Each semester, an outstanding female scholar from any sub-discipline of Divinity is invited to St Andrews to deliver the Smith Lecture in memory of Agnes Lewis and Margaret Dunlop (both née Smith), twin sisters from Ayrshire, whose contribution to Divinity led to the award of honorary doctorates in 1901 by the University.
A Smith Lecturer addresses a wide-ranging audience of undergraduates, postgraduates and staff and also meets informally with female students who might be interested in pursuing an academic career in the discipline.
Professor Susannah Heschel is the Eli M Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish and Protestant thought during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the history of biblical scholarship, Jewish scholarship on Islam, and the history of anti-Semitism.
Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press), and Jüdischer Islam: Islam und Deutsch-Jüdische Selbstbestimmung (Mathes und Seitz).
Professor Heschel has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Frankfurt and Cape Town as well as Princeton, and she is the recipient of numerous grants, including from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, and a yearlong Rockefeller fellowship at the National Humanities Center.