University bestows visiting professorship upon the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt. Hon Dr Rowan Williams has accepted a new visiting professorship at the University of Chester.

The world-renowned scholar has been appointed the Gladstone Professor of Literature and Theology, a new honorary chair at the institution.

Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “It is with great pleasure that the University confers the title to such an eminent scholar who is internationally acknowledged as an outstanding theological writer, poet, scholar and teacher.

“By conferring this title on Dr Rowan Williams, the University is continuing a long tradition with the Church of England which began with one of its founder members John Bird Sumner, who became a former Archbishop of Canterbury.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “I am most honoured and delighted to receive the formal notice of appointment as Gladstone Professor; my warmest thanks to the University of Chester. I hope I shall be able to contribute in some tangible way to the life of the University, and am deeply grateful for this association with it.”

Professor Rob Warner, Dean of Humanities at the University, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Chester, as an Anglican Foundation, with longstanding strengths in Literature and Theology, to award an honorary chair to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is a pre-eminent scholar, of international esteem, in both fields.

“We are particularly delighted that this is a joint award with Gladstone’s Library, with whom the University of Chester has enjoyed close collaboration for many years.”

Dr Rowan Williams became Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002. He is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding teacher, poet and scholar with a range which encompasses theology, philosophy, spirituality and religious aesthetics.

He has also written extensively on moral, ethical and social topics, and, since becoming archbishop, has turned his attention increasingly to contemporary cultural and interfaith issues.