Report on Logos in Oxford (2015)
This summer STS Master of Divinity student Denis Salgado and I were selected to attend the 2015 Logos in Oxford conference at Oxford University. Sponsored by the Green Collection and hosted by SCIO (Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford), the conference ran from 27 May to 9 June and embodied the idea of fides quarens intellectum (“faith seeking understanding”). Green Scholars Initiative (GSI) students (ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate) and mentors from eighteen different institutions attended the conference and enjoyed a full schedule of learning and fellowship together.
Each day at Oxford began in St. Hugh’s Chapel with a scriptural message from one of the participants. The mornings and afternoons were then filled with lectures and discussion; apart from special lectures, the major lecture series titles included “Oxford, Scholarship, and the Christian Mind,” “Current Issues in Textual Studies,” and “The Vocation of Christian Scholars in the Modern University.” Among the numerous speakers there were scholars from Oxford (such as Dr. Stan Rosenberg, Dr. Helen Moore, Prof. Markus Bockmuehl, Dr. Elizabeth Baigent, Rev. Prof. Alister McGrath and Dr. Dirk Obbink) and those from elsewhere, such as Prof. Gordon Campbell (Leicester), Prof. Larry Hurtado (Edinburgh), and Dr. Peter Head (Cambridge). Break-out seminars in different languages (Akkadian and Sumerian, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Ethiopic) were hosted by experts for students doing textual research in each of those areas. Logos provided excellent meals when participants broke for lunch and dinner, both of which presented opportunities for discussion and growing friendship among the attendees. Day trips were organized for the students to visit Winchester, Cambridge, and London.
As a professor teaching Masters-level students about the textual history of the Bible, I found the Logos in Oxford event to be inspirational. The Green Scholars Initiative has provided students with a wonderful chance to participate in research projects that would otherwise be unavailable to most of them. At a small seminary like Shepherds we do not normally have access to resources or research opportunities such as those provided by GSI; the Logos in Oxford program then takes that relationship to the next level and exposes our students to the broader international Christian academic experience, which is invaluable. I believe GSI and SCIO are doing something amazing for our students and I hope they continue to fulfill that vision for the next generation of textual scholars.