Joe Houston

Biography of Joe Houston

Joseph Houston, known as Joe, was born in Paisley in 1939. He attended Paisley Grammar School, where he was Head Boy, then studied for a MA at the University of St Andrews, divinity at University of Edinburgh New College, and PhD at Oriel College, Oxford. He was also licensed for the Church of Scotland Ministry.

Houston joined the University of Glasgow as a lecturer in 1966. He worked across three different departments: Logic and Metaphysics, then Moral Philosophy, and finally, in 1970, Systematic Theology in the Divinity Faculty. In his obituary it is noted that, “Students appreciated his approachability, candour and lack of affectation.” He was Faculty Dean from 1985-1988.

In 1990 he moved to the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa, but returned to Scotland after 6 months. He was appointed Professor of Philosophical Theology at the University of Glasgow in 2000, and for a while was Acting Principal of Trinity College. In 2001, he was guest professor in the University of Berne as part of the EU Erasmus Exchange Scheme. He retired in 2004, and after retirement was Visiting Professor at St Mary’s College, St Andrews.

At Glasgow, he helped create a Centre of Philosophy and Religion, which attracted renowned philosopher-theologian visitors from abroad. He was an editor for the Scottish Journal of Theology and published the books Is it Reasonable to Believe in God? and Reported Miracles: A Critique of Hume, which dissected David Hume’s faith in reason and evidence. He also contributed to Inspiring Faith in Schools, and Teaching Virtue, books on religious and moral education.

He passed away on 24 March 2020.

Source: Ian Hazlett, Obituary: Joe Houston, Divinity professor who embodied wide range of intellectual traditions, The Herald, Accessed 17 June 2020. <” >


Joe Houston
Born 15 May 1939.
Died 24 March 2020.
University Link: GU Degree:
Occupation categories: lecturer; Professor
Record last updated: 17th Jun 2020

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