Peter Vardy (theologian)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people with the same name, see Peter Vardy (disambiguation).

Peter Vardy (born 1945) is a British academic, philosopher, theologian and author. He held the post of vice principal at Heythrop College, London from 1999 to 2011.

Business career[edit]

Vardy began his career as a chartered accountant, becoming a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Marketing. In addition to being a partner in a firm of chartered accountants and management consultants he served as director or chairman of a number of listed and unlisted companies.[1]

Academic career[edit]

Vardy left business to work in academia.

He holds a master's degree in theology and a PhD (on "The Concept of Eternity") from King's College London. He lectured in philosophy of religion at King's and also at the Institute of Education, London, on their master's degree in education programme, and delivered the MA module in the philosophy of religion at Heythrop College until 2011.

He served on the academic board of Leo Baeck College (which trains rabbis in the Jewish Reformed Tradition in Britain) and has worked closely with The Coexist Foundation since 2007. He also runs teacher training conferences, having previously run management training for NatWest and Swiss Bank.[2]

His academic interests embrace ethics and values education, the nature of God, the relationship between science and religion, truth claims in different religions, the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard, globalisation and the impact on what it means to live a fulfilled human life, providing a spiritual perspective in a secular world, Islam, what it means to be human and ethics in business.

He is a member and previous secretary of the London Society for the Study of Religion.


Vardy runs day conferences for 14- to 18-year-old students in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong related to issues in philosophy, religion, ethics and the theory of knowledge.

He served as chair of governors of Shebbear College in Devon, Britain’s second oldest Methodist school. This experience inspired him to champion the "less easily measured" aspects of education by his experience.

He has also worked as a member of the Methodist schools committee, a body which co-ordinates the work of Methodist schools in the United Kingdom[3] and has run training for other educational bodies such as the Woodard Corporation and North Tyneside LEA.

He was the keynote lecturer at a number of conferences in the field of education run by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, HMC, AHISA, GSA and UNHRC and gave the St Wilfrid Lecture at Ripon Cathedral in November 2012.[4]

Dialogue Australasian Network[edit]

Vardy was a founder of the Dialogue Australasian Network (DAN) and was a keynote lecturer at its annual, then biannual conferences between 1999 and 2010, when membership and conference attendance peaked with some 450 schools participating.

He developed the Five Strands Approach to Religious and Values Education in the mid 1990s, which is currently in widespread use across Australasia. His student and teacher conferences in Australasia have always been organised and run independently of DAN, however, and were operating for several years before the inception of that organisation.


Vardy has made a number of appearances on BBC and ABC radio, discussing related issues and is the author or subject of a number of articles in, for example, Times Higher Education, the Times Educational Supplement and The Age.


  • And if it's True? (1987)
  • God of Our Fathers?: Do We Know What We Believe? (1987)
  • Business Morality, People and Profit (1989)
  • The Puzzle of God (1990)
  • The Puzzle of Evil (1992)
  • The Puzzle of Ethics (1997)
  • The Puzzle of Sex (1997 and an all new edition for SCM Press 2009)
  • Kierkegaard (1996 and an all new edition for SPCK 2008)
  • What is Truth? (2003)
  • Being Human (2003)
  • Good & Bad Religion (2010)

With other authors[edit]

  • The Puzzle of Ethics (1994, with philosopher Paul Grosch)
  • The Puzzle of the Gospels (1995, (with theologian Mary Mills)
  • The Thinker's Guide to God (2003, with Julie Arliss and Robert Van de Weyer)
  • The Thinker's Guide to Evil (2003, with Julie Arliss)
  • Ethics Matters (2012, with Charlotte Vardy)
  • God Matters (Forthcoming, 2013, with Charlotte Vardy)

As editor[edit]

  • Fount Christian Thinkers (series editor, 1997)
  • Great Christian Thinkers: The Spiritual Heritage of Six Key Theologians (1999)

External links[edit]