Croall Lectures

The Croall Lectures have been part of Divinity for over 150 years. They were endowed by John Croall of Southfield, Liberton, who ran a coachbuilding and undertaking business in Edinburgh.

The lectureship was established in 1872 to increase the religious literature of Scotland. Trustees were comprised of Professors of the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Licentiates of the Church of Scotland. Lecturers were originally ministers of the Scottish Presbyterian Churches, or ‘occasionally’ of another non-Presbyterian Reformed Church, and were required to deliver at least six lectures and publish at least 1,000 printed copies of the lectures within a year of the lecture ‘at his own risk and cost’.

Lectures covered subjects within systematic theology: ‘the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion; the Person, Work, Atonement, Divinity, and Resurrection of Christ; the Person and work of the Holy Spirit; the Doctrine of the Trinity’. Recent lecturers have included Frances Young, Bruce McCormack, Linda Woodhead, and Ian McFarland.

Past Lectures

Year Lecturer Title and Publication Details (if it exists)
1876 John Tulloch The Christian Doctrine of Sin (William Blackwood and Sons 1876)
1878-1879 John Caird An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (James MacLehose 1880)
1879-1880 William Milligan The Resurrection of Our Lord (Macmillan 1881)
1882 Archibald Hamilton Charteris The New Testament Scriptures: Their Claims, History, and Authority (Nisbet 1882)
1886 John Cunningham The Growth of the Church in Its Organisation and Institutions (Macmillan 1886)
1887 Robert Flint Agnosticism (William Blackwood and Sons 1903)
1889-1890 Archibald Scott Buddhism and Christianity: A Parallel and a Contrast (David Douglas 1890)
1892 William Hastie The Theology of the Reformed Church in Its Fundamental Principles (T&T Clark 1904)
1893-1894 James Robertson The Poetry and the Religion of the Psalms (William Blackwood and Sons 1898)
1898 Thomas Nicol Recent Archaeology and the Bible (William Blackwood and Sons 1899)
1899-1900 John Patrick Clement of Alexandria (William Blackwood and Sons 1914)
1901-1902 Alexander Stewart Creeds and Churches: Studies in Symbolics (Hodder & Stoughton 1916)
1903-1904 William Straton Bruce Social Aspects of Christian Morality (Hodder & Stoughton 1905)
1907-1908 Andrew Wallace Williamson The Person of Christ in the Faith of the Church (William Blackwood and Sons 1920)
1911-1912 George Milligan The New Testament Documents, Their Origin and Early History (Macmillan 1913)
1913 Andrew Blair Wann The Message of Christ to India (William Blackwood and Sons 1925)
1914 James Nicoll Oglive  
1914-1915 Archibald Robert Stirling Kennedy  
1916 James Cooper  
1918-1919 William Leslie Davidson Recent Theistic Discussion (T&T Clark 1921)
1920-1921 William Alexander Curtis Jesus Christ the Teacher: A Study of His Method and Message Based Mainly on the Earlier Gospels (Oxford 1943)
1923 David Miller Kay The Semitic Religions: Hebrew, Jewish, Christian, Moslem (T&T Clark 1923)
1925 Henry Martyn Beckwith Reid The Holy Spirit and the Mystics (Hodder & Stoughton 1925)
1926–1927 Henry Johnstone Wotherspoon Religious Values in the Sacraments (T&T Clark 1928)
1928–1929 J. Garrow Duncan Digging Up Biblical History: Recent Archaeology in Palestine and Its Bearing on The Old Testament (SPCK 1931)
1930-1931 Alexander Hetherwick The Gospel and the African: On the Impact of the Gospel on a Central African People (T&T Clark 1932)
1933 Hugh Ross Mackintosh 'The Theology of the Word of God', published as Types of Modern Theology, Schleiermacher to Barth (Nisbet 1937)
1936 Otto Piper God in History (Macmillan 1939)
1937 George Simpson Duncan Jesus, Son of Man: studies contributory to a modern portrait (Nisbet 1947)
1938-1939 William Spence Urquhart Humanism and Christianity (T&T Clark 1945)
1942-1943 Leonard Hodgson The Doctrine of the Trinity (Nisbet 1944)
1944 John Henderson Seaforth Burleigh The City of God: A Study of St. Augustine's Philosophy (Nisbet 1949)
1948 John Alexander Mackay God's order: The Ephesian Letter and This Present Time (Macmillan 1953)
1948 John Mackenzie Two Religions: A Comparative Study of Some Distinctive Ideas and Ideals in Hinduism and Christianity (Lutterworth 1950)
1949 William Dickie Niven Reformation Principles after Four Centuries (Church of Scotland 1953)
1951 George Stuart Hendry The Gospel of the Incarnation (Westminister 1958)
1953 James Brown Subject and Object in Modern Theology (SCM 1955)
1954-1957 George Barclay 'The Ethical Vocabulary of Saint Paul'
1955 John Gervase Riddell The Calling of God (Saint Andrew 1961)
1960 James Stevenson McEwen The Faith of John Knox (Lutterworth 1961)
1960-61 Martin Andrew Simpson Defender of the Faith, Etcetera: Elizabeth of England, her Church and Parliment, 1558-59 (Edina 1978)
1965 David Haxton Carswell Read Christian Ethics (Hodder & Stoughton 1968)
1967 William Neil 'The Apostolic Age', published as The Truth about the Early Church (Hodder & Stoughton 1970)
1970 James Barr The Bible in the Modern World (SCM 1973)
1972 Matthew Black The Centenary Lecture: A Survey of Christological Thought, 1872-1972 (Saint Andrew 1972)
1980 T. E. Pollard Fullness of Humanity: Christ's Humanness and Ours (Almond 1982)
1983 D. W. D. (Bill) Shaw 'Process Perspectives'
1987 David S. M. Hamilton Through the Waters: Baptism and the Christian life (T&T Clark 1990)
1992 Terrence McCaughey 'What does it mean to forgive and be forgiven?'
1998 Frances Young 'Where Shall Wisdom be Found?'
2005 John Barton The Nature of Biblical Criticism (WJK 2007)
2011 Bruce L. McCormack 'Abandoned by God'
2013 Marilynne Robinson 'Son of God, Son of Man'
2015 Linda Woodhead 'Is Britain still a Christian Country?'
2017 Werner G. Jeanrond 'Hope', published as Reasons to Hope (Bloomsbury 2020)
2018 Ian McFarland 'Vere Deus, Vere Homo: Reflections on the Incarnation', published as The Word Made Flesh: A Theology of the Incarnation (WJK 2019)
2019 Guy D. Stiebel 'There is Something New Under the Sun'