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Keith Ward
Born 22 August 1938
Hexham, Northumberland
Era 20th century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic philosophy, Idealism
Main interests Philosophy of religion, Christian theology

Keith Ward (born 22 August 1938) is a British philosopher, theologian, pastor and scholar. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and (since 1972) an ordained priest of the Church of England. He was a canon of Christ Church, Oxford until 2003. Comparative theology and the relationship between science and religion are two of his main topics of interest.

Academic work[edit]

Ward graduated in 1962 with a BA from the University of Wales, and from 1964-69 was a Lecturer in Logic at the University of Glasgow. He earned a BLitt from Linacre College, Oxford in 1968. From 1969-1971 he was Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. In 1972, he was ordained priest in the Church of England. From 1971-75 he was Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of London. From 1975-83, he was Dean of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was appointed F. D. Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology at the University of London in 1982, Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion at King's College London in 1985, and Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford in 1991, a post from which he retired in 2004.[1]

In 1992, he was a visiting professor at the Claremont Graduate University in California. In 1993-94, he delivered the prestigious Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow. Ward was the Gresham Professor of Divinity between 2004 and 2008 at Gresham College, London.[2]

He is on the council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and is a member of the Editorial Boards of Religious Studies, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Studies in Inter-Religious Dialogue and World Faiths Encounter. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. He has also been a visiting professor at Drake University, Iowa, and at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.[3]

Ward has an MA and DD degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford,[4] and an honorary DD from the University of Glasgow.

Focus and beliefs[edit]

One of his main focuses is the dialogue between religious traditions, an interest which led him to be Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths (WCF) between 1992 and 2001. His work also explores concepts of God and the idea of revelation. Ward has also written about his opinion of a relationship between science and religion.[5] As an advocate of theistic evolution, he regards evolution and Christianity as essentially compatible, a belief he has described in his book God, Chance and Necessity, and which is in contrast to his Oxford colleague Richard Dawkins, an ethologist and vocal and prominent atheist. Ward has said that Dawkins's conclusion that there is no God or any purpose in the universe is "naive" and not based on science but on a hatred of religion. Dawkins's strong anti-religious views originate, according to Ward, from earlier encounters with "certain forms of religion which are anti-intellectual and anti-scientific...and also emotionally pressuring."[6] He has also been highly critical of materialist philosophers of consciousness such as Daniel Dennett, as well as social scientists such as Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, arguing that they each attempt to reduce the human person into aspects of their own discipline. Ward has described his own Christian faith as follows:

I am a born-again Christian. I can give a precise day when Christ came to me and began to transform my life with his power and love. He did not make me a saint. But he did make me a forgiven sinner, liberated and renewed, touched by divine power and given the immense gift of an intimate sense of the personal presence of God. I have no difficulty in saying that I wholeheartedly accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour.[7]

He has criticized modern day Christian fundamentalism, most notably in his 2004 book What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists. He believes that fundamentalists interpret the Bible in implausible ways and pick and choose which of its passages to emphasise in order to fit pre-existing beliefs. Ward argues that the Bible must be taken seriously, but not always literally and he does not agree with the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, saying that it is not found in the Bible, elaborating that

There may be discrepancies and errors in the sacred writings, but those truths that God wished to see included in the Scripture, and which are important to our salvation, are placed there without error... the Bible is not inerrant in detail, but God has ensured that no substantial errors, which mislead us about the nature of salvation, are to be found in Scripture.[7]


Ward is the author of over 20 books including:

Books about Keith Ward and his theology include:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Who's Who entry
  2. ^ Online lecture archive at Gresham College
  3. ^ Professor Keith Ward, Gresham College profile, Accessed Jan. 26, 2007
  4. ^ Professor Keith Ward, Gresham College profile, Accessed Nov. 7, 2006
  5. ^ Keith Ward's Oxford University profile, Accessed, 7 November 2006
  6. ^ http://meaningoflife.tv/video.php?speaker=ward&topic=complete Video interview] by Robert Wright for meaningoflife.tv at 28:00 and following
  7. ^ a b Keith Ward. What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists (2004)
  8. ^ "Keith Ward Audio / Video". Keith Ward. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Maurice Wiles
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
Succeeded by
Marilyn McCord Adams

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635692 videos foundNext > 

Arguments for Gods Existence Keith Ward

Philosophy, Science and the God Debate (Part 1) - Alister McGrath, Keith Ward and John Lennox

Christian Television Association - Philosophy, Science and the God Debate: 'Science disproves the existence of God'. Scientists and philosophers interviewed:...

Philosophy, Science and the God Debate (Part 2) - Alister McGrath, Keith Ward and John Lennox

Christian Television Association - Philosophy, Science and the God Debate: 'Science disproves the existence of God'. Scientists and philosophers interviewed:...

Keith Ward Tears Fundamentalism Apart (Part 1)

Keith Ward is a Christian philosopher, theologian, pastor and scholar. He has an MA and DD degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford, and he served as Regius Pr...

God, Science and the New Atheism - Keith Ward, PhD

April 2011 - Lecture by philosopher Keith Ward. Delivered as part of the James Gregory public lectures on science and religion at the University of St Andrews.

Keith Ward: Why are there so many religions?

Robert Wright interviews Keith Ward on issues of God, religion, and science. Keith Ward is a Christian philosopher, theologian, pastor and scholar. He has an...

Science, Mind, Religion, and Reality - Keith Ward (Full Interview)

Keith Ward sat down with the Biola University Center for Christian Thought (cct.biola.edu) in San Diego, California on July 2013. In this full interview, War...

Professor Keith Ward - Religion and the quantum world

"The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind n...

(Un)Believable?: An Atheist and a Theist Philosopher share their world-views - Cambridge University

http://www.veritas.org/talks - Rev. Professor Keith Ward and Dr Arif Ahmed discuss their worldview at The Veritas Forum at Cambridge University. Full library...

Is Our Mind More Than Matter? Keith Ward vs. David Papineau

Date: January 14, 2012 Location: Unbelievable? Premier Christian Radio Christian debater: Keith Ward Atheist debater: David Papineau For Keith Ward: http://w...

635692 videos foundNext > 

63 news items


Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:36:02 -0700

“It doesn't cause any great adjustments one way or another for us,” said Keith Ward. “I think with the amount of professional development they get from the school system plus what Teach For America gives them in professional development that it is ...
Virtualization Review
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Unitrends UVB 8.0 Can Back Up, Restore vSphere, Hyper-V and XenServer. Now called Unitrends Virtual Backup, it's the product of Unitrend's acquisition of PHD last year. By Keith Ward; 07/31/2014. Backup and disaster recovery (DR) vendor Unitrends has ...

NBC Connecticut

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:05:37 -0700

Police say 54-year-old Keith Ward was traveling north on Seaview Avenue, in the area of Stratford Avenue, around 12:32 p.m. when he collided with the rear of a box truck. Ward was taken to Bridgeport Hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:24:24 -0700

"If you built an emergency communications vehicle, chances are it might sit in a parking lot for six months or maybe the only time that it would be used would be in a training exercise," ETV director and district spokesman Keith Ward said. "You hope ...
The Huntsville Times - al.com
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:52:30 -0700

"We want to keep it in real time," said Keith Ward, Huntsville City School spokesperson. "If this were this were an actual crisis, law enforcement would take the lead and the school district would act in the role of support," said Ward. Chief Lewis ...
Irish Independent
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:30:45 -0700

Dundalk are missing Stephen O'Donnell and Keith Ward (injuries) and Chris Shields (suspension). Talking point: The lilywhite's heroic victory over Hajduk Split in midweek slipped somewhat under the radar, but remains the kind of win that can inspire a ...

McClatchy Washington Bureau

McClatchy Washington Bureau
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:12:11 -0700

Keith Ward, from left, Deborah Owens, and Gwen Vinson help clients navigate the Affordable Care Act and choose the right plan at Urban Ministries in Raleigh, N.C., on Oct. 30, 2013. ROBERT WILLETT — MCT. 20140501_HEALTHCARE; US NEWS ...
The Providence Journal
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:52:30 -0700

... Jeffrey K. Gale, Brian D. DeLuca; Ward 2: Stephanie Culhane, Edward R. Angilly; Ward 3, Richard R. Tomlins, Domenic F. Fusco Jr.; Ward 4, Trent M. Colford, unopposed; Ward 5, Janice Ruggieri, Jonathan J. Keith; Ward 6, Daniel R. Wall, Jay A ...

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