*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Out of the question

by
11 October 2013

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

iStock

Your answers

Among professional lay people outside Academe and the laboratory, including politicians, lawyers, and bankers, it is customary to eschew the use of doctoral titles. Ministers of religion, however, seem happy to use them. Very few are doctors of divinity, although a limited number have a lower doctorate in religious studies. What is the reason for the difference in usage?

The premise of the question is faulty. The use of the title "Dr" outside the academic circles is almost universal by those who hold doctorates. Many people in the Civil Service, professions, industry, etc., use their doctoral title, and it is entirelyproper for them to do so.

Indeed, there can be no possible objection, as it is, after all, the correct mode of address for a person with a Ph.D., D.Phil., or higher doctorate. Likewise, there can be no objection to the use of that title by any minister of religion similarly qualified.

There is an anomaly in that surgeons, many of whom have the MD, prefer to revert to the title "Mr" and its feminine equivalents, as is customary for that branch of the medical profession. The majority of medical practitioners take the style "Dr" by virtue of a paragraph in the Medical Act, despite having only degrees as Bachelors (usually MB, BS).

Barry Williams
Beddington, Surrey


Your questions

Do we sleep in heaven?  G. C.

I once heard a sham grace that sounded like Latin but was a list of household products, including Domestos, Omo, and Paxo. Can anyone recall the whole of it?G. S.

Address: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.
questions@churchtimes.co.uk

Forthcoming Events

20 October 2021
Does the parish need saving?
Warnings that the parish is under threat date back decades. But are claims that it is now being dismantled accurate? Join our panel for a lively online debate.

21 October 2021
Transgressing Theology
From SCM Press: authors Natalie Wigg-Stevenson and Thia Cooper in conversation.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)