Dr Elaine Storkey honoured

Vice President Dr Glyn Rowlands receives Dr Elaine Storkey as Fellow

Vice President Dr Glyn Rowlands receives Dr Elaine Storkey as Fellow

11 July 2013

Prominent academic and broadcaster Dr Elaine Storkey, who was recently named as one of the top 100 women public intellectuals by The Guardian, was presented as Fellow of Aberystwyth University today, Thursday 11 July.

Dr Storkey is a Philosophy graduate of Aberystwyth University and was presented by Professor Andrew Henley, Director of the Institute of Management, Law and Information Science.

Following her studies at Aberystwyth, she pursued postgraduate studies in Canada before a distinguished academic career in Philosophy and Theology.

She also holds a Doctorate of Divinity in Sociology and Theology from Lambeth and an honorary Doctorate from Cheltenham and Gloucester College.

Since 2008 she has been a member of the High Table at Newnham College, Cambridge. Tearfund’s President since 1997, Elaine is also Director of Education for the Church of England Church Army.

The author of eight books, she is also a regular writer for journals and newspapers and a frequent contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

Presentation of Dr Elaine Storkey by Professor Andrew Henley.

Llywydd: braint a phleser yw cyflwyno Dr Elaine Storkey yn gymrawd o Brifysgol Aberystwyth.

Elaine Lively, as she was then known, was born in Ossett, in the West Riding of Yorkshire and came as an undergraduate to Aberystwyth, living in Plynlymon Hall. She graduated in philosophy in 1966. She was an active member of the college Christian Union and sang in the Choral Union. She still has good friends in the town. Postgraduate study took Elaine to McMaster University in Canada, and then to research on the work of Wittgenstein at the University of York. In 1998 Elaine was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate in Divinity, conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury under ancient ecclesiastical privilege.

Elaine is a prolific author and lecturer, writing extensively for both lay and theologian audiences on the subject of justice, and particularly on the role of women. As an author she is perhaps still best known for her first book, “What’s Right with Feminism?” published in 1985. In this book she makes a persuasive case for a Christian feminism, distinct from secular schools of feminist thought, but recognising the equality of women before God – created not socially constructed. Elaine has returned to this theme in a series of other works over the past three decades, and has been highly significant in moving forward the debate surrounding the place of women in leadership in the Anglican Church, firstly to the priesthood and, hopefully, before long to the episcopate. Elaine has served since 1987 on the General Synod of the Church of England. She has served on various key Anglican bodies including the Archbishop’s Commission on Rural Areas, and is Director of Education for the Church Army.

Between 1992 and 1999 Elaine worked as Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, a hugely influential organization founded in the early 1980s by the late John Stott to explore a Christian world view of society. In 1997 Elaine became the President of Tearfund, one of the UK’s leading development charities. Tearfund provides £70m per annum of both emergency relief aid and long-term development support, via local church partners, to many of the world’s poorest nations. This work takes Elaine to many different parts of the world, and has extensively informed her recent writing on globalization and development issues. She is, in short, passionate about promoting social and economic justice, and speaking against injustice.

Elaine continues to be in great demand as a public speaker and in the media. In 1997 she delivered the Sir D. Owen Evans lectures here at the University on the subject of the crisis of personal identity, to a packed lecture room over four evenings in the Old College. She has spoken on several occasions since in Aberystwyth. Her face is familiar in TV debate, but her voice is perhaps best known across the UK as one of the regular contributors over 20 years to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

It is my privilege to have known Elaine and her husband and fellow campaigner, Dr Alan Storkey, for almost 40 years and I am delighted to be able to present such a distinguished alumna for the award of a Fellowship.