Biography

Richard Swinburne is a Fellow of the British Academy. He was Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford from 1985 to 2002 and is currently Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion.

Swinburne is best-known for his trilogy on the philosophy of theism (The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason). The central book of this trilogy, The Existence of God, claims that arguments from the existence of laws of nature—those laws leading to the evolution of human bodies and human consciousness—make it probable that there is a God. He has summarized the ideas of this trilogy in a short book, Is There a God? 

The second edition of The Coherence of Theism was published in 2016. This updated version takes into account all of the writing since its original publication on the analytic philosophy of religious tradition.

He has also written a tetralogy of books on the meaning and justification of central Christian doctrines (including Revelation and Providence and The Problem of Evil). He has written at various lengths on many other major issues of philosophy including epistemology (the study of what makes a belief rational or justified) in his book Epistemic Justification. He has applied his views on probability as it relates to theism to the issue of the probability that Jesus rose from the dead in The Resurrection of God Incarnate.

He has summarized the ideas of the later tetralogy and on the Resurrection in a second book, Was Jesus God? 

He is also well-known for his defense of ‘substance dualism’ (the view that humans consist of two parts, soul and body) in his earlier book The Evolution of the Soul.  His latest book Mind, Brain, and Free Will gives new arguments for substance dualism and claims that humans have free will to choose between good and evil. It argues that neuroscience cannot now and could not ever show this claim to be false.

Swinburne lectures often in many different countries, both as a visiting Professor, and by giving a series of named lectures. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Catholic University of Lublin in 2015, and by Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University, Bucharest in 2016.