The Idea of a University

Two of the speakers from last May’s McDonald Centre conference, Christianity and the Flourishing of Universities, have been hard at work on a project that addresses some of the same themes.

Led by Mike Higton and David Ford from the University of Cambridge, the study asks, “What place does religion have in the Western research university?” Visit their website, The Idea of a University,  for resources or to join the discussion.

Flourishing of Universities Conference

Last week, the McDonald Centre was honoured to host one of its most exciting events. Eleven leading scholars from top universities in the US and UK gathered to study the recent plight of universities.

It was the first time that these scholars, all of whom have been supported in various projects by the McDonald Agape Foundation, were together at a single event. They represent the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Duke, Notre Dame, Yale, Chicago, and Emory.

The conference, entitled Christianity and the Flourishing of Universities, explored a variety of questions, including:

  • Can theology justify its place in the secular research university?
  • Should theology be studied in universities rather than churches and seminaries?
  • What is lost when governments decide what research is worth funding solely by economic-utilitarian measures of ‘impact’ or monetary pay-out?

This was the fifth major McDonald Centre conference, with previous events on justice, forgiveness, human enhancement technologies, and and an engagement with the work of Peter Singer. This year’s conference was attended by well over 100 scholars, students, clergy, and laity from across the UK and numerous other countries.

Videos of all conference sessions are now available.

L-R: Peter McDonald, Nigel Biggar, Nicholas Wolterstorff, John Witte, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Al McDonald, Paul Griffiths, Suzie McDonald, Miroslav Volf, David Ford, Sarah Coakley, Richard Hays, David Hempton, Mark Noll. Photo: Ralph Williamson.

Spring Conference Registration Open

Registration is now open for the McDonald Centre spring conference, Christianity and the Flourshing of Universities, to be held 24-25 May 2012 at Christ Church. For full details, visit the conference homepage.

This exciting event will include some of today’s top Christian scholars, such as Sarah Coakley, Jean Bethke Elshtain, David Ford, Paul Griffiths, Richard Hays, David Hempton, Mark Noll, Miroslav Volf, John Witte, and Nicholas Wolterstorff. All of these participants are Distinguished McDonald Scholars from eight of the most prominent universities in the UK and USA.