Theology as Interdisciplinary Partner: Creating Critical Conversations

By David Rhymer and Michael DeLashmutt.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the renewed interest in the role of religion and belief in private and public life the opportunity arises to explore the contribution that Theology can make to contemporary interdisciplinary teaching and research. As a critical dialogue partner Theology is able to bring particular disciplinary insights and method to a wide range of other subjects. This paper incorporates a survey of colleagues from a wide range of disciplines represented on our new landmark Cornwall campus, with a particular focus on exploring ways in which Theology can contribute to work in the area of environment and sustainability, which will be the primary emphasis of a proposed new international Institute. While Theology is readily able to engage in dialogue with other branches of the Humanities, it is less often able to build partnerships with Biosciences and Earth Sciences, and this challenge will be addressed in some detail. The key emphasis is that Theology, which engages with crucial aspects of human imagination, should be able to offer its distinctive ‘voice’ to areas of academic discourse from which it is all too often excluded.

Keywords: Theology, Interdisciplinary, Humanities, Sustainability, Environment, Teaching, Research

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 557.427KB).

David Rhymer

Head of Part-time Degree Programme, Department of Theology, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, UK

David Rhymer has been at Exeter since 1998 - second time around, following a first degree in physics and a PGCE in the 1970s. After secondary school teaching in Exeter, and gaining some experience in theological publishing, David trained for the Baptist ministry in Bristol, completing an MA on ‘Problems in biblical interpretation in the light of modern study’. This was followed by a number of years of church ministry based in Cornwall, first with the Baptists, and then with the Methodists, both as a minister and as a Connexional officer. His main expertise is in adult theological education, which is why, following some years in the Department of Lifelong Learning, he now finds himself running the Department’s part-time degree programme, as well as looking after the Department of Theology’s outpost on the Cornwall campus. By way of preparing for retirement, he is practising leisure reading, wine-bibbing and dog-walking.

Dr. Michael DeLashmutt

Lecturer, Department of Theology, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, UK

Michael W. DeLashmutt is Lecturer in the Study of the Christian Church at the University of Exeter. He has published widely on issues related to theology and popular culture, including articles and chapters in books dealing with science fiction, technology, speculative science, theological method, historical theology, animated television, pornography and sexuality. An eclectic and interdisciplinary practical theologian, Dr DeLashmutt is interested in how the beliefs and practices of the Christian Church interface with marginalized aspects of the quotidian life.

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