Peter Vardy (theologian)

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Peter Vardy
Born July 1945
Nationality British
Education
Occupation Theologian, author, conference organizer
Organization
  • Candle Conferences Ltd.
  • Candle Education Ltd.
Spouse(s)
  • Anne Vardy (m. 1974–2004)
  • Charlotte Vardy
Children Six

Peter Christian Vardy (born July 1945)[1] is a British theologian. The author or co-author of 18 books about religion and ethics, Vardy was vice-principal of Heythrop College, a Jesuit college in London, from 1999 to 2011.[2] He is known for the religious-studies conferences he runs in the UK for schools.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Vardy was born to Mark Vardy[1] and Christa Lund Vardy; his mother was Danish.[5] He attended Charterhouse, an independent school in Godalming, Surrey,[1] then trained as a chartered accountant, becoming a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA) in 1967.[1] He ran management-training sessions for the National Westminster Bank and Swiss Bank Corporation,[6] and was the chairman of H. Young Holdings plc from 1979–1983. In 1974 he married his first wife, Anne Vardy, née Moore; the couple had two sons and four daughters before divorcing in 2004.[1]

At the age of 30, Vardy began to study theology, receiving a BA from the University of Southampton in 1979 and a PGCE (a teaching qualification) from the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education in 1980. He was awarded a master's degree in theology from King's College London in 1982,[1] and a PhD in theology in 1984, also from King's, for a thesis entitled The concept of eternity.[7]

Academic career[edit]

Vardy taught philosophy of religion at King's College London and the Institute of Education.[8] He began lecturing at Heythrop College in 1986[5] and in 1999 became the vice-principal,[8] a position he held until his retirement in 2011.[citation needed] While at Heythrop, he served on the University of London's Board of Theology (1990–1993).[6] Vardy's primary academic interest is in the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard, whose work he taught at Heythrop for 25 years.[5] From 1987 he organized annual dinners in London on the anniversary of Kierkegaard's death,[9][10] and in 1996 his book Kierkegaard was published,[10] later published as The SPCK Introduction to Kierkegaard.

Work with schools[edit]

Conferences[edit]

Vardy served as chair of the governors of Shebbear College, a Methodist school in Devon.[11] He has also worked as a member of the Methodist Schools Committee,[12] and has been a keynote speaker at conferences in the field of education, including for UNESCO and UNHRC.[13] While at Heythrop, Vardy served as an editorial adviser for Dialogue,[citation needed] a journal of religion and philosophy aimed at sixth-form students, and made a series of teaching videos through Dialogue Education.[14] He began running day conferences for sixth-form students in the mid 1990s[citation needed] and set up Wombat Education Ltd in 1998.[15] In 2002 he and Julie Arliss of Richard Huish College, Taunton, organized a conference there and several others around the UK.[3] In 2008 Vardy and his second wife, Charlotte Vardy, set up Candle Conferences Ltd,[16] and in 2012 Candle Education Ltd,[17] through which they run day conferences for schools.[18]

Since 2010 Vardy has campaigned against the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, which he argues has led to a decline in numbers taking religion studies.[19] He views philosophy of religion as an exercise in exploring the terms left undefined by theology (such as "God" and "soul") and encouraging humility.[20] Education is a way to help young people become fully human, in his view, or good in the Aristotelian sense.[21] He described the approach in his books "What is Truth?" (2001) and "Being Human" (2003), and in a paper, "Becoming Fully Human", for Dialogue Australasia in 2007.[22]

Dialogue Australasia Network[edit]

In 1999 Vardy worked as a consultant for an Australian school, Geelong Grammar School, in Geelong, Victoria.[23] Later he became involved in the Dialogue Australasia Network,[24] promoting a "five strands" approach to religious studies in schools: a textual strand (Bible studies); world religions strand; philosophy of religion strand; values and ethics strand; and an affective strand, devoted to "silence and stillness".[25] He also served as an editor and occasional author for the journal Dialogue Australasia.[22]

Media[edit]

Vardy has served as an editorial adviser for BBC and Channel 4 documentaries,[26][better source needed] has been interviwed by ABC Radio in Australia,[27] and has written for several publications, including Times Higher Education,[28] Eureka Street,[29] and The Age.[23] Vardy's Introduction to Kierkegaard was recommended in 2003 by the BBC Radio 4 Open Book's Reading Clinic.[30]

Selected works[edit]

