([London] Times) End is nigh for Oxford’s Faculty of Theology

For more than 800 years, the University of Oxford has led the world in the study of the divine. For centuries, it has sat alongside Cambridge as the leading centre for the study of the Bible.

Now academics are considering a proposal to rebrand theology at Oxford as “religious studies” because of the growing demand from students who wish to study Islam, Hinduism and Judaism as well as Christianity.

The requirement to have an A level in religious studies to study religion at Oxford is also to be dropped.

Read it all (requires subscription).


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

4 comments on “([London] Times) End is nigh for Oxford’s Faculty of Theology

  1. Terry Tee says:

    Why stop there? The motto of Oxford is Dominius illuminatio mea ie The Lord is my light. Surely in an egalitarian age such a statement offends Oxonians of no religious belief? OK, I jest. But are there really students and university teachers being put off coming to Oxford because the faculty is called Theology? That strains credulity. No, let’s call it what it is: a spirit of appeasement that arises out of a lack of confidence.

  2. MichaelA says:

    Terry Tee, well spotted. It is indeed “lack of confidence”!

  3. seitz says:

    The Religious Education system inside the British school system will in time end up with Ethics and maybe some form of NT studies, and the rest world religions (Old Testament will be a religion). A-levels will move in this direction/already have done. This will make higher education at University Divinity faculties struggle to justify the fiull range of subjects once necessary for ordination — that is, if they care to. Additionally, if ordination-track students are no longer the predominate category one loses a further rationale for the status quo ante. So you get an odd amalgam of higher-fee-paying PhD students from abroad, often from evangelical contexts, being wooed to pay bills, inside a changing ecosystem affected by secularising trends in RE studies in the schools. The danger in losing all the old style instruction (Greek, Hebrew, OT, NT, CH, Theology) is the loss of faculties that attract fee-paying students from abroad. It is a tricky balancing act. Difficult to pull off.

  4. Shaokai says:

    I’m doing a MSt in Theology at Oxford, moving on to a DPhil next year. This Times article was mentioned in one of our seminars yesterday, and one of the leading faculty members dismissed this article as having been based on rumours of unknown origins. In fact, some entities named in this article are non-existent and purely fictional. The author is known for irresponsible journalism. In any case, the reports in this article are not to be taken seriously.