Dennis Nineham

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Dennis Nineham
Warden of Keble College, Oxford
In office
Preceded byAustin Farrer
Succeeded byChristopher Ball
Regius Professor of Divinity
University of Cambridge
In office
Preceded byEdward Craddock Ratcliffe
Succeeded byGeoffrey Hugo Lampe
Personal details
Dennis Eric Nineham

(1921-09-27)27 September 1921
Died9 May 2016(2016-05-09) (aged 94)
EducationKing Edward VI School, Southampton
Alma materThe Queen's College, Oxford
Lincoln Theological College
ProfessionTheologian, clergyman

Dennis Eric Nineham (27 September 1921 – 9 May 2016) was a British theologian and academic, who served as Warden of Keble College, Oxford, from 1969 to 1979, as well as holding chairs in theology at the universities of London, Cambridge, and Bristol.

Early life and education[edit]

Nineham was born on 27 September 1921.[1] He was educated at King Edward VI School, in Southampton, Hampshire, then a grammar school. He studied Literae Humaniores (classics) and theology at The Queen's College, Oxford.[2] He graduated from the University of Oxford with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943.[2][3] He then entered Lincoln Theological College, an Anglican theological college, to undertake a year's training in preparation for the ordained ministry of the Church of England.[3]


Ordained ministry[edit]

Nineham was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1944 and as a priest in 1945.[3] He then served as Assistant Chaplain at Queen's College, Oxford. In 1946, he was elected a fellow and appointed as the College Chaplain.

During his time at the University of Bristol, Nineham was an honorary canon of Bristol Cathedral.[4]

Academic career[edit]

He was appointed professor of Biblical and historical theology at King's College London in 1954, becoming professor of divinity at the University of London in 1958. In 1964, he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, a post held in conjunction with a fellowship at Emmanuel College. He returned to Oxford in 1969, as warden of Keble College, a post that he held until 1979; he was appointed to an honorary fellowship of Keble in the following year, and to an honorary fellowship of Queen's in 1991. Between 1980 and 1986, he was professor of theology and head of the theology department at the University of Bristol; he was also an honorary canon of Bristol Cathedral for this period.[4]

His publications include The Study of Divinity (1960), The Gospel of Saint Mark (1963), The Use and Abuse of the Bible (1976) and Christianity Mediaeval and Modern (1993). He edited various theological works, contributed to others,[4] and made a number of television appearances, including as part of the controversial Channel 4 series, Jesus: The Evidence in 1984.


His son is Chris Nineham, deputy leader of the Stop The War Coalition.[5]

Later life[edit]

He died on 9 May 2016 at the age of 94.[6]


  1. ^ The International Who's Who 2004. Europa Publications. 2003. p. 1225. ISBN 1857432177.
  2. ^ a b "The Rev Prof Dennis Nineham, scholar – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Dennis Eric Nineham". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Nineham, Rev. Prof. Dennis Eric". Who's Who 2009. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 20 Oct 2009.
  5. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (15 October 2016). "Stop the War chief accused of hypocrisy". The Times. Retrieved 15 October 2016. (subscription required)
  6. ^ NINEHAM, [1]