The Dunedin School wishes to remember Professor Graham Stanton, who passed away on 18 July 2009, aged 69. In the early 1960s, Graham Stanton began his academic studies in Dunedin, receiving an MA and BD from the University of Otago (Knox College). In 2000, he was awarded an honourary Doctor of Divinity from the University of Otago.
Graham Stanton received his PhD at Cambridge in 1969. He later became a lecturer (from 1970) and then New Testament Professor (from 1977) at King’s College, London until 1998. From 1998 until his death, he held the chair of Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity, the University of Cambridge’s oldest chair (est. 1502). Graham Stanton was also President of the Society for New Testament Studies in 1996-1997, editor of New Testament Studies, and a General Editor of the International Critical Commentaries.
On being awarded the University of Otago’s Doctor of Divinity degree, Graham Stanton made some subversive comments on the University’s motto, Sapere Aude (Dare to be Wise). As they reflect the heart of the Dunedin School ethos, let’s give Graham the final word:
“I think this admirable motto has something to say to the new graduates, and also to the senior academics here this afternoon. “Dare to be wise”. Not simply, “Be wise”, but “Dare to . .” “Dare to” suggests that one is doing something that is difficult, off-beat, even subversive. Yes, the University’s motto is potentially subversive, for it subverts many of the values taken for granted today by Governments, opinion formers, and even the educational elite the world over.”
– Graham Stanton, 1940-2009