John Webster appointed to chair in St Andrews

The School of Divinity in St Andrews has just announced that John Webster, presently Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Aberdeen, will be joining our faculty this summer. In my estimation, John is one of the most able and interesting theologians working in the world today; he has also been a good friend and mentor to me down the years. I am utterly delighted that he is joining us. The full press release is here

Read More

More on God as Father: thinking about adoption

I’ve been mulling over a question Krish Kandiah asked me in relation to the excellent Home for Good project: why do we make so little theologically of our adoption as children of God? Krish pointed out the lack in worship songs, originally, but it strikes me that it is just not a big theme in any recent discussion of soteriology I know, and that this seems odd given its Biblical roots and the fact that it is just wonderful good news. Yesterday, driving between snowy mountains on my way to a ministers’ conference, I suddenly realised I had a plausible answer. There is a significant debate, or perhaps better a linked series of debates, over what it means to name God ‘Father’ in English-speaking Protestantism in the second half of the...

Read More

Online objects of spiritual significance

Tomorrow I am heading down to London to take part in the (so far excellent – tomorrow might pull the average down) Westminster Faith Debates series. One of the organisers contacted me and the other speakers to introduce us to an artist, a photographer, who is working on a series of portraits of people holding an object that is of spiritual significance to them. Would we like to take part? Yes, I said, and then today thought about what to take… What objects matter to me, spiritually? My initial thoughts could not get very far beyond a Bible. This seemed rather cliched, and I wondered whether just to pull out. I did what every good digital native would do, and crowd-sourced the question on Twitter. A rapid and fascinating exchange ensued with – as...

Read More

Job vacancies at St Andrews

St Mary’s College, the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews (where I work…) has this week advertised two permanent mid-range positions: a Senior Lecturer/Reader in Systematic and Historical Theology and a Senior Lecturer/Reader in New Testament Studies. (SL/Reader is about equivalent ot ‘Associate Lecturer’ in the US.) These are both new posts, made possible largely (I assume; I was not in the negotiations…) by the recent expansion of our postgraduate programmes. Details are here (click on ‘external candidate’ and scroll around until you see them). This is, genuinely, a great place to work, with colleagues who are both world-class scholars and very collegial friends. NE Fife is also a great place to live and...

Read More

Once more: congregationalism, authority, and gender

As a very young scholar, I was involved in organising a conference in honour of Colin Gunton’s sixtieth birthday. I commented to Colin over a meal in his favourite Italian restaurant after that conference that we worked in an odd field, where we assumed that the way to honour a colleague was to gather all his closest friends to tell him where he was wrong in public… I sort-of-knew then, of course, and know much better now, that there is no higher honour anyone can give to our writing than to take it seriously, and critical engagement is the way we take each other most seriously. I have had cause this week to be grateful for a couple of deeply serious interactions with my work: Fred Sanders and Matt Jenson have begun a blog conversation about my...

Read More
get facebook like button