Books

  • (1987). God of Our Fathers? Do We Know What We Believe? London: Darton, Longman and Todd.
  • (1988). And if it's True? London: Marshall Pickering.
  • (1989). Business Morality, People and Profit. London: Marshall Pickering.
  • (1990). The Puzzle of God. London: M. E. Sharpe.
  • (1992). The Puzzle of Evil. London: M. E. Sharpe.
  • (1994, with Paul Grosch). The Puzzle of Ethics. London: Fount Paperbacks.
  • (1995, with Mary Mills). The Puzzle of the Gospels. London: M. E. Sharpe.
  • (1996). Kierkegaard (later The SPCK Introduction to Kierkegaard). London: Fount Paperbacks.
  • (1997). The Puzzle of Sex. London: M. E. Sharpe.
  • (1999). What is Truth? Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
  • (2003, with Julie Arliss). The Thinker's Guide to God. Alresford: John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
  • (2003, with Julie Arliss). The Thinker's Guide to Evil. Alresford: John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
  • (2003). Being Human. London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd.
  • (2010). Good & Bad Religion. London: SCM Press.
  • (2012, with Charlotte Vardy). Ethics Matters. London: SCM Press.
  • (2013, with Charlotte Vardy). God Matters. London: SCM Press.
  • (2016, with Charlotte Vardy). Bible Matters. London: SCM Press.
  • (2016). The Puzzle of Christianity. London: William Collins.

Articles and chapters

  • (1987). "Review of Kierkegaard's Dialect of Inwardness by Stephen N. Dunning", in Religious Studies. 23 (3):427–428.
  • (1993). "Technology in the Age of Automata", in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal. 16(1): 209–226.
  • (1995). "A Christian Approach to Eternal Life", in D. Cohn-Sherbok and C. Lewis (eds.). Beyond Death. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • (1997). "Theology and Sharing the Economic Cake", in P. Askonas and S. F. Frowen (eds.). Welfare and Values. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • (2002). "Is Religious Education and ethical and moral debate a contradiction?", in Lynne Broadbent and Alan Brown (eds.). Issues in Religious Education. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • (2005). "The Philosophy of Religion", in John R. Hinnells (ed). The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion. London: Routledge.
  • (2014). "Theologians should face Peter Singer's challenge". Eureka Street. 24(14), July 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Vardy, Peter". Who's Who 2018. 1 December 2008. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Peter Vardy". HarperCollins. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b Day, Malcolm (10 December 2002). "Divine inspiration fills sixth-form pews". The Guardian.
  4. ^ Evans, Jules and Vardy, Peter (28 November 2014). ‘Take ethics out of the classroom and you just make robots for the production line', Philosophy for Life, 28 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Vardy, Peter (1996). The SPCK Introduction to Kierkegaard. London: Fount Paperbacks, p. ix.
  6. ^ a b Who's Who 2011. London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd. 2011. p. 2357. ISBN 978-1408128565.
  7. ^ "The concept of eternity / Peter Vardy", University of London.
  8. ^ a b "Dr. Peter Vardy". Heythrop College. Archived from the original on 9 February 2006.
  9. ^ Ward, Rodney A. (1995). "The Reception of Søren Kierkegaard into English". The Expository Times. 107/2: 43–47.
  10. ^ a b Pattison, George (2009). "Great Britain: From 'Prophet of the Now' to Postmodern Ironist (and after)". In Stewart, Jon. Kierkegaard's International Reception, Volume 1. Farnham: Ashgate. p. 263.
  11. ^ "Newsletter" (PDF). Shebbear College. 23 September 2016.
  12. ^ Wilson, Zack (3 August 2011). "A biography of Peter Vardy (Philosophy Lecturer, Author)". Overblog.
  13. ^ "Is God? Who God? The Existence and Nature of God". Diocese of Westminster. Autumn 2012.
  14. ^ "'Arguments for the existence of God' by Peter Vardy". National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Wombat Education Limited". London: Companies House.
  16. ^ "Candle Conferences Limited". London: Companies House.
  17. ^ "Candle Education Limited". London: Companies House.
  18. ^ "Leading philosopher leads regional religious conference". The Northern Echo. 28 January 2013.
  19. ^ "English Baccalaureate". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  20. ^ Baggini, Julian; Stangroom, Jeremy (2003). What Philosophers Think. London: Continuum. pp. (114–122), 121.
  21. ^ "Dr Peter Vardy on religion and values in education". Radio National. 8 August 2004.
  22. ^ a b Vardy, Peter (2007). "Becoming Fully Human" (PDF). Dialogue Australasia.
  23. ^ a b Vardy, Peter (28 May 1999). "Denying Catholic minds the quest for truth". The Age. p. 15.
  24. ^ Rutledge, David (2 May 2002). "RAVE: about religious and values education". ABC Radio National.
  25. ^ "Five Strands". Dialogue Australasia Network. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Experts help North Tyneside add spirit to learning". North Tyneside Council. 24 May 2007.
  27. ^ "Feature Interview: Dr Peter Vardy". ABC Radio. 21 August 2015.
  28. ^ Vardy, Peter (18 August 2011). "Dead reckoning". Times Higher Education.
  29. ^ Vardy, Peter (31 July 2014). "Theologians should face Peter Singer's challenge". Eureka Street.
  30. ^ "The Reading Clinic". BBC Radio 4. 20 July 2003.

External links[edit]