Time to abolish the study of God

November 20, 1998

As a rationalist, I thought I would never agree with Graham Ward, but I cannot but concur wholeheartedly with his conclusion that "no Christian non-believer can be a Christian theologian". If Professor Ward follows the logic of his proposition to its logical conclusion, he ought to resign his taxpayer-financed university post and call for the disbandment of all government-funded theology departments in the UK, as surely he would agree that the requirement of Christian faith for any university post breaks the law of the land (the bit about "irrespective of religious creed, race, etc").

This is not to say that religion should not be a subject of scholarly investigation: I am sure that the departments of philosophy, history, sociology, literary analysis and criticism at Professor Ward's university would be more than willing to use the resources released by the abolition of the theology department to teach relevant courses on religion, where religious faith is not a requirement for either staff or students.

Manfredi La Manna

Reader in economics

University of St Andrews

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