Monday, 13 August 2007

Oxford theologians in the news

It's not often that things go so badly for Oxford theologians that they find themselves in the national newspapers. My ears tend to prick up when I hear news about Theology in Oxford because it's where I did all my study. Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill's blog links to these two stories. The first, in Saturday's Guardian is about Wycliffe Hall:

Oxford gives warning to theological college
· University steps in to protect liberal values
· Allegations of misogyny and homophobia

Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent

. . . Complaints at Wycliffe, traditionally of broad evangelical principles for would-be ordinands in the Church of England, have centred around the management style and views of its new principal, Dr Richard Turnbull, who was criticised in a letter to the hall's governing council by his three immediate predecessors, although he has been supported by some current students. Dr Turnbull admits he has appointed a deputy who opposes women's ordination or leadership, but he rejects allegations of homophobia which surfaced in an anonymous internal document . . . .
I didn't often find myself at Wycliffe Hall when I was in Oxford, though I cycled past it every day, but I had dinner there once, I think I also went to a couple of lectures there, and I knew several of the students through different channels. I am sorry to hear of the recent problems.

The second, in today's Times concerns St Peter's College:

Anger after college chaplain sacked
Patrick Foster
An Oxford college founded by a former bishop on Christian principles is to be investigated after making its chaplain redundant as part of a cost-cutting drive . . . .

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