Professor Werner G Jeanrond has been appointed Master of St Benet’s Hall, a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford run by Ampleforth Abbey. He will succeed Father Felix Stephens in September.
Professor Jeanrond is currently Professor of Divinity at the University of Glasgow and becomes the first layman ever to run the Hall. In 2008 he became the first lay person to hold the Chair of Divinity, the senior chair of University of Glasgow; prior to that he was a professor of systematic theology at Sweden’s University of Lund, the first Catholic in Sweden to hold such a post.
The Abbot of Ampleforth, the Right Reverend Cuthbert Madden OSB, said: 'I would like to express my gratitude first of all to Father Felix Stephens, under whose leadership the Hall has made substantial progress in a number of areas. We hope that Professor Jeanrond will be able to build on those foundations to continue the Benedictine educational apostolate in the University of Oxford, so that St Benet’s Hall may become a beacon of excellence in forming both monks from all over the world and an educated Catholic and Christian laity'.
Professor Jeanrond said of his appointment: 'I look forward to working together with students and staff for the continuing development of St Benet’s as a centre of intellectual excellence and personal formation within the University of Oxford. It will be an honour to serve students as well as university, church and society in this way.'
Professor Werner G Jeanrond was born in Saarbrücken, Saarland, now Germany, and studied theology, German language and literature, and educational science at the Universities of Saarbrücken, Regensburg and Chicago. He has held academic posts at the University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Lund University in Sweden, and the University of Glasgow.
Professor Jeanrond has received a number of academic awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship for his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, and research fellowships at the Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel, the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and the Center for Subjectivity Research at University of Copenhagen. He has held visiting professorships at the Universities of Uppsala, Chicago, Regensburg, and Riga. From 2007 to 2009 he served as external examiner at the University of Oxford for the degrees in Theology and in Philosophy and Theology.