Lecturers & Authors

Oskar Kraus

Formerly Professor of Philosophy, University of Prague
1872 to 1942

Oskar Kraus was born in Prague on 24 July 1872. After attending the German State School (Staatsgymnasium) Kraus began studying the philosophy of law at Prague in 1890. His philosophical teachers were Anton Marty and Friedrich Jodl. It was through Marty that Kraus first fell under the significant intellectual influence of Franz Brentano whom he met for the first time in 1893. Graduating from Prague in 1895 Kraus sought a career at the Finanzprokuratur in 1896. In 1902 he earned completed his habilitationsschrift on ‘The Theory of Value: A Benthem Study’.

Richard Kroner

Professor of Philosophy, University of Kiel
1884 to 1974

Richard Kroner was born in 1884. Not much is known about his childhood, and he is most prominently known as German neo-Hegelian Philosopher who authored Von Kant bis Hegel (1921/4), a classic history of German idealism written from then neo-Hegelian point of view. He is also known for his formulation of Hegel as ‘the Protestant Aquinas’.

John Laird

Regius Professor Moral Philosophy, University of Aberdeen
1887 to 1946

The philosopher John Laird was born at Durris Kincardineshire on 17 May 1887. His father Rev. D. M. W. Laird was a third-generation Church of Scotland minister and his mother Margaret Laird (née Steward) was the daughter of the local schoolmaster John Steward. Of their several children John was the eldest.

George Lakoff

Professor University of California at Berkeley

Linguist George Lakoff was born in Bayonne New Jersey on 24 May 1941 to Herman and Ida Lakoff. After earning a Ph.D. in linguistics by Indiana University in 1966 Lakoff taught at Harvard University (1965–1969) and the University of Michigan (1969–1971) and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (1971–1972). Since 1972 he has served as Professor of Linguistics at the University of California Berkeley.

Rodolfo Amadeo Lanciani

Professor of Ancient Topography, University of Rome
1846 to 1929

Many of the early Gifford lecturers had broad interests; Rodolfo Lanciani’s went deep. Rome was his passion and cartographical archaeology his life. Born in Rome in 1845 or 1846 or even possibly 1847 Lanciani was trained as an engineer in Rome or in Montecello but by the age of twenty was already working as an archaeologist. As L.

Andrew Lang

Sometime Fellow of Merton College, Oxford
1844 to 1912

Andrew Lang was an unusual Gifford lecturer. Like other Gifford lecturers, he was certainly a scholar; in this case, a Homeric one, as well as an anthropologist (his Gifford Lectures of 1888 were compiled into The Making of Religion) and a historian. Like others, he also was a founder of psychic research.

Christina Jessy Larner

Reader in Psychology, University of Glasgow
1933 to 1983

Christina Jessy Larner, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, was born on 22 September 1933, in northwest London, eldest of five children born to John and Nella (née Wallace) MacDonald Ross. Her father, a Senior Civil Servant in the Home Office and a Presbyterian Lay Preacher, had read Greats at Oxford. Her mother had read history at London University.

Simon Somerville Laurie

Professor of Education, University of Edinburgh
1829 to 1909

Educationist and philosopher Simon Sommerville Laurie was born on 13 November 1829 in Edinburgh. His parents, James Laurie (a chaplain to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary) and Jean Somerville (the daughter of a Presbyterian minister), were not financially well off. Laurie began to tutor younger students early in his life in order to pay for his education at Edinburgh University from 1844 to 1849. He then moved to London and travelled to Ireland, as well as other locations in Europe, where he worked as a tutor.

Hywel David Lewis

Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion, University of London
1910 to 1992

Hywel David Lewis was born in Llandudno Wales in 1910 and passed away in 1992. His education occurred at the University College of North Wales where he graduated with a first-class degree in philosophy in 1932 and continued on at Jesus College Oxford to receive a BLitt in 1935. He was professor of philosophy at the University College of North Wales from 1947 to 1955 and thereafter professor of the history and philosophy of religion in the University of London King’s College from 1955 to 1977.

David N. Livingstone

Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at the Queen's University of Belfast

David Livingstone is Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at the Queen's University of Belfast where he works on the history of geographical ideas and the historical geographies of science and religion. He is currently completing an intellectual history of climatic reductionism, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, under the title "The Empire of Climate". 

Alasdair C. MacIntyre

Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre was born 12 January 1929 in Glasgow Scotland to John and Emily (Chalmers) MacIntyre. He was educated at the University of London and Oxford University and began his teaching career in Great Britain at Manchester University in 1951. He also taught at Leeds University Essex University and Oxford University. In 1969 he came to the United States and took a position as professor of the history of ideas at Brandeis University. In 1972 he was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of philosophy at Boston University.

Donald MacCrimmon MacKay

Emeritus Professor Dept. of Communication & Neuroscience, Univ. of Keele
1922 to 1987

Donald MacCrimmon MacKay was born in Caithness Scotland in the northern fishing village of Lybster in 1922. He studied physics at St. Andrews University graduating in 1943. Following three years of service with the British Admiralty he pursued postgraduate research into the limitations of high-speed electronic analogue computers receiving a Ph.D. in 1951.

Donald Mackenzie Mackinnon

Norse-Hulse Professor of Divinity, Cambridge
1913 to 1994

Donald MacKinnon was educated at Cargilfield School Edinburgh (1921–26) Winchester College (1926–31) and New College Oxford (1931–35) where he also held a scholarship and graduated in both Greats and Theology. After Edinburgh MacKinnon became a fellow and tutor at Keble College Oxford (1937–47) and held the Wilde lectureship in Natural and Comparative Religion (1945–47). At the age of thirty-four MacKinnon was appointed to the Regis chair of Moral Philosophy in Aberdeen University (1947–60).

Roderick Diarmid Maclennan

Minister, Church of Scotland
1898 to 1977

Roderick Diarmid Maclennan was born on 13 October 1898 at Laggan Inverness-shire to Duncan Macrae Maclennan and Isabella Margaret Macpherson. His early education took place in New Zealand from 1903 to 1912 before he returned to Scotland to study at Kingussie (1914–15) Oban High School (1916–17) and the University of Edinburgh. Maclennan began his MA in philosophy in 1917 but his studies were interrupted by military service in the First World War. He was wounded while serving in France in 1918. He completed his MA with first class honours in 1925.

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 deeply Calvinist-Presbyterian Scottish 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.

John Macquarrie

Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford
1919 to 2007

John Macquarrie was born in Renfrew Scotland on the 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. In the former field, he has published several books on Descartes' ontology, rational theology, and metaphysics, focusing especially on medieval sources and using modern patterns of interpretation (e.g., On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism, or Cartesian Questions and Further Cartesian Questions).

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.