In this lecture Prof. Werner Jeanrond will reflect on the conditions and opportunities of faith today and to relocate Christian faith in the orbit of a theology of love.
Prof. Jeanrond is one of the recipients of this year’s Honorary Degrees. He studied theology, German language and literature, and educational science at the Universities of Saarbrücken, Regensburg and Chicago. In 1979, he took his master’s degree (Staatsexamen) at the University of Saarbrücken. In 1984, he was awarded a PhD at the University of Chicago (under the direction of David Tracy and Paul Ricoeur) where he was a Fulbright scholar. In 1985, he was awarded the degree of MA jure officii at the University of Dublin.
From 1981 to 1994, he was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in theology at the University of Dublin and Fellow of Trinity College. From 1995 to 2007, he was Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Lund in Sweden. While in Lund, he supervised the doctoral dissertation of Antje Jackelén who 2014-2022 was the first woman to be Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden.
From 2008 to 2012, he was Professor of Divinity holding the 1640 Chair of Divinity at the University of Glasgow. After his departure from Glasgow, he was appointed an Honorary Senior Research Fellow thus maintaining a link with that university.
From 2012 to 2018, he was Master of St Benet’s Hall, a permanent private hall of the University of Oxford, and a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion. He was the first lay master in the history of St. Benet’s Hall.
He has academic administrative experience in a number of roles, including as Head of the School of Biblical and Theological Studies in Trinity College Dublin; as Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Vice-Dean of Humanities at Lund University; as elected member of the Swedish Research Council and the Nordic Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; as Research Convenor and Deputy Head of the School of Critical Studies in the University of Glasgow; as a longtime member of the Board and Foundation of Concilium and of many other editorial and academic boards and committees.
Prof. Jeanrond is one of the leading Catholic theologians of our age. His publication record is vast in its output, with many of his monographs published in numerous languages. His significant achievements as a published scholar represent a commitment to scholarly work that Regis College promotes within its faculty as a service to the academy and the common good. In the 1980s, he was one of the leading Catholic theologians to publish in hermeneutics. Indeed, his contribution here prioritized an interdisciplinary approach to the enquiry of theology within the academia and beyond. Prof. Jeanrond has also published extensively in magazines, newspapers and other forums that address the question of God, religion, and society, where he has made available his theology depth and pastoral sensitivity to a more general audience.
Prof. Jeanrond is a committed and practicing Catholic. His wife Betty (they have two children), whom he met at a peace and reconciliation centre in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, is a trained Jesuit/Ignatian spiritual director. Werner has remained committed to championing peace in Northern Ireland for many years.
At a time when theology is normally taught and studied by the clergy, Prof. Jeanrond’s commitment to theology in the Catholic Church as a lay person illustrates the ability of every lay theologian and graduate of theology to make a profound contribution in teaching, research, and service. His commitment to a life of prayer and membership in the catholic church highlight a distinctive living out of his vocation as a theologian.
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