Dr Rowan Williams
Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge
Dr Rowan Williams took up the mastership of Magdalene College on 1 January 2013, making history as the first Master of Magdalene to be elected by the Fellows of the College. He became Chair of the Cambridge Trust in August 2014.
Dr Williams was educated at Dynevor Secondary Grammar School in Swansea and Christ’s College, Cambridge (1968), where he studied Theology. He studied for his doctorate in the theology of Vladimir Lossky, a leading figure in Russian 20th century religious thought, at Christ Church and Wadham College, Oxford.
After two years as a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection, near Leeds, he was ordained deacon in Ely Cathedral before returning to Cambridge, where he spent nine years in academic and parish work; at Westcott House, being ordained priest in 1978, and as curate at St. George’s, Chesterton. In 1983 he was appointed as a lecturer in Divinity at the University, and the following year became Dean and Chaplain of Clare College. In 1986 Dr Williams returned to Oxford as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church. In 1989 he was awarded the Oxford higher degree of Doctor of Divinity, and became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1990.
Dr Williams was elected Bishop of Monmouth in 1991; and in 1999 became the Archbishop of Wales. Three years later, he was confirmed as the104th Archbishop of Canterbury.
In 2005 he was made an honorary Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford, and in 2006 an honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of Cambridge. He holds honorary doctorates from more than a dozen other universities, from Durham to K U Leuven, Toronto to Bonn.
Dr Williams is a noted poet and translator of poetry and, apart from Welsh, speaks or reads nine other languages. He learnt Russian in order to read the works of Dostoevsky in the original. He has published studies of Arius, Teresa of Avila, and Sergii Bulgakov, together with writings on a wide range of theological, historical and political themes.