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Professor Frances Young FBA

Professor Frances Young FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

A graduate in Classics from Bedford College, University of London, Frances Young achieved a second 1st class Honours degree in Theology at the University of Cambridge, where she undertook research for a PhD in early Christian studies, for part of which she studied at the University of Chicago Divinity School. A brief period as a Research Fellow at Clare Hall preceded a lifelong career at the University of Birmingham (1971-2005), as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Dean of the Faculty and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Her teaching career principally focused on New Testament studies, but her research interests spanned a wider area. The history and interpretation of doctrine and early Christian exegesis of scripture, along with questions concerning the hermeneutics of classic texts in modern theology, have largely claimed her attention. She was also a pioneer in thinking about theology and disability: her eldest son, born in 1968, has profound learning disabilities which demand total care. The importance of academic study of theology for church life and Christian belief lay at the heart of her ordination as a Methodist minister in 1984 alongside her continuing university career. In retirement she remains in demand for public lectures, preaching and leading worship.


Current post

  • Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham

Past Appointments

  • Lecturer, University of Birmingham, 1971 - 1982
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham, 1982 - 1986
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Birmingham, 1995 - 1997
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham, 1997 - 2002
  • Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology and Head of Department of Theology, University of Birmingham, 1986 - 2005
  • Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham, 2006 - 1970
  • Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology, University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham, 1986 - 1970
  • Research Fellow, Clare Hall University of Cambridge, 1967 - 1969
  • Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham, 2006 - 1970

British Academy Appointments

  • Member of Council, 2005 - 2008


Theology and Exegesis 2012


God's Presence 2013


Theology of the Pastoral Letters 1994


From Nicaea to Chalcedon 1983; 2nd edition 2010


Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture 1997


The Cambridge History of Christianity: Origins to Constantine 2006


Other Theology and Religious Studies Fellows

Professor David Fergusson

The doctrines of creation and providence, relationship of church and state, engagement with the 'new atheism', and the history of Reformed theology, especially in Scotland

Professor Gavin Flood

Hindu religious literature in the Middle Ages (post-Gupta period); comparative religion, with particular reference to Hinduism and Christianity; philosophical phenomenology and hermeneutics

Professor Garth Fowden

Intellectual currents and imperial horizons in the first millennium CE, from Augustus to Avicenna, Central Asia to the Atlantic. Emergent Islam in its late antique context

Professor Natalio Fernández Marcos

Text Criticism of the Hebrew Bible; Philology of the Septuagint and Cognate Studies; Hellenistic Judaism; Humanism and Scriptural Interpretation of Renaissance Spain