The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Professor George Galloway (1861 - 1933)

George Galloway was born at Upper Stenton Farm in the parish of Kinglassie, Fife on 11 November 1861 and died on 1 March 1933.  He was educated at Madras College and at St Andrews, Edinburgh, Göttingen and Berlin universities. He graduated MA with first class honours from St Andrews in 1884 and BD from Edinburgh in 1887.

He embarked on a research degree while serving as an assistant minister at Corstorphine and continued after his appointments in 1891 as Minister of Keton Parish.  St Andrews awarded him a DPhil. in 1905. Edinburgh made him an honorary DD in 1911. In 1915 he was appointed Principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews and Primarius Professor of Theology. He was Baird Lecturer in the year 1916 to 1917.

Galloway positioned himself in relation to contemporary developments in the philosophy of religion in an early paper on 'Hegel and the Later Tendency of Religious Philosophy' with which he began his Studies in the Philosophy of Religion (1904).  He saw himself as part of a reaction against Hegel and as, to some extent, a follower of Lotze and as a committed pluralist.  He was inspired to an interest in the development of religion by lectures he heard while in Berlin from Otto Pfleiderer, an interest that bore fruit in The Principals of Religious Development (1909). In the preface to his best known book, The Philosophy of Religion (1914), he announced that his 'general sympathy' in the matter of philosophical principles lay with 'the movement called Personal Idealism'.

The Idea of Immortality (1919), the text of his Baird lectures, shows Galloway to have been unimpressed by the supposed metaphysical proofs of immortality. Neither did he believe that the 'results' of psychical research provided strong support. He was, however, attracted by Kant's moral argument and tentatively advanced a version of it according to which, as he puts it, personal immortality is 'a demand man makes on the uiverse in order that his moral world may be consistent and harmonious'

Galloway published widely in journals ranging from Mind to the American Journal of Theology. Some of these articles were republished in the three collections he made of his minor writings.