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[Source: Wikipedia] Frederick Charles Copleston was raised in the Anglican faith—his uncle, Reginald Stephen Copleston, was an Anglican bishop of Calcutta. At the age of eighteen, he converted to the Roman Catholic faith, which caused great stress within his family.

In 1930, Copleston became a Jesuit. After studying at the Jesuit novitiate in Roehampton for two years, he resettled at Heythrop, where in 1937 he was ordained a Jesuit priest at Heythrop College. In 1938 he traveled to Germany to complete his training, returning to Britain just before the outbreak of war in 1939. Copleston originally intended to study for his doctorate at the Gregorian University in Rome, but the war now made that impossible. Instead, he accepted an offer to return to Heythrop College to teach the history of philosophy to the few remaining Jesuits there. Copleston achieved a degree of popularity in the media for debating the existence of God with Bertrand Russell in a celebrated 1948 BBC broadcast; the following year he debated logical positivism and the meaningfulness of religious language with his friend the analytic philosopher A. J. Ayer.

Throughout the rest of his academic career, Copleston accepted a number of honorary roles, including Visiting Professor at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he spent six months each year lecturing from 1952 to 1968.

After officially retiring in 1974, he continued to lecture. From 1974 to 1982, Copleston was Visiting Professor at the University of Santa Clara, and from 1979 to 1981, he delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen, which were published as Religion and the One. Copleston was offered memberships in the Royal Institute of Philosophy and in the Aristotelian Society.
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