RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policyRESEARCH STRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT.
The Department has a distinguished staff conducting major research in the principal traditional areas of theology: biblical, historical and contemporary, and together supervising the largest postgraduate school in the Faculty of Arts in Durham and one of the largest postgraduate schools in theology in the country (currently numbering over 100). It is successfully renewing itself by the recruitment of young staff of great promise in research, and also from time to time recruiting already established scholars. Both by such recruitment and through the expanding interests of established staff, since the last research assessment exercise it has developed research in new specialisms such as the sociological analysis of religion, church history in France in the early modern period, the ethical problems associated with human genetics and developing technology, and Byzantine theology and history.
1. INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE The department has its own Board of Studies, and is part of the Faculty of Arts. It has direct access to the university's Research Committee, and representation on consultative sub-committees of its Library and IT Services Committees. Through annual meetings with the university's Senior Management Group it is engaged with the central budgetary and planning process. The department also has research associations with other Durham departments through several inter-disciplinary research centres and seminars.
2. RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE The University Library is a research and teaching library, with an internationally important Archives and Special Collections section, large subscription lists to periodicals and the most important series of critical editions of theological texts (below: para. 7). IT provision is managed across the university by its IT service, and within the department by the Resources Committee, administering an equipment budget of about £10,000 p.a. Each academic staff member has a PC, linked through the campus network to the Library catalogue, Archives and Special Collections lists, and CD-Roms (including CETEDOC Library of Christian Writers, which are supplemented by the department's own holding of CD-Roms, such as Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, CLCT, Phi, Musaios, and the Dead Sea Scrolls) and via the internet to catalogues of remote libraries and archives, and other on-line research facilities. The IT service supports research on a 'helpline' basis, by specialist teaching, advice, and further computing facilities. Research and travel funds are available from the department's Resources Committee (av. £3,000 p.a.), and from the University Staff Travel Fund, for small projects and also for attending conferences. Specialist assistance with external research funding applications is supplied by the university's Research and Economic Development Support Service. Research students are members of the university's Graduate School, which monitors student progress and runs an intensive induction and training programme, tailored to students in the Faculty of Arts. All full-time research students belong to a university college or society, which provides them with pastoral support. Within the department students have access to the staff common room, with work space and access to networked PCs (and one networked Mac), printers and the photocopier. Negotiations are in progress for additional accommodation for our research students in rooms close to the department. Student work and well-being are overseen by the department's Committee for Postgraduate Affairs. Full-time research students regularly attend one of the departmental research seminars. Funding for research students is augmented by university studentships and college resources. All full-time staff supervise research students (save for one temporary appointment and one new member of staff still on probation). The University has recently established a Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research in Higher Education which has University-wide responsibility for academic staff development programmes. These include workshops on supervising research students, making research grant applications, and writing up research for publication.
3. RESEARCH CULTURE Research management is entrusted to the department's Research Committee. Its aims are to keep research strategy under review (partly through an annual review of the publications and current research of the staff of the department), to make recommendations to the Chairman of the Board on applications for, and reports on, research leave, to review and advise on RAE preparation, to review and advise on AHRB/British Academy and other grant applications, and to liaise with the University Research Committee. Research in the department is largely conducted by individual researchers, though there is a great deal of informal collaboration among the members of the department (and national and international collaboration outside the department). This is facilitated by the formation of research clusters within the department and by regular research seminars; the research standing of the department is further enhanced by conferences, organized in Durham by members of the department. The most important factor in fostering research, however, is providing time for research. Apart from encouraging a fruitful use of vacations, this is made possible by the regular provision of research leave. The university permits applications for one term's research leave in seven, awarded on merit; all members of the department apply for such periods of leave, according to a schedule approved by the Board of Studies. Biennial appraisal of members of staff affords opportunity for them to engage in self-assessment of their past, current and future research. For members of staff on probation such appraisal takes place annually, and both appraiser and mentor have a special responsibility to foster the research of such members of staff.
