New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
Letters to the editor >

Is there a theological brain drain?

Sir, — Your recent extract, concerning the Revd Sarah Coakley, from Rupert Shortt’s book God’s Advocates ( Features, 9 September) illuminated an accelerating trend in the UK. We are losing our most able theologians to America.

I am no academic, but just looking around people I know on the move at the moment, I see Dr Sam Wells, one of the finest young moral theologians, and Dr Mark Goodacre, one of the leading English New Testament scholars, both off to Duke University.

It is not that the whole missionary enterprise depends on theologians. But unless challenging and deep theology is taught and experienced, a Church seeking to preach the gospel in a post-Christendom world will simply end up mouthing easy platitudes. (After all, there is quite a lot of evidence of this already.)

If British universities can no longer afford to teach theology, the Church of England’s preference for placing theological colleges near universities cannot solve the educational issues of the next few decades.

Training theologians and then creating the exciting and challenging contexts in which they can do their most creative work may seem like an impossible dream in the current intellectual climate in this country. The question is whether we have a future as a missionary Church without such investment.
NICHOLAS HENSHALL
Derby Cathedral Centre
18/19 Iron Gate
Derby DE1 2GP

Job of the week

Chaplain

Wales

EVERYONE DESERVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A FRESH START WITH YOUR HELP THEY CAN Chaplain - Ecumenical (HMP Parc) HM Prison & YOI Parc, Bridgend £30,369.42 pa | Full-time (40 hours per w...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

‘I hope that I will be proud of the next thing I write’

‘I hope that I will be proud of the next thing I write’

Jo Wroe talks to the writer and stand-up comic A. L. Kennedy, who will be making her Greenbelt debut this weekend  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the full synodical process for church legislation be retained?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Exposed — the dangers of a group mentality

One year on, the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal reveals the risks of group norms, says Alan Billings  Read More

Mon 31 Aug 15 @ 15:49
Missed a #gb15 speaker? Check our free festival app for selected interviews & book extracts: https://t.co/BvNuXll0Dg http://t.co/e0Kf911HtX

Mon 31 Aug 15 @ 9:35
Hundreds more die in attempts to make lives in Europe @ http://t.co/kWJAhhrWU5