Vigo Auguste Demant

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Vigo Auguste Demant (8 November 1893 – 3 March 1983), known V. A. Demant, was an Anglican priest, theologian and social commentator. He was one of the 14 committee members who served on the Wolfenden report on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution.

Early life and education[edit]

Demant was born on 8 November 1893.[1] He was educated in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and in Tournan[disambiguation needed], France.[1][2] He studied engineering at Armstrong College, Durham University.[3] He then studied anthropology at Manchester College, Oxford and Exeter College, Oxford.[1][3]


Ordained ministry and academia[edit]

Demant had originally intended to become a Unitarian minister, but became attracted to Catholicism while studying at the University of Oxford.[3] He trained for Holy Orders at Ely Theological College, an Anglo-Catholic theological college in Ely, Cambridgeshire.[1]

Demant was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1919 and as a priest in 1920.[4] He served two curacies: one at St Thomas the Martyr's Church, Oxford and the second at St. Nicholas' Church, Plumstead, London.[1][3] From 1929 to 1933, he was an assistant priest at St Silas Church, Kentish Town.[5]

Demant became Vicar of St John the Divine, Richmond in 1933 and nine years later he became a Canon of St Paul's Cathedral.[6] He was a Canon of Christ Church, Oxford and Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford from 1949 to 1971.[1]

Other work[edit]

The Wolfenden report was published in Britain on 3 September 1957 and, disregarding the conventional ideas of the day, recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence".

Demant was a regular broadcaster on the BBC's Third Programme in the 1950s.[7] He supported Maurice Reckitt in founding the Christendom Trust to encourage and fund research into the application of Christian social thought.

Later life[edit]

Demant died on 3 March 1983 at the age of 89.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "DEMANT, Rev. Vigo Auguste". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. April 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Boyd, Therese. "Vigo Auguste Demant". Gifford Lectures. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Rev Dr V. A. Demant.". The Times (61474). 7 March 1983. p. 10. 
  4. ^ "Vigo Auguste Demant". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 6 March 2017.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Priests of S.". Saint Silas the Martyr. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Crockfords Clerical Directory 1973
  7. ^ "Religion: Will Civilization Survive?". Time Magazine. 10 July 1950. Retrieved 20 January 2013.