4. RESEARCH CLUSTERS: Current Research And Plans For Publication The following informal research clusters exist within the department:
Christianity in Late Antiquity. Harrison: St. Augustine, Patristics, art in the Christian tradition, Christian spirituality; monograph on Augustine's early work, challenging existing interpretations (OUP 2002), articles in Augustinian Studies, etc. Louth: Patristic and Byzantine Theology, Byzantine History; completed monograph St John Damascene.Tradition and Originality in Byzantine Theology (OUP 2001), monographs Greek East and Latin West 681-1071 (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press 2003), and on St.Gregory Palamas (Ashgate), also annotated translations of John Damascene, On the Divine Images, and The Synodikon of Orthodoxy (both St. Vladimir's Seminary Press), chapters for New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 1, contributions to Festschriften for Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia (also joint ed.), Julian Chrysostomidis and the Denkschrift for Sir Steven Runciman. Hayward: Jews and the Church Fathers; English trans. and notes for Severus of Antioch in the series Early Church Fathers (Routledge). Stancliffe: insular Christianity in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages; chapter for New Cambridge Medieval History, vol. 1, articles for New DNB.
Christianity in Modern Europe. Forrestal: early modern ecclesiastical history, especially French and Irish; religious ideologies, episcopacy and priesthood; monograph on Irish Christianity (Townhouse Press, Dublin), article for New DNB. Gilley: modern European, British and Irish church history; biography of Wilfrid Ward (OUP), continuing work (some now published) in the history of English Roman Catholicism, entries on Ursulines and St. Vincent de Paul for TRE, and others for the Reader's Guide to British History (Fitzroy Dearborn 2001), many articles for New DNB, 'L'Anglicanesimo' for Atlante del Cristianesimo. Louth: Modern Orthodox Theology; monograph on history of Orthodox theology since 1782 (CUP), article on Thomas Taylor for New DNB.
Theology, Culture and Society. Brown: systematic theology (particularly doctrinal change), relations between philosophy and theology; co-written book with Loades on Reconceiving the 'sacramental', essays on Anselm for Cambridge Companion to Anselm, and for Festschrift for Brian Hebblethwaite. Crowder: philosophical theology and religious studies, Wittgenstein; essay on Feuerbach and the 'left Hegelians' for The Nineteenth-Century Theologians (Blackwell), on cinematic presentations of the life of Jesus for The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels (CUP); Loades: sacramental theology and modern theology, women, feminism and theology, music and theatre arts; co-written with Brown book on Reconceiving the 'sacramental', monograph completed: Voices from the Past (UK: Polity; USA: Blackwell) (feminist theology), commissioned monographs on women and theology (Canterbury Press and also Ashgate), essays on Austin Farrer's spirituality and theology (Baton Rouge), and essays for Festschriften for Brian Hebblethwaite, and for Duncan Forrester. Song: theological ethics, social and political theology, theology and technology; monograph on ethics and human genetics (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2002), and negotiating monographs on human genetics (Blackwell), and on technology and Christian ethics (CUP). Sykes: systematic theology (particularly theological anthropology), the theory and practice of Anglicanism, issues in religion and mental health; monograph on power and Christian theology, and editing Handbook of the Anglican Communion (Canterbury Press).
The Study of Religion. Davies: the anthropology and sociology of religion, Mormonism, death, ritual and belief, and cremation; monograph on the interface between theology and anthropology (Berg Social Science Publishers), editing the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, major chapter on Christianity for Religious Studies and Theology (Edinburgh UP), and a series of major Encyclopedia essays.
5. RESEARCH SEMINARS Research seminars further foster the department's research culture. These meet regularly throughout term (mostly weekly). There are research seminars in the following areas: Old Testament, the Study of Judaism in Late Antiquity, New Testament, Patristics, and Contemporary Theology. All of these have attracted speakers from overseas. There are also smaller research seminars in Christian Ethics, The Study of Religion, and Liturgy. In addition to these seminars in specific areas of theology, since 1994, Dr Barton has organised three series of interdisciplinary seminars and lectures on 'The Family in Theological Perspective' (1994-5), 'Where shall Wisdom be Found?' (1996-7), 'Holiness Past and Present' (1999-2000), the proceedings of which, edited by Dr Barton, have been (or are to be) published (1996, 1999, 2001/2, T. & T. Clark).
6. CONFERENCES ORGANIZED Members of the Seminar for the Study of Judaism in late Antiquity are involved in the organization of an international conference on Ben Sira (Ushaw 2001). The recently established Byzantium in the North, had its annual one-day colloquy on 'Time and the Byzantines' in Durham in October 2000. Both these received financial support from the department. The annual Spring Symposium for Byzantine Studies for 2002 will take place in Durham for the first time, the subject being 'How and Why did the Byzantines think they were Orthodox?', with Louth as the symposiarch. Also in 2002 the 57th annual meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas will take place in Durham,with Professor Dunn as the president. In 2000, Professor Sykes organized a conference to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Richard Hooker. In 1999 Professor Davies organized a major conference on 'Mormonism: the next world religion' in Durham.
7. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVAL STRENGTHS The University Library has strong book and periodical resources for the department's primary areas of research. There are collections of international importance for theology and church history in the University Library's Archives and Special Collections section (notably the Routh Collection, and most recently the archives of the Cremation Society of Great Britain), and in the neighbouring Dean and Chapter Library and Ushaw College. These collections have been recently supplemented by the Gaylord collection of Judaica (partly housed in the UL, and partly in the Department), and the Meissen Library of German Theology, which forms part of the Cathedral's collections. The Library is actively improving the accessibility and searchability of its collections, and has been awarded Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) access funding. The university supplies the department with a substantial budget (£25,450 in 2000-1) to develop the Library's holdings in its specialist areas, a sum augmented from the departmental budget by £3000 p.a.
8. INTERNATIONAL AND COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH Within the university collaborative research is fostered by interdisciplinary centres: the Centre for Seventeenth Century Studies (Forrestal), and the recently-established Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Forrestal, Harrison, Louth [on the steering committee], Stancliffe). Various members of the department are involved in international collaborative projects. Brown in the series of 'Doctrine summits', drawing together an international group of theologians in New York: on the Trinity (1998), the Incarnation (2000), and the Atonement (2001); Davies, in addition to the conference mentioned above (para. 6), in a special consultation on the death of the Princess of Wales, and the International Panel for the Uppsala University Project Church Disestablishment; Dunn, in organizing a series of West-East New Testament Conferences; Hayward in the research project on the city in late antiquity, mounted by a team of scholars led by Professor Pauline Allen of the Catholic University of Australia, specifically in connexion with Severus of Antioch; Louth with an international group of scholars to produce the fifth and final volume of Patrologia, ed. A. di Berardino of the Augustinianum in Rome; Moberly as one of 14 invited scholars working on the Scripture Project at the Princeton Centre of Theological Inquiry; Stuckenbruck with the biennial symposium/project on Enoch, supported by the University of Michigan, as panellist for the section 'Origins of Evil'; Sykes in the Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg.
9. RESEARCH OUTPUT NOT INCLUDED IN RA2 Several members of the department have contributed articles (many substantial), in addition to those included in RA2, to the following collaborative works: Dictionary of Ethics, Theology and Society, ed. Paul A.B. Clarke and Andrew Linzey (1996), Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. E.A. Livingstone (3rd ed., 1997), Dictionnaire critique de théologie, ed. Jean-Yves Lacoste (1998), Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, ed. Adrian Hastings (2000), The Early Christian World, ed. Philip Esler (2000), Encyclopaedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. L.H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam (2000), and the Theologische Realenzyklopädie, ed. Gerhard Müller et al. (continuing). In addition, postgraduates of the Department have, in the period 1994-2001, published 48 books (plus 8 forthcoming), edited or co-edited 5 books, and published 121 single-authored articles.
10. OTHER EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS The North of England Institute of Christian Education (NEICE) directed by Professor J. Astley, professorial fellow of the department, is a research body working on religious education and on aspects of theology in relation to Church life and teaching across an ecumenical spectrum.
11. STAFFING POLICY.
In the last four years existing research strengths have been consolidated and new areas opened up, notably in the study of religion with the appointment of Davies. Departing staff have been replaced, in part by already established academics, but mainly by new members of staff of great promise, entering on their first permanent academic posts.
The last four years have seen a marked increase in the recruitment of research students, and the department has continued its role of training scholars who go on to obtain university teaching and research posts. Increasing numbers of research students are coming to Durham from Eastern Europe, and finding internationally administered funds to enable them to do so.
Staff continue to produce high-quality monographs with leading academic publishers, and articles in the leading theological journals. Most of staff plans projected in the last RAE have come to fruition in publications. In certain cases and for good reason some publications indicated in the 1996 return have been overtaken by fresh projects; other projects are of a longer-term nature. Several projects indicated last time have indeed been completed, but publication has been delayed, awaiting the completion of other parts of the project (e.g., contributions to the New Cambridge Medieval History, the Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, the New DNB). The three goals specified in our last submission have been and are being pursued: viz. the consolidation and development of individual scholarship, the identification and nurture of new areas of expertise, and the fostering of collaborative projects.
Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL
Last updated 17 October 2003