Theology & Arts Initiatives

In September, St Vladimir’s Seminary (New York) hosted an unscripted workshop of a dozen scholars to think through the possibilities for a Sacred Arts Initiative within the Orthodox Church. Participants included composer Ivan Moody, iconographer George Kordis, Helen Evans (Curator of Byzantine Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), as well as scholars in literature (Mary Carruthers), art history (Annemarie Weyl Carr, Vasileios Marinis), music (Margot Fassler, Peter Jefferey), philosophy (Gordon Graham) and theology (Peter Bouteneff and Richard Schneider, organizers; me). The workshop concluded with a public panel entitled ‘Rethinking Sacred Arts’.

A report about the workshop, and links to a podcast of the public panel and to a photo gallery, can be found on the Orthodox Church in America website.
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Earlier this summer, I was in London for the first of two colloquia on Image as Theology organized by Casey Strine (Sheffield),Alexis Torrance (Notre Dame), and Mark McInroy (St Thomas), and bringing together Biblical scholars and theologians around questions of images functioning as theology.

At home in the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, we are starting our own ‘theological art’ initiative, TheoArtistry, spearheaded by my colleague George Corbett and involving our part-time professor Sir James MacMillan, which aims to bring together practising artists and our theologians to create, perform and curate new art. More information is available here.

 

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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

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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

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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

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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.