Theology Gone North, Or, Why Scotland is Cooler than England

There seems to be an interesting immigration trend in British theological circles. My own alma mater, the University of Aberdeen, has recently announced that Bernd Wannenwetsch is leaving the University of Oxford to take up the chair of theological ethics, and Tom Greggs is leaving Chester to join Abedeen’s department of divinity. This, of course, follows a similar trend as John Webster, who left the Lady Margaret Chair of Divinity at Oxford to come to Aberdeen. This is, it should be noted, not an isolated event, as if Aberdeen itself had a theologian tractor beam. N.T. Wright left his tiny residence in Durham to go to St. Andrews, and several years before, Oliver O’Donovan fled Oxford for a chance to teach at Edinburgh.

Therefore, let me be the first to offer Lewis Ayres a position at Aberdeen. It seems clear that everything is falling apart down in England, so flee for the border!!!


11 thoughts on “Theology Gone North, Or, Why Scotland is Cooler than England

  1. The question is, does/will academic recruitment reflect this trend? I completely agree that Scotland is THE place to be for systematic/dogmatic theology right now (which is why I have recently accepted an offer to begin doctoral work at the Univeristy of Aberdeen in the fall… yay!), but are schools (both in the UK and the States) increasingly hiring graduates from Scottish programs or does a well-honored alma mater (read: Oxbridge) still trump a superb department?

  2. I met Mark McIntosh. He’s a good guy, and certainly has enough humility in his spiritual life to be content with this part-time chaplaincy position that Aberdeen is now advertising for King’s College Chapel. ;)

    I’m excited that our Systematics department will be expanding before I leave. Hopefully the new faculty will attract some research students and take a bit of the load off of Webster.

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