BISHOP MICHAEL NAZIR-ALI
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester for 15 years until September 2009. Originally from Asia, he was the first non-white Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England. Before that, he was the General Secretary of the Church Mission Society from 1989 to 1994 and prior to holding this position was Bishop of Raiwind in Pakistan. He holds both British and Pakistani citizenship and from 1999 was a member of the House of Lords where he was active in a number of areas of national and international concern. He has both a Christian and a Muslim family background and is now President of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD).
Bishop Nazir-Ali's secondary education was in Pakistan. He later studied economics, Islamic history, and sociology at the University of Karachi (BA 1970). He studied in preparation for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (1972) and undertook further postgraduate studies in theology at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford (BLitt 1974, MLitt 1981), Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (MLitt 1976), and the Australian College of Theology (PhD 1983). He was awarded the Lambeth DD in 2005 and has many honorary doctorates as well.
His interests have led him to research and study in several fields, including comparative literature, comparative philosophy of religion and theology at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and elsewhere. He has taught at colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. He is an Honorary Fellow of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He is Visiting Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Greenwich, Senior Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and on the faculty at the London School of Theology.
From 1997-2003, he was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and Chair of its Ethics and Law Committee. For many years, he led the Anglican Communion’s dialogue with the Islamic world (both Shia and Sunni) and is now a leading advocate of freedom in the Middle East. He is also a member of ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission).
Bishop Nazir-Ali has been a visiting lecturer in a number of universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, Canada, the U.S.A., and Australia. He has traveled widely in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America, in promoting mission and a properly Christian understanding of our changing world.
He is the author of 11 books and of numerous articles on faith and public life, freedom of belief, bioethics, mission, ecumenism, the Anglican Communion, and relations with people of other faiths (particularly Islam). Some of his published writings include: The Unique and Universal Christ, Triple Jeopardy for the West: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islamism and Multiculturalism; Conviction and Conflict: Islam, Christianity and World Order; Understanding My Muslim Neighbour; Shapes of the Church to Come; Citizens and Exiles: Christian Faith in a Plural Society; Frontiers in Christian-Muslim Encounters; and Islam: A Christian Perspective.