The students and faculty at Templeton Honors College are excited for the arrival of their new dean, Dr. Brian Williams. Williams is highly qualified for the position, with a diverse portfolio of academic experience in his background. After completing his undergraduate work in the United States, Williams went on to receive his M.A. and Th.M. in Systematic Theology in Vancouver at Regent College. From there he earned his D.Phil. and M.Phil. in Christian Ethics at Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. His dissertation is titled, “The Moral Formation of the Intellectual Appetite in Hugh of St. Victor, Philip Melanchthon and John Henry Newman.” Currently, Williams is a lecturer and tutor at the University of Oxford for both undergraduate and graduate students. At Jesus College, Oxford, he tutors undergraduates in the subjects of theology and Oriental studies, as well as philosophy and theology, and he tutors both undergraduates and graduates in theology and religion.
Along with his work at Jesus College, Williams is Director of Oxford Conversations. This video series features interviews from Christian academics and scholars at Oxford, including Sabina Alkire, Stephen Blundell, Dapo Akande, Nigel Biggar and many others. According to their website, Oxford Conversations aims “to inspire postgraduate students and younger academics to pursue excellence in academic research and to consider ways to integrate their work and Christian faith.”
Williams’ research covers a wide array of topics. Several of these topics include: virtue ethics, Christian humanism, Dante Alighieri and Christian and Muslim political thought. He is currently working on an article on the neuroscience and sociology of character formation in “emerging adults” and an article on Karl Barth’s politics of christological co-humanity. He is also working as a researcher and investigator for a project entitled “Education and the Common Good.”
In addition to his scholarly achievements and his impressive resume, Williams is well-loved by his students. In student reviews, many people mention his excellent help with essays, engaging style of discussion and obvious passion for the subjects he teaches. One of his undergraduate students at Oxford says, “Teaching with Brian is always very good. He is very passionate and always has a good mix of asking us questions and explaining concepts himself. His written feedback is also very good.”
Several current students at Templeton Honors College had the opportunity to hear Williams give a presentation on classical education last semester and came away with positive impressions. One first-year student, Colin Burden, calls Williams “personable and genuine.” Another student, Jamie Bressmer, says, “He was very personable and seemed very comfortable in front of us even though we were new students to him. I felt like he was a professor I could go to to talk about class or life. He talked about classical education very passionately too, and he definitely knew what he was doing and loved it.” Eastern students and faculty are excited to join with Williams in the continuing pursuit of truth and learning in Templeton Honors College.
Sources: jesus.ox.ac.uk, oxfordconversations.org, theology.ox.ac.uk