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Theologian and scientist John Polkinghorne dies aged 90

Queens' College Cambridge - Banner image

Rev Canon Dr John Polkinghorne, a distinguished academic and Anglican priest, has died in Cambridge. 

Polkinghorne spoke intelligently about science and faith, being an expert in quantum physics and winning the Templeton prize, an award for those who have used science to explore life's deepest questions. 

The announcement of his death was made by Queens' College Cambridge, of which John Polkinghorne was President from 1989-1996 and then an Honorary Fellow of the College.

He was knighted in 1997 - for services to science, religion, learning, and medical ethics - but prior to this was a Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1968, resigning in 1979 to become a priest and being ordained in the Church of England in 1982.

He served as a curate in Bristol and then as a vicar in Kent and in 1986 returned to Cambridge as Dean of Chapel at Trinity Hall and President of Queens' College. 

The current President of Queens' College, Dr Mohamed El-Erian, said:

"To say John had an exceptional life would be an understatement. Born in 1930, he touched many lives as a highly respected physicist, theologian, and priest. The author of a number of influential books, he was admired for his important research and insights on religion and science.

"Until recently, he periodically attended College meals and remained in contact with several of our colleagues, including other Life and Honorary Fellows."

His funeral will be a private family-only service due to Covid restrictions and a memorial service to celebrate his life will take place once restrictions are lifted.

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