Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beginning at University

This week I've been through the postgraduate welcome programme for theology students at the University of Nottingham, which has been very interesting. The staff and faculty all seem very friendly and knowledgable - I think it will be a stimulating environment. One thing that has surprised me is that there are hardly any postgraduate students doing Biblical studies - I've encountered just one other person - out of new and existing research students - whose main research sourcebook is the Bible. Overwhelmingly, students come to Nottingham to do philosophical theology. This is largely because of the fact that John Millbank is here - a big name in philosophy of religion. So this makes for a strange feeling - when many of the other research students are talking about people and concepts that I've never heard of...

The theology department here is at the centre of a movement within philosophy/theology known as "radical orthodoxy." John Millbank has a book by that name, and other lecturers such as Connor Cunningham have books in the same vein. The driving force of this movement seems to be opposition to "secularism" - and a determination to see theology unashamedly speaking into all facets of life and disciplines of study. Of course there is more to it than this - but so far I've been focusing on getting back into my own research - and am finding it to be incredibly fun - those philosophy of religion people don't know what they're missing!!

Just to prove it, here's a fun quiz question for you to ponder: What bit of the New Testament contains all these elements....
- Christians who are disappointed/dissatisfied with a low-key Kingdom of God
- A metaphor of sowing/planting (meaning the delivery of the gospel)
- A reminder that God gives the growth
- A quote from Isaiah about (the world) failing to see and failing to hear
- The promise of a future harvest that will vindicate present labour

Interesting isn't it? Told you this was fun...

Friday, September 21, 2007

We've Arrived!

Well after a 5 hour delay in Perth, we have made it to England! The weather so far has been great, and the people have all been very friendly. Here is a little photo tour of our first few days...

Here is a view of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Bridge from the giant Ferris Wheel known as the "London Eye."

This is the first Londoner we met, in a small clump of bushes near our hotel - alongside a major London road!

Our first lunch in the glorious motherland was fish n chips at a British pub.

Here is a street sign that made us feel strangely at home!!

This was our first meal in our new home in Nottingham - again, a very British meal of fish n chips!

A picnic in the park that is around the corner from our home.... We have been amazed at just how handy the house is to everything we need - shops, church, uni, park, playground, library, bank... it really is a blessing.