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Keith Ward (1938–)

Ian S. Markham

Subject Religion » Christianity

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics theology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405135078.2009.00081.x


Keith Ward is best known for his remarkable exercise in a systematic theology which takes comparative theology very seriously. Keith Ward was born in northern England in 1938. He describes himself as “naturally religious, in the sense that I seemed to apprehend a spiritual presence (or presences) both in the natural world and in music” (Ward in Bartel, 2003 , 190). However, he also lived in an “in between” space—a space between the “natural feelings of my heart and the critical questions of my mind” (ibid.). He trained as a philosopher (collecting a BA from the University of Wales) and becoming a Lecturer in Logic at the University of Glasgow. For much of this period, he describes himself as an atheist; yet he also sees the “tide turning” (an allusion to his BBC series and book The Turn of the Tide , 1986) and a growing convergence between modern physics and faith. So it was that when he was at King's College, London, he became a priest in the Church of England in 1972. He then held a succession of senior professorial chairs in the United Kingdom—F. D. Maurice Professor of Moral and Social Theology, followed by the Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion (both at King's College, London), then the Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford in 1991. He held this chair until his retirement from Oxford University in 2004. To understand Ward's method, one must ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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