The current religious situation in England is woefully uncertain. Obviously an academic year in Cambridge—with occasional visits to London, Oxford, Cardiff, and other centers—hardly qualifies one for pronouncing final judgments. And Cambridge weather, notoriously grey and bleak, may limit visibility. For all that, the university’s changing thought patterns remain creative, often brilliantly so at scientific frontiers. But however frequently one sees the term, there is no professional group of “Cambridge theologians,” nor is there a “Cambridge theology.” Cambridge has, rather, a changing constellation of academic stars whose views run the gamut from moderate evangelicalism to radical Bultmannianism.

A deliberate break with logical positivism, which Cambridge philosophers popularized three decades ago before Oxford’s addiction to it, is seen in the fact that the theory is seldom any longer expounded except in critical context. But positivist philosophy still has a purgative effect. However much the metaphysical “veto” may now be rescinded, the widespread aversion to metaphysical affirmation still remains; philosophers of religion tend not to cast their vote.

England today has no philosophical “schools” or “movements” as in the past. The philosophers and theologians (and there are few of the latter) are “waiting for Godot.” Perhaps some Continental scholar will emerge to shake neo-Protestant theology free of Kant’s baneful influence that extends from Ritschl through Barth to Bultmann. Few leaders seem convinced that process-theology presents either coherent philosophy or adequate Christianity.

Yet the Cambridge mood has some noteworthy features. For one thing, the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is rather ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.