prominent family. Both his father and grandfather served as physicians to the Iranian royal family. When Nasr was twelve, he moved to the United States to attend the Peddie School in Highstown, New Jersey, where he was valedictorian of his class in 1950.

Alexander Nehamas

Edmund N Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in Humanities, Princeton University

Alexander Nehamas a leading scholar of classical studies has been Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature at Princeton University since 1990. He has been a prominent writer and speaker on Greek philosophy the philosophy of art European philosophy and literary theory.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Professor of Ethics and Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York
1892 to 1971

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr was born 21 June 1892 in Wright City, Missouri, to Lydia Hosto and Gustav Niebuhr, a minister of the German Evangelical Synod of North America. At age fifteen Niebuhr entered the Synod’s proseminary, Elmhurst College. Three years later he enrolled at Eden Theological Seminary, where he received his B.Div. and was ordained a minister in 1913.