Jesuit priest and historian of philosophy. He gained recognition for debating God's existence on BBC radio in 1948 with Bertrand Russell.
He converted to Roman Catholicism after studying at Marlborough College.
He was appointed as a member of the British Academy in 1970.
His parents were residing in Taunton, England, when he was born. He was raised in an Anglican family, and his uncle was Reginald Stephen Copleston, the famed Anglican bishop of Calcutta.
He and explorer Jacques Marquette were both well-known Jesuit missionaries.