Honorary Membership

Life-membership is conferred upon scholars, experts, or public personalities of international standing whose life and work have promoted awareness of Protestant history and literature and/or contributed significantly to research, teaching and public engagement in the field of Protestantism and Dissenting studies. Honorary members receive the same privileges as full members.

A nomination for Honorary Membership must bear the signatures of at least five members and be received by the General Secretary at least sixty days in advance of the triennial Business Meeting. The Executive Committee determines which nominations shall go forward for election.

Honorary members (2014)

Professor Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish is Floersheimer Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law, New York. He has taught at many institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley (1962–74); Johns Hopkins University (1974–85), where he was the Kenan Professor of English and Humanities; and Duke University, where he was Arts and Sciences Professor of English and Professor of Law (1986–1998). He has over 200 scholarly publications, including the following books: Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (1967); Self-Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth-Century Literature (1972), which includes a much-discussed chapter on ‘Progress in The Pilgrim’s Progress’; The Living Temple: George Herbert and Catechizing (1978); Is there a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities (1980); and How Milton Works (2001).

Professor Isabel Rivers

Isabel Rivers is Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture at Queen Mary University of London. Her interests are in literature and religion, intellectual and religious history, and the history of the book, and she has published widely on these subjects. She was co-founder with Dr David Wykes of The Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies, and co-director until 2012. Her major work, Reason, Grace, and Sentiment: A Study of the Language of Religion and Ethics in England, 1660–1780, was published in two volumes in 1991 and 2000. In 2011 she co-edited (with David Wykes) Dissenting Praise: Religious Dissent and the Hymn in England and Wales. She is currently writing Vanity Fair and the Celestial City: Dissenting, Methodist, and Evangelical Literary Culture in England, 1720–1800.

 Terry Waite CBE

Terry Waite is a world-renowned agent of peace and a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit. In the 1980s, as special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya. In 1987, while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut, he was himself taken hostage. Held for 1,763 days, he was often chained up, left in darkness, beaten and subjected to mock executions. His account of receiving a postcard with an illustration of John Bunyan in Bedford prison has become famous: ‘I remember thinking: “Bunyan, you’re a lucky fellow. You have a pen and paper; you have your own clothes and you can see outside your cell.”’ Among his publications are Taken on Trust (1993); Footfalls in Memory (1995); and Travels with a Primate (2000).

 Dr David L Wykes

David Wykes is the Director of Dr Williams’s Trust and Library, and was Co-Director of the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies until 2015. An historian of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Dissent, and late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century rational Dissent and Unitarianism, he is the author of many chapters and articles in these fields. An associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, he contributed fifty-two articles on Dissenters. With Isabel Rivers he has co-edited Joseph Priestley, Scientist, Philosopher, and Theologian (2008) and Dissenting Praise: Religious Dissent and the Hymn in England and Wales (2011). He is currently working on a study of Dissent during the twenty-five year period after the Glorious Revolution.