Ronald Hutton Appointed Gresham Professor of Divinity

Professor Ronald Hutton

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Ronald Hutton as Gresham Professor of Divinity. He remains Professor of History at the University of Bristol.

Hutton is a prolific writer and broadcaster on the history of paganism. He has helped transform people’s view of paganism, which is now included in religious studies departments in universities around the world. He is on the editorial board of six academic journals related to paganism and witchcraft.

He succeeds Professor Alec Ryrie, whose lectures – especially the series on atheism – were the College’s surprise lockdown hit. 

Professor Hutton said: “Paganism and pagan beliefs, including witchcraft, should be part of our study of religion and its history.

"Pagan religions were suppressed as religious systems at the time of conversion to Christianity, but elements of them survived as major components of literature, art and folklore. This has only recently become a major area of study and my first lecture series will discuss some of the newest discoveries in this field.

“I am thrilled to come to lecture at Gresham. I am state-educated and prepared my own way to a scholarship at Cambridge University in part by attending public lectures, and would like to help others find their way to further study via these lectures.” 

Dr Simon Thurley, Provost of Gresham College, said: “Professor Hutton is one of our leading historians and a world authority on pagan religions, we look forward to welcoming him to the College.”

Dr Wendy Piatt, CEO of Gresham College, said: "The Divinity Professorship at Gresham usually focuses on Christianity; exploring Paganism is going to be a fascinating departure for our audience.”