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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

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Ward — Please support Wikipedia.
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50 news items

Virtualization Review
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:15:00 -0700

By Keith Ward; 08/26/2014. SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a long, exhausting and productive day at VMworld here in the City By The Bay. What follows are my random thoughts about this, that and the other. VMware knows how to throw a conference. The show ...
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:41:15 -0700

The Frank Dalgliesh Open Medal at Ramsey saw a dozen players shoot under par in good conditions with Keith Ward's 72 taking the best gross score of the day but two shots off the pace for the nett prize. Saying that the day started poorly with a bogey ...


Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:32:26 -0700

“The goofing around that they were doing in the car could be misinterpreted as a child being kidnapped,” said Captain JesHenry Malone with Huntsville Police. The initial report from police is that a 12-year-old girl was walking home from school on ...

Irish Independent

Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:32:30 -0700

Dundalk booked their place in the EA Sports Cup final - the club's first in 19 years - with a comprehensive win over Wexford Youths at Oriel Park. Mark Griffin and Keith Ward gave Dundalk a 2-0 half-time cushion before a David McMillan hat-trick added ...
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:14:56 -0700

More >>. HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -. NASCAR drivers now have a new rule to follow: stay inside your car. NASCAR issued the new regulation on Friday. It follows the deadly wreck involving Tony Stewart and Keith Ward Junior the week before.

Irish Independent

The Score
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:59:27 -0700

Dundalk: Gabriel Sava, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (Dane Massey, 79), Mark Rossiter, Chris Shields, Ruaidhri Higgins, Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan (Mark Griffin, 76), John Mountney, Donal McDermott (Keith Ward, 70), David McMillan. Substitutes: Peter ...
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:25:43 -0700

At the schools, there were a few tears and plenty of smiles as parents dropped children off for the day. The intricate details of getting a new school year running were moving smoothly, for the most part. "So far so good," Keith Ward, a spokesman for ...
The Huntsville Times - al.com
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:41:15 -0700

Keith Ward, a Huntsville City Schools spokesman, confirmed that there again will not be enough space for all students who drive. As in previous years, seniors will get priority as administrators assign parking spaces. Juniors will be assigned parking ...

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