Professor Janet Soskice

Emeritus Fellow
University Positions
Professor of Philosophical Theology
Specialising in
Religious language

Janet Soskice is Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College.

Academic interests

Janet Soskice's academic interests include:

  • Philosophy of religion, especially religious language and philosophical theology 
  • The Names of God 
  • God and creation (current research projects)
  • Jewish, Christian, Muslim relations
  • Science and religion 
  • Gender and religion
  • Ethics
  • Biblical interpretation
  • Aesthetics and theological writing
  • Ecumenism
  • Mrs Lewis and Mrs Gibson, biblical scholars and travellers of the 19th century.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Cornell.
  • MA, Sheffield. 
  • DPhil, Oxford.


Janet Soskice is Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College. She was born in western Canada and studied at Cornell and Sheffield, prior to doing a doctorate in the philosophy of religion at Oxford University.

While the Gordon Milburn Junior Research Fellow and subsequently as a lecturer at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, she taught philosophy of religion, ethics, and doctrine at Oxford University, and philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London where she was a Doctor of Divinity.

Professor Soskice is a past President of both the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain and the Society for the Study of Theology. She has been a visiting professor in Canada, Sweden, and the United States and in 1997 was a McCarthy Visiting Professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. She takes an active role in Jewish-Christian relations, Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical discussions, and the Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Professor Soskice has been a member of the Building Bridges Seminar, an initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury for Christian-Muslim relations at Georgetown University in Washington DC (2010) and in Doha (2011). She is currently a Director of the ‘Bible and Classical Antiquity in 19th Century Culture’ project through the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH).

Publications, links and resources

Professor Soskice is the author of Metaphor and Religious Language (Oxford University Press, 1984) and The Kindness of God (Oxford University Press, 2007).

She is editor of Medicine and Moral Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 1994) with Grant Gillett and K.W. Fulford, and of Feminism and Theology, Oxford Readings in Feminism (Oxford University Press, 2003) with Diana Lipton.

She initiated the conference at the Vatican Observatory on creation ex nihilo which resulted in the volume Creation and the God of Abraham (Cambridge University Press, 2010) edited by Carlo Cogliati, David Burrell, Janet Soskice, and W. Stoeger, a collection which examines the doctrine of creation from nothing in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought. Professor Soskice was also guest editor of a special edition of the journal Modern Theology on creation ex nihilo Vol. 29, Issue 2, April 2013.

Her recent work Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Lost Gospels (London: Chatto and New York: Knopf, 2009) was Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and appeared in the Best Books of the Year lists of the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and The Library Journal.

She takes an animated interest in questions of genre and form in theological writing and was a member of the Writers’ Workshop for Theologians lead by Marilynne Robinson at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton in 2010, and in 2011 was a judge of the Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing.

Professor Soskice was a patron of the Westminster College Appeal, a trustee of The Tablet, and an Honorary Fellow of Blackfriars, Oxford.

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