Speaker Bios

NT WrightBishop N.T. Wright is one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars and the leading expert on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He was formerly canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and dean of Lichfield Cathedral. He also taught New Testament studies for 20 years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Gregorian University in Rome, and many other institutions around the world.

A prolific writer of both scholarly and popular books, Bishop Wright has written over 30 books, including After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Challenge of Jesus, and The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as being the translator for The Kingdom New Testament. He also wrote the impressive Christian Origins and the Question of God series, including The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God, and most recently, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. He was recently featured on the front cover of Christianity Today.

In addition to his many books, Bishop Wright reaches a broad audience through his frequent media appearances. A sought-after commentator, Wright writes frequently for newspapers in England, including the Times, the Independent and the Guardian. He has been interviewed numerous times by radio and television broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic, including ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and NPR.

Bishop Wright is married with four young-adult children and two grandchildren.

 

Bishop Nazir-Ali webBishop 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 to 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.

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: 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.

 

R Douthat webRoss Douthat, a graduate of Harvard University, is the youngest regular op-ed columnist in the history of The New York Times and a former senior editor of The Atlantic. He is the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class, and the co-author, with Reihan Salam of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream. His most recent book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, is a stinging critique of post-World War II American Christianity and a call for believers to return to a robust and intellectually satisfying faith.

Douthat graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2002, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While there he contributed to The Harvard Crimson and edited the Harvard Salient. As an adolescent, Douthat converted to Pentecostalism and then, with the rest of his family, to Catholicism. His mother is writer Patricia Snow. His father, Charles Douthat, is a partner in a New Haven law firm and an award winning poet. In 2007, Douthat married Abigail Tucker, a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and a writer for Smithsonian. A native of New Haven, Conn., he and his family now live in Washington, D.C.

 

M Eberstadt webMary Eberstadt, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, explores issues relating to American society, culture, religion, and philosophy. She is the author of several influential books: Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution (2012); The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism (2010); and Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes (2005). She is also editor of a 2007 anthology, Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle their Political Journeys. Her latest book is How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization, published by Templeton Press (April 2013).

Mrs. Eberstadt has written for many magazines and newspapers, including National Review, Policy Review, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Times, First Things, The Claremont Review of Books, and the American Spectator. Her essays of particular note include “Eminem is Right,” “Is Food the New Sex?,” “Christianity Lite,” “What Does Woman Want?,” “My Irving Kristol and Ours,” and “Why Ritalin Rules.”

Mrs. Eberstadt was a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution from 2002 to 2013. Between 1990 and 1998, Mrs. Eberstadt was executive editor of the National Interest magazine. From 1985 to 1987, she was a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department, a speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and a special assistant to Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She was also managing editor at the Public Interest. A four-year Telluride Scholar at Cornell University, Eberstadt graduated magna cum laude in 1983.

 

Os Guinness webOs Guinness is an author and social critic. Great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War II where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.

Os has written or edited more than 30 books, including The American Hour, Time for Truth, The Call, Invitation to the Classics, Long Journey Home, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide and The Global Public Square. His next book Renaissance will be published by InterVarsity Press in August 2014.

Previously, Os was a freelance reporter with the BBC. Since coming to the United States in 1984, he has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1986 to 1989, Os served as Executive Director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment. In this position he helped to draft the Williamsburg Charter and co-authored the public school curriculum Living with Our Deepest Differences. From 1991 to 2004, he was a senior fellow at the Trinity Forum and a frequent speaker and seminar leader at political and business conferences in both the United States and Europe. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

As a European visitor to this country and a great admirer but detached observer of American culture today, he stands in the long tradition of outside voices who have contributed so much to America’s ongoing discussion about the state of the union. He lives with his wife Jenny in McLean, Va., and attends The Falls Church Anglican.

 

A McGrathAlister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. He was previously Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College London, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, and Principal of Wycliffe Hall Oxford. He holds a doctorate in molecular biophysics and a doctorate in theology and divinity from Oxford University.

McGrath is recognized as one of the most significant and influential critics of the “New Atheism.” As a former atheist, he is respectful yet critical of the movement. In recent years, he has been especially interested in the emergence of “scientific atheism” and has researched the distinctive approach to atheist apologetics found in the writings of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

He is ordained and serves as associate priest in a group of Church of England village parishes in the Cotswolds. His most recent books include a highly acclaimed and award-winning biography of C.S. Lewis (2013) and a reappraisal of the importance of the Swiss theologian Emil Brunner for the churches and Christian theology (2014).