John polkinghorne

John Polkinghorne 16 Oct 1930 - 09 Mar 2021

  • Period: to

    Life of John Polkinghorne

    I chose John Polkinghorne based on the interesting change from a theoretical physicist to and ordained priest. The dichotomy between these two views provides an interesting perspective on his take in how they are not only different but also share some similarity. He stresses the importance of bottom-up thinking.
    See this interview:
  • Early Education

    John showed significant mathematical ability and earned a bachelor's in mathematics in 1952. He later earned a master's in mathematics in 1955.
    In 1956 he went on to earn a doctorate in quantum field theory from Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • Lecturer of Mathematical Physics

    While in school at Trinity, John was elected a fellow in 1954. He was appointed Lecturer of Mathematical Physics in 1956 at the University of Edinburgh. He took the same position at Cambridge just two years later.
  • Professor of Mathematical Physics

    After serving as a lecturer for ten years, John was then promoted to Professor of Mathematical Physics in 1968 at Cambridge.
  • 2nd Doctorate

    John received his second doctorate in elementary particle physics from Trinity in 1974.
  • Period: to


    Throughout his life, John had earned much respect and some significant honors.
    1974 - Elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
    1997 - Elected Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).
    1999 - Awarded a von Humboldt Foundation Award.
    2002 - Awarded the Templeton Prize for Science and Religion. (Considered the Nobel equivalent for religion)
  • A new direction

    In 1979, John resigned his position as Professor of Mathematical Physics, and began his study of theological studies.
  • Ordained

    After just a few years of study in theology, John was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1982. He was assigned to a parish in South Bristol.
  • President of Queens College

    In 1989, John was named the President of Queens' College in Cambridge. He remained there until he retired in 1996.
  • Author

    John has written 34 books in his career. Some of his notable works include:
    The Quantum World (1989)
    The Faith of a Physicist (1994)
    Science and Theology (1998)
    Quantum Physics and Theology: an unexpected kinship (2007)
    Science and Religion in Quest for Truth (2011)
  • Closing

    John has brought a dynamic approach throughout his life. He has helped explained the existence of quarks as a theoretical physicist and then become an ordained priest. He then stressed the importance of a bottom-up thinker versus a top-down one. He attributes his dual paths as a binocular view of life versus the monocular view of either science or religion. I will close with another interesting video of John. It is lengthy but worth the watch.