Author Archives: Judith Wolfe

Colloquium: “The Doctrine of God – Conversations with Paul S. Fiddes”

On Saturday, 16 April 2016, the School of Divinity at St Andrews is hosting a one-day colloquium on the Doctrine of God in conversation with Paul Fiddes.

In conversation with Paul Fiddes, we will discuss pre-circulated papers by

Steve Holmes (St Andrews)
Ian McFarland (Cambridge)
Andrew Moore (Oxford)
John Webster (St Andrews)
Judith Wolfe (St Andrews)

If you would like to participate, please email me (my address can be found on the staff page linked to in the right-hand menu).

Full information is available at the School website.

Reading Group on C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man


From April to June, John Perry and I are convening a reading group on C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man for graduates and faculty in theology, philosophy and literature at the University of St Andrews.

We will meet once per week, and read through the book critically, drawing in parallel or supplementary sources such as Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein as appropriate.

After last year’s reading group on Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method, this is the second series of Readings in Modern Theology & Philosophy. Next year, I hope to read Edith Stein or Gillian Rose.


Beholding the Glory: Poetry, Science and Theology in Conversation

oxford_blog59Everyone is warmly invited to a podium discussion on science, poetry and theology in conversation, featuring Micheal O’Siadhail (poet), N.T. Wright (biblical scholar), Eric Priest (physicist), and Judith Wolfe (theologian).

The popular image of the scientist in the laboratory is of white-coated boffins dispassionately testing hypotheses and recording data in order to dissolve the mysteries of the world and so grant us mastery over it. The poet, on the other hand, is often portrayed as someone essentially playful in his or her engagement with the world, allowing imagination to run riot, taking liberties with truth and so offering us a pleasurable diversion from reality rather than immersing us more fully in it. What ought we to make of such caricatures? Might science and poetry actually prove to have much more in common than we typically suppose? And what, if anything, have either got to do with the sorts of claims which religious faith typically makes about the world? Scientist Eric Priest, poet Micheal O’Siadhail, biblical scholar Tom Wright and theologian Judith Wolfe will be discussing these questions and others like them in live conversation. All are welcome to come and hear them, and admission is free!

Saturday 10th October, 7pm

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Queens Terrace, St Andrews, Scotland

The Telegraph Ways with Words Festival at Dartington Hall

I’m speaking at the Telegraph Ways with Words Literary Festival at Dartington Hall on 6 July, on our new book on C.S. Lewis — C.S. Lewis and His Circle — and on Lewis more generally.

The book took seven years to complete, and comprises essays and memoirs by former Inklings, their friends and family members, as well as by scholars including Elizabeth Anscombe, Malcolm Guite, Walter Hooper, Alister McGrath, Tom Shippey, and Rowan Williams.

You can download the festival programme here.

My speaking schedule for 2015 is available here.

If you’re planning to be at Dartingon, please come and say hi!

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Tolkien’s Jonah Text


The October 2014 issue of the Journal of Inklings Studies will be a special issue on the Inklings and the Bible.

It will include research articles on C.S. Lewis’s “Liar, Lord or Lunatic” paradox, Lewis’s use of the Bible in his RAF talks, Lewis and Jerome, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s philosophy of creation. It will also include original texts by two Inklings: Charles Williams’s review of the Bible in Basic English, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s original translation of the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible.

Many will know that Tolkien translated the Book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible, a 1960’s Roman Catholic translation of the Holy Scriptures. But the version of Tolkien’s translation that was eventually published in the Jerusalem Bible was not the author’s original submission, but a collaborative effort, heavily edited by a style editor who had been employed to standardize the grammar and vocabulary of the various translators who had contributed to the Jerusalem Bible.

With kind permission of Tolkien’s Estate, the Journal of Inklings Studies is now able to make available Tolkien’s original translation from Bodleian Manuscript. A research article by Brendan Wolfe on the history and features of the translation will accompany the text.

The special issue is being published in a strictly limited edition.

To order or subscribe, go to the Journal of Inklings Studies website.



Author Interview on Heidegger & Theology

Heidegger and Theology by Judith Wolfe

T&T Clark
What particular areas or themes of Theology interest you and why?

JW: I’m particularly interested in the ways theology opens for thinking about what the world is like, and what it is to be human. ‘If we claim this or that about God, what does that mean for our understanding of a good life, or free will, or our relationship to nature?’ And conversely, ‘if we pay close attention to human experience, what can it teach us about the possibility of knowing God?’ Theology in this sense cannot be strictly separated from what philosophers or literary scholars do; rather, it’s a way of pursuing the same questions with the freedom and the scholarly tools to take seriously the role that the question of God plays in those pursuits.

T&T: How would you describe your book in one sentence?

JW: What it says on the package: it aims to give readers a thorough understanding, based on the latest research, of Heidegger’s relationship to theology – in his life, in his thought & writings, and in the theological reception of his work.

T&T: When did you start researching for this book?

JW: I’ve been reading Heidegger and his theological friends and enemies for a long time, but began research for this book in earnest during a two-year visiting fellowship in Berlin from 2009 to 2011. The libraries of Humboldt University and the state collections, as well as the archives of Freiburg University, have wonderful resources which have never been used by English-speaking scholars, including Heidegger’s various correspondences and the Minutes of his faculty board meetings during the 1930’s and 40’s.

T&T: Which part of writing this book have you enjoyed most?

JW: One of the great things about working on Heidegger is that it involves both serious philosophical and theological questions and real biographical problems (such as the details of his ‘conversion’ from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, or his relationship to Nazism). I love both detective work in archives and very abstract thought, so perhaps the most fun thing about writing this book was the chance to see what light they throw on each other.

T&T: Any tips for people reading the book?

JW: Having a big glass of gin and tonic to hand?
Other than that, it’s worth saying… Continue reading