Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oxford Chair of "Abrahamic Religions"

Oxford University is to create a new Chair in the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, following a benefactor’s gift of £2.5 million.

The chair, due to be filled from the start of the 2009/10 academic year will study the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – all of which refer to the teachings of Abraham and his descendants. As an academic subject, Abrahamic Religions focuses especially on relations between the three religions.

Research in the Abrahamic Religions involves studying the founding texts of each religion, through a range of philosophical, historical, artistic and political topics. Its field stretches in time from the ancient world through to the present and spreads out from the Middle Eastern origins of the three religions to span the globe.

Professor George Pattison, of the Theology Faculty, said: “Jews, Christians, and Muslims all refer to Abraham as a friend of God, and I hope that the establishment of this important post will contribute to deepening friendship amongst these three great religions in their diverse quests to honour God rightly.”

In the last 30 years, Oxford University’s Faculty of Theology – the largest in the UK --has increasingly built on its strengths in Christian Theology and been able to offer teaching and research opportunities relating to other religions and to the study of the nature of religion. The faculty is committed to this aspect of its work and has established a new lectureship in the Study of Religion, and has close connections with various Oxford-based Centres dedicated to the study of the major world religions of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It is also in the process of establishing a new joint degree with the faculty of Oriental Studies.

Source: Religious Intelligence News

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