Gresham College Press Release, 29/06/12


Lord Plant appointed to 415-Year-Old Divinity Professorship


GreshamCollege, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor the Lord (Raymond) Plant of Highfield, Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy at King’s College London, as Gresham Professor of Divinity.


In his role as Professor of Divinity at Gresham College, Lord Plant will continue the 415-year-old tradition of delivering free public lectures aimed at the intelligent and interested public within the City of London and beyond.

The series of free public lectures to be delivered during 2012-13 will be on Religion and Values in a Liberal State: The Morals of Markets. The hour-long free public lectures will take place at the Museum of London, EC2:

Moral Values and Limits of Markets – Tuesday 9th October 2012, 1pm
Markets, Freedom and Choice – Tuesday 27th November 2012, 1pm
Just  Markets – Tuesday 29th January 2013, 1pm
Selling Yourself Short: The Body, Property and Markets – Tuesday 26th February 2013, 1pm
What’s It Worth: Values, Choice and Commodification – Tuesday 9th April 2013, 1pm
Trust in Markets? – Tuesday 14th May 2013, 1pm

These lectures will focus on some of the central ideas and principles that make up a liberal democratic society and its associated market economy, looking in detail at what a theological understanding can add to these questions. Freedom, justice, rights, community, civic virtue, property and charity – all of these are vitally important ideas and values in understanding modern society and there is a rich tradition of thought, including theological thought, about what they mean and how these meanings should be reflected in institutions. Thinking further on these values will lead to a better understanding of social justice and injustice, poverty and freedom, community and individuality, and rights and obligations in the context of a liberal capitalist society.

[Full lecture descriptions are available from the Gresham College website:]


Lord Plant has been Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London since 2002. Prior to that, Lord Plant was Master of St. Catherine’s College Oxford from 1994 to 2000, and Professor of European Political Thought at the University of Southampton. He is also currently Honorary Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Winchester. His academic interests focus on political, social and legal philosophy, particularly conceptual issues to do with welfare, particularly ideas such as needs, rights, obligations and community. He has published and lectured widely on the role of religion in the context of a modern state, society and economy. Since 1992 Lord Plant has been a Member of the House of Lords, where he is currently on the Delegated Legislation Scrutiny Committee. Previously he has been Opposition Spokesperson for Home Affairs and the Chair of the Labour Party Commission on Electoral Systems, as well as being a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and of the Law and Institutions Committee of the Committee on the European Communities.


The Divinity chair dates back to the College’s founding in 1597. Gresham College was the first higher education institution in England besides the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and it was created with the guiding principle of providing free education for all. Gresham College has seen the Royal Society formed within the College, and past luminaries including Sir Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, the Lord Bishop Richard Chartres, Richard Holloway, and Lord (Richard) Harries. The College continues to fill lecture halls for its four or so free public lectures every week. All Gresham lectures are made available on the internet after the event, where they join the online archive of over 1,200 lectures.



Further Information:
Professor the Lord Plant's page on the Gresham College website:
Further information about the Gresham Divinity Professor position: