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...

3 comments:

Timothy said...

Aww Matt's first day at the University of Nottingham...

I can imagine him with his shirt tucked into his little shorts and a floppy-eared hat on his head. :)


It's great to hear that you're really enjoying it, Matt. (And it's good to hear that you got their safely).

God bless you all,
Tim Hewson

mattnbec said...

I also brought an apple for the teacher... and a whoopee cushion for some classroom hijinx

Lanai said...

Interesting to know.