SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

The Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion – previous lectures

The following scholars have delivered the Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion at SOAS since 1951 (almost complete list):

1951 Louis Renou (Sorbonne): Religions of ancient India (published 1953)

1952 David Daube (University of Oxford): The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism (published 1956)

1953 Paul Lévy (Ecole pratique des hautes études): Buddhism: a "mystery religion"? (published 1957)

1954 Harold Henry Rowley (University of Manchester): Prophecy and religion in ancient China and Israel (published 1956)

1959 Robert Charles Zaehner (University of Oxford): Hindu and Muslim mysticism (published 1960)

1962 Edwin Oliver James (University College London): The worship of the sky-god: a comparative study in Semitic and Indo-European religion (published 1963)

1965 William Foxwell Albright (Johns Hopkins University Baltimore): Yahweh and the gods of Canaan: a historical analysis of two contrasting faiths (published 1968) 

1967 Kenneth Cragg (St Augustine’s College Canterbury): The privilege of man: a theme in Judaism, Islam and Christianity (published 1968)

1969 Jan Gonda (University of Leiden): Viṣṇuism and Śivaism: a comparison (published 1970)

1971 Geo Widengren (University of Uppsala): Iran and Islam (published 1979)

1974 Raphael Jehuda Zwi Werblowsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Beyond tradition and modernity : changing religions in a changing world (published 1976)

1975 Henry William Frederick Saggs (University College Cardiff): The encounter with the Divine in Mesopotamia and Israel (published 1978)

1987 David Seyfort Ruegg (University of Hamburg): From India to Tibet: the transmission and reception of Buddhism in a comparative religious and cultural perspective (published 1989)

1988 Jonathan Zittell Smith (University of Chicago): Drudgery divine : on the comparison of early Christianities and the religions of late antiquity (published 1990)

1989 John Francis Marchment Middleton (Yale University): Constructing a moral order: the control of experience in Lugbara and Swahili religion

1990 Stanley Weinstein (Yale University): When the Gods met the Buddhas: Religious Syncretism in Early and Medieval Japan

1991 Shaul Shaked (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Dualism in transformation : varieties of religion in Sasanian Iran (published 1994)

1992 Alexander Piatigorsky (SOAS): Mythological deliberations : lectures on the phenomenology of myth (published 1993)

1993 Valentin Y. Mudimbe (Duke University): Tales of faith: religion as political performance in Central Africa (published 1997)

1994 Richard Gombrich (Oxford University): How Buddhism began? The conditioned genesis of the early teachings (published 1996)

1995 Roberte Hamayon (École pratique des hautes études): Why do ritual games please Shamanic spirits and displease transcendent Gods? (published 1995)

1996 Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty (University of Chicago): Splitting the difference: gender and myth in ancient Greece and India (published 1999) 

1997 Jean Jacques Waardenburg (University of Amsterdam): Muslims in Europe

1997 (?) Andrew MacKenzie (Society for Psychical Research) Adventures in time: encounters with the past (published 1997)

2000 Simon C.R. Weightman (SOAS): Mysticism and the metaphor of energies (published 2000)

2002 Timothy Hugh Barrett (SOAS): Bureaucrats and believers: the formation of Chinese state attitudes to religious groups

2004 Stanley Insler (Yale University): Ancient Indian and Iranian religion: common ground and divergence

2005 Lamin Sanneh (Yale University): Christianity as a world religion, comparatively considered (published 2008)

2006 Sidney Harrison Griffith (The Catholic University of America, Washington): Christian intellectuals in the Caliphate of Baghdad: the making of Christian intellectual culture in the world of Islam in early 'Abbasid times (published 2010)

2009 Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (University of Michigan): Sikhism and postsecular thought

2011 James W. Heisig (Nanzan Institute for Religion & Culture Nagoya): Nothingness and desire: a philosophical antiphony (published 2013)

2012 David J. Wasserstein (Vanderbilt University): How Islam saved the Jews

2013 Guy G. Stroumsa (Oxford University): The comparative study of the Abrahamic religions in the 19th and 20th centuries

2014 E. J. Michael Witzel (Harvard University): A new approach to mythology: historical comparative mythology