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  • Culture - British
  • Era - 20th century

Alister McGrath

  • Name - Alister McGrath
  • Birth - 23 January, 1953
  • Church tradition - Anglican
  • Theology school - Reformed
  • Influences - J. I. Packer

Alister E. McGrath (born January 23, 1953) is a Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently serving as Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford.


At the Methodist College in Belfast, he majored in mathematics, physics and chemistry. After years of research and study, he was awarded an Oxford D.Phil. for his research in the natural sciences (December 1977), and gained first class honors in Theology in June 1978.

McGrath then left Oxford to work at Cambridge University, where he also studied for ordination into the Church of England. In September 1980, he was ordained deacon, and began work as a curate at St Leonard's Parish Church, Wollaton, Nottingham, in the English east midlands. In 1983, he was appointed lecturer in Christian doctrine and ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and a member of the Oxford University Faculty of Theology. McGrath spent the fall semester of 1990 as the Ezra Squire Tipple Visiting Professor of Historical Theology at the Divinity School of Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

McGrath was elected University Research Lecturer in Theology at Oxford University in 1993, and also served as research professor of theology at Regent College, Vancouver, from 1993-1999. In 1995, he was elected Principal of Wycliffe Hall, and in 1999, was awarded a personal chair in theology at Oxford University, with the title of "Professor of Historical Theology". He was awarded an Oxford Doctorate of Divinity in 2001 for his research on historical and systematic theology.

McGrath is a voluminous writer. His work often refers both to the early Church Fathers and to contemporary evangelical stalwarts such as Thomas Torrance and J. I. Packer. McGrath seems to be a part of the paleo-orthodox movement, which encourages reflection upon the patristics and the influential members of the early church. His areas of expertise include doctrine, Church history, the interaction of science and faith, and evangelical spirituality.


Among McGrath's more notable works are:

  • Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, And The Meaning Of Life (2005) ISBN 1405125381 A critique of Richard Dawkins' crusade against religion
  • Christian Theology: An Introduction ISBN 0631225285 (often used as a seminary textbook)
  • The Christian Theology Reader ISBN 063120637X (containing primary sources referred to in his Christian Theology)
  • Glimpsing the Face of God: The Search for Meaning in the Universe ISBN 0802839800
  • Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought ISBN 0631208445
  • "I Believe": Exploring the Apostles' Creed ISBN 0830819460
  • In the Beginning : The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language,and a Culture ISBN 0385722168
  • Intellectuals Don't Need God and Other Modern Myths ISBN 0310590914
  • Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification ISBN 0521624266
  • Knowing Christ ISBN 0385503164
  • A Passion for Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism ISBN 0830818669
  • T. F. Torrance: An Intellectual Biography ISBN 0567086836
  • The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World ISBN 0385500610
  • Understanding Doctrine ISBN 0310479517
  • Understanding the Trinity ISBN 0310296803
  • A Scientific Theology (4 volumes)

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