Professor Simon Skinner

Professor Simon Skinner was made a patron of Humanists UK for his contribution to the better understanding of the human condition.


Photo of Professor Simon Skinner

Professor Simon Skinner, born in 1965, went to state comprehensive schools in west London before studying for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in History at the University of Oxford.

Simon has taught modern British history at Oxford for over three decades, winning multiple teaching prizes and educating a number of figures in British public life from MPs to media historians. His writing on British religion has sought to marry an imaginative recovery of the importance of faith as a causal factor in human affairs, to a rigour and a sensitivity to context which problematises the confessional bent of much religious history; his commentary on the theme of ‘history versus hagiography’ is widely used in historical methods teaching in UK universities. His interests lie in nineteenth-century British political and religious history, and he is currently working on a book on the recreational and intellectual worlds of Robert Peel. 

Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, has appeared on BBC radio’s In Our Time and BBC television’s Timewatch, and written for the London Review of Books and the Times Higher Education Supplement. Simon supports the work of the Humanist Heritage project which explores the history and influence of humanism in the UK.

Simon has four children, Italian citizenship by marriage, a season ticket at Brentford Football Club, and several motorcycles.