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Purposehe Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and a fellow of Murray Edwards College (MEC), Sarah Coakley is a philosophical and systematic theologian with wide interdisciplinary interests, especially in relation to contemporary evolutionary biology and neuroscience. From 1995 to 2007, Dr. Coakley was Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, and for three years during her tenure there, she co-directed (with Martin A. Nowak) a research project funded by the John Templeton Foundation, “Evolution and the Theology of Cooperation.” A book growing out of that collaboration, Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation, which she edited with Dr. Nowak, was published last year by Harvard University Press and formed the platform of her 2012 Gifford Lectures at Aberdeen: Sacrifice Regained: Evolution, Cooperation, and God (available online and forthcoming from Oxford University Press/Wm. B. Eerdmans). Educated at the Blackheath High School in London, Dr. Coakley taught English and Latin to young Africans in Lesotho before going up to New Hall (now MEC), Cambridge, where she took first-class honors in theology. She went on to earn a master’s degree in theology at Harvard, as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth, and returned to England for a doctorate at Cambridge, which was awarded in 1983. Appointed a junior lecturer in religious studies at the University of Lancaster, she was named senior lecturer at Lancaster in 1990, and, the next year, she was appointed tutorial fellow in theology at Oriel College, Oxford, and a university lecturer in theology and philosophy of religion. She joined the Harvard faculty as a tenured professor of Christian theology in 1993. The recipient of two Cambridge essay prizes—the Chadwick and the Hulsean, a Henry Luce III Fellowship, and a Lilly Foundation Fellowship, Dr. Coakley has been awarded honorary degrees by the University of Lund in Sweden, General Theological Seminary in New York, and the University of St. Andrews. She was elected deputy chair of Cambridge’s School of Arts and Humanities in 2011 and sits on the university’s General Board of the Faculties. Ordained in 2000, she also serves as an Anglican priest in the diocese of Ely and as an honorary canon of Ely Cathedral. In addition to Evolution, Games, and God and Sacrifice Regained, she is the author or editor of thirteen other books, including Christ without Absolutes: A Study of the Christology of Ernst Troeltsch (1988 and 1994), Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy and Gender (2002), (edited with Paul Gavrilyuk) The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity (2012), (edited) Faith, Rationality, and the Passions (2012), and God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013 as the first volume in a systematic theology in which an analysis of contemplative practice is a key constellating theme.

 

Christopher Jamison, OSB, is director of the National Office of Vocation (NOV) of the Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales. An author and frequent commentator on religion in the public media, he is the former abbot of Worth. Fr. Jamison was educated at Downside School and at Oxford University, where he studied modern languages at Oriel College, earning an undergraduate degree and then an M.A. in 1973. He went on to study philosophy and theology at Heythrop College, University of London, taking a B.A. in 1977, and became a member of the Benedictine community at Worth. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1978. Appointed housemaster of Worth School in 1979, he also served as head of theology for the next fourteen years. Fr. Jamison was named headmaster of Worth School in 1994, a post he held until 2002 when he was elected abbot. The same year, the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation appointed him president of the International Commission on Benedictine Education, a position in which he served until last year. As a member of the Academic Policy Committee of the international Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, he chaired a working party on the uses of information technology in independent schools that published Leading IT in 1997. He was appointed director of the NOV in 2010. While he was abbot of Worth, the BBC approached him about filming a reality TV series at the abbey. He eventually welcomed five members of the public who attempted to follow the monastic life at Worth over a period of forty days and nights. The resulting documentaries, The Monastery (2005) and The Monastery Revisited (2006), attracted audiences of between two and three million viewers and were shown around the world. Fr. Jamison later led five other people with high-pressured jobs to explore the value and challenge of silent meditation in a documentary for BBC TWO, The Big Silence (2010). He is a founding board member of Catholic Voices, an international group that trains lay men and women to speak about the church in the media. In addition, he chairs the Catholic Vocations Project, a charity that supports a residential vocation discernment program. He is an active patron of the Cardinal Hume Centre, a London charity that works with homeless young people, and an honorary fellow of the Rank Foundation, which supports the flourishing of British youth. Ethical practice in business also has been an area in which he has been engaged for more than a decade. When the UK government’s Financial Services Authority found that increasing regulation was having little effect on the integrity of business practice, it approached him (and management ethicist Roger Steare) for help, and in 2003 they created The Soul Gym, a consultancy that runs seminars for business people throughout Britain that combine personal reflection and practical strategies for addressing difficult questions of moral conduct in business. Fr. Jamison has served as an advisor to the Future of Banking Commission, which was led by several members of Parliament, and earlier this year, he was appointed an advisor to New City Agenda, a “think tank” dedicated to improving ethical behavior in the financial services industry. In addition to contributions to volumes of collected works, he is the author of two books that have been published in a dozen languages, Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life (2006) and Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps for a Fulfilling Life (2008). His most recent book is an edited volume, The Disciples’ Call: Theologies of Vocation from Scripture to the Present Day, which was published last year by Bloomsbury T&T Clark and traces the development of concepts of vocation (lay, priestly, monastic, and religious) from scriptural and patristic roots through Thomistic thought and the Reformation to engage with the modern vocational crisis.