Seminary of the Southwest announces the Rev. Benjamin King as the new Duncalf-Villavoso Professor of Church History

Seminary of the Southwest
Posted Oct 19, 2022

Seminary of the Southwest (Southwest) announces that the Rev. Benjamin King, Ph.D., has accepted an appointment as the Duncalf-Villavoso Professor of Church History. The Rev. King will begin in this role on July 1, 2023, with his first classes convening in the Fall Semester of 2023.

“I am pleased to welcome the Rev. Ben King to our faculty,” said Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean. “Ben has over a decade of experience teaching Episcopal seminarians at the School of Theology at Sewanee. He is a leading scholar in his field, and he shares our vision for a creative, integrated, vocationally-centered pedagogy. He has done significant work on race and racism in The Episcopal Church, and he recently won the Nelson R. Burr Prize from The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church for writing that ‘best exemplifies excellence and innovative scholarship in the field of Anglican and Episcopal history.’ Ben brings a wide range of knowledge, skill, and experience to our community. I am very excited to have him on board!””

King is currently professor of Christian history, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of advanced degrees at the School of Theology at Sewanee. King went to Cambridge University as an undergraduate and as a seminarian, before coming to the U.S.A. He worked as a parish priest for five years and as Episcopal chaplain at Harvard University for four years, during which time he earned a Th.M. at Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in theology and history at Durham University in the U.K. He went to Sewanee in 2009.

“I am very excited to be coming to Southwest,” said King. “The Dean and Academic Dean have already made me feel so welcome, and I’m really looking forward to working with the theology and counseling faculty.”

King’s research interests include: John Henry Newman; The Oxford (or Tractarian) Movement ; Transatlantic Slavery and the Church’s Response; and Nineteenth-century Episcopal Church History.

King’s first book, Newman and the Alexandrian Fathers: Shaping Doctrine in Nineteenth-Century England (Oxford), won a John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2011. He has also co-edited two volumes with Fred Aquino, Receptions of Newman (Oxford, 2015) and The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman (Oxford, 2018). He is currently writing a book about laypeople and the Oxford Movement, showing it to be a transatlantic movement that on the one hand encouraged Church leaders to listen to the laity and to provide for the poor, but that on the other hand often neglected the needs of the enslaved. He has lectured internationally on Newman, including at Oxford University and the Vatican.

“In addition to his expertise, Ben King brings the energy, enthusiasm, and the spirit of collegiality that we value so much as a community,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President. “It will be wonderful to have Ben and his family a part of our life together.”.