(Christie Davies was a member of the board of directors of the Salisbury Review and a regular and valued contributor to the magazine for many years. This is an obituary, one of many, from the Magazine Freedom First, India – Editor)
I knew Prof. Christie Davies just by his name, as friend of Mr. S. V. Raju and contributor of articles to Freedom First. It was only after Mr. Raju’s demise that we started corresponding on e-mail and he offered to write for FF Digital.
While he used to write for Freedom First and Quest (publications of Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom), initially he was sceptical about the digital journal. He wanted to wait and watch how it was shaping before he started writing for it.
John Christopher Hughes Davies “Christie” Davies was born to Welsh parents, coming from England’s first colony, conquered in 1283. His parents being from the field of education (father, inspector of schools and mother, a teacher), he took to academia like a fish to water. He graduated with a double first in Economics from the Cambridge University and later received his doctorate from the same university based on his published works.
Prof. Davies started his career as a lecturer of Economics at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. On his return to the UK, he had a short stint as a radio producer with the BBC, before he returned to academia completely.
The Telegraph in its tribute to Prof. Davies writes that he was “a very rare academic beast, a libertarian sociologist”. He was professor emeritus of Sociology at the University of Reading, England. Prof. Davies has authored several articles and books on criminology, the sociology of morality, censorship and humour.
Prof. Davies’s writings show his affinity for India, having been a visiting scholar at several Indian universities, as also universities of Poland, United States and Australia. His main research and teaching interests were in the comparative and historical study of morality and humour.
Prof. Davies received international recognition for his original and deep understanding of ethnic humour. He was past President of the International Society for Humour Studies. In their tribute to him on the staff portal, his colleagues at the University of Reading write “He was the funniest man on campus, but also the wisest, a gifted and devoted teacher, always having time to talk to students and colleagues. He belonged to that brilliant generation of intellectuals who brought about a renaissance in British political and moral thought, a radical advocate of intellectual freedom and personal responsibility.”
It was indeed a touching gesture for me personally when he insisted on finishing the articles that he had promised he would write for FF Digital, in spite of his hospitalization and frail health.
Freedom First offers its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Janetta and family.