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Home > Trend Watch > 2013 > November 4 > Oxford Scholar Thinks Even Atheists Should Study Theology

Trend Watch

Perspective on the buzz

Many outside Christendom are taking note as the cultural effects of losing biblical literacy are making themselves strongly felt. Don’t miss this piece from The Atlantic on why even atheists should study theology for its mind-broadening approach, unique position in academics, and cultural and historical import.

Says Tara Isabella Burton, a Clarendon Scholar at Trinity College, Oxford:

“While the study of history taught me the story of humanity on a broader scale, the study of theology allowed me insight into the minds and hearts, fears and concerns, of those in circumstances wildly different from my own.”

What? Theology as “the Queen of the Sciences?” A mind-opening entrance to human study and endeavor? A field of learning with application for life and letters?

Who would have thought?

Also—in a few years, we all might be thinking back fondly on the days people made fun of the Bible. As religious literacy in wider culture wanes sharply, one unexpected casualty is humor:

The British public has such “poor religious literacy” that a modern audience would be baffled by the Monty Python film The Life of Brian—because it would not understand the Biblical references, a senior BBC figure has claimed.
Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC’s head of religion and ethics, told The Independent that failings in religious education over two generations were undermining public understanding of contemporary national and international issues. “You had generations that missed out. We have poor religious literacy in this country and we have to do something about it,” he said.

Related Topics:ResearchTrends
Posted: November 1, 2013; All posts for week of November 4, 2013

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