In his most recent book, The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind, Alister McGrath discusses theology as a discipline that not only informs and sustains the Christian vision of reality, but also serves a passion of the mind to understand God’s nature and ways. While proposing that vibrant theology can have a positive impact on Christian life, worship and faith, McGrath also explores other benefits of theology that include a deeper engagement with the culture and concerns of the modern world.
Alister McGrath was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1953. He attended Methodist College, Belfast, in 1966 studying pure and applied mathematics, physics and chemistry. McGrath continued his education and eventually earned both a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics and a Doctorate of Divinity from Oxford University. The interactions between these two areas of study—Christian theology and the natural sciences—have been a major theme of his research work.
As a former atheist, McGrath is respectful, yet critical of scientific atheism. He has frequently engaged in debate and dialogue with leading atheists, including Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins. McGrath has explored Charles Darwin’s role in atheist apologetics and other controversial concepts of atheism, such as the “meme” in recent atheist accounts of the origins of belief in God.