Cadbury Lectures 2013:  Lecturer profiles   


Professor Gordon Lynch
Gordon Lynch is a Professor of Modern Theology at the University of Kent. His research interest is in the cultural study of religion and the sacred in modern Western society, with his main focus on the development of a cultural sociological approach to the study of the sacred, where the sacred is understood as what people collectively experience as taken-for-granted moral realities that exert an unquestionable claim over social life. He has developed this work through two recent books, The Sacred in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2012) and On the Sacred (Acumen, 2012). The ultimate point of his work is to understand how sacred meanings shape specific social situations in ways that can be constructive and harmful, and to encourage greater reflexivity about the implications of our moral passions. Lynch is currently developing a large project exploring the ways in which sacred practices of nation-building were implicated in the systemic abuse and neglect of children by religious institutions across a range of different national cases.


Professor Mark Goodacre
Mark Goodacre is an Associate Professor in New Testament at Duke University, USA. He earned his MA, M.Phil and DPhil at the University of Oxford and was Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham until 2005. His research interests include the Synoptic Gospels, the Historical Jesus and the Gospel of Thomas. Goodacre is editor of the “Library of New Testament Studies” book series and the author of four books including “The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem” (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002) and “Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas's Familiarity with the Synoptics” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012). He is well known for the award-winning internet site, “The New Testament Gateway”, the web directory of academic New Testament resources, and he has his own regular podcast on the New Testament, the NT Pod. Goodacre has acted as consultant for several TV and radio programs including “The Passion” (BBC / HBO, 2008) and “The Bible: A History” (Channel 4, 2010).


Professor John Milbank
John Milbank is a Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham. He has previously taught at the Universities of Lancaster, Cambridge and Virginia. He is the author of several books of which the most well-known is “Theology and Social Theory” and the most recent “The Future of Love”. He is now completing two books called respectively “Philosophy: A Theological Critique” and “The Gift Exchanged”. After that he will write a sequel to “Theology and Social Theory and a prequel to Philosophy: A Theological Critique” entitled “Sublimity and Subjectivity: on Modern Transcendence”. He is one of the editors of the Radical Orthodoxy collection of essays which occasioned much debate.

In general he has endeavoured in his work to resist the idea that secular norms of understanding should set the agenda for theology and has tried to promote the sense that Christianity offers a rich and viable account of the whole of reality. At the same time he tends to insist that Christianity is itself eclectic and fuses many traditions - particularly that of biblical narrative with that of Greek philosophy. In style his theology is eclectic, interdisciplinary and essayistic - though it aims to be systematic in a somewhat ad hoc fashion. So far he has produced two books in the areas of Christian doctrine and ethics - though both have a strong philosophical component. In addition he has sustained interests in developing a political and social theology - critical of the liberationist current as insufficiently theological, while retaining a left-leaning perspective. Milbank is pursuing a long-term project concerning the topic of ‘gift’ which involves all the above-mentioned concerns. In the longer run he also intends to write a fully-fledged ‘Trinitarian Ontology’.


Professor Judith Lieu
Judith Lieu is the Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. She studied at Durham and Birmingham Universities and has taught at The Queen’s College, Birmingham, King’s College London, and Macquarie University, Sydney. Her current research project is a study of the heresiological construction of Marcion and an attempt to locate him within the literary, social, and, theological contexts of the second century. This is part of a broader interest in the second century as a period of creativity and ferment in the development of distinct patterns of Christian thought and practice.

Previously she has worked on the separation and continuing relationships between Jews and Christians, and on the formation of a distinct Christian identity, all within the broader setting of the Graeco-Roman world. Recent books in this area include  Neither Jew nor Greek. Constructing Early Christianity (T & T Clark, 2002) and Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World (Oxford University Press, 2004). Within the New Testament her primary research area is the Johannine literature, and she has recently published “I, II, & III John: A Commentary” (Westminster John Knox, 2008). A further area of her research and writing is that of feminist and gender analysis of the New Testament and other early Christian literature and history.


Dr Ataullah Siddiqui
Dr Ataullah Siddiqui is a Reader in Religious Pluralism and Inter-Faith Relations at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education where he was also the Director of the Institute from 2001 to 2008. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Gloucestershire and a Visiting Fellow at York St. John’s University.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh. He was founder President and Vice Chair of the ‘Christian Muslim Forum’, and a founder member of the Leicester Council of Faiths. His publications include: Beyond the Dysfunctional Family: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Dialogue with Each Other and With Britain (edited with others) London: The Manor House Abrahamic Group (2012); British Secularism and Religion: Islam, Society and the State (edited. with others) Markfield: Kube Publishing (2010), Christians and Muslims in the Commonwealth: A Dynamic Role in the Future [co-edited 2001]. He is also the author of a government report Islam at Universities in England: Meeting the Needs and Investing in the Future, 2007. He has contributed chapters and articles to several other books and journals.


Professor Gavin D'Costa
Gavin D’Costa was born in Kenya, East Africa. He came to England in 1968 and completed a first degree in English and Theology at Birmingham University. He studied at the University of Cambridge for his doctorate and then taught in London. His doctoral work on John Hick’s theology of religions led him into work with the Church of England and Roman Catholic Committees on Other Faiths, advising these communities on theological issues. He also advises the Pontifical Council for Other Faiths, Vatican City. In 1998 he was visiting Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome. He is currently a Professor in Catholic Theology at the Bristol University.

D’Costa’s research interests are on modern Roman Catholic theology, systematic theology, and theology of inter-religious dialogue. His recent publications include “Christianity and the World Religions” (Blackwell, 2009) and “Only One Way? Three Christian Response on the Uniqueness of Christ in a Religiously Pluralist World” (SCM, 2011).


Professor David Ford
David F. Ford is Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme (focusing mainly on Judaism, Christianity and Islam). He read Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and then studied Theology and Religious Studies in Cambridge, Yale and Tübingen. Prior to taking up his post in Cambridge he taught in the University of Birmingham. Professor Ford co-founded the Scriptural Reasoning movement. He was awarded the Sternberg Foundation Gold Medal for Inter-Faith Relations in 2008 and the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation in 2012.

Alongside his interests in inter-faith relations, Professor Ford’s current research includes work on the Gospel of John and on theology and higher education. He is currently responsible for a major project entitled ‘Religion and the Idea of a Research University’. He is also a member of the Church of England Higher Education Panel and is involved with the Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education project. Professor Ford’s recent publications include: The Future of Christian Theology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011); Christian Wisdom: Desiring God and Learning in Love (Cambridge University Press, 2007); and Shaping Theology: Engagements in a Religious and Secular World (Blackwell, 2007).