Original Research

The future of theology at a public university

David F. Ford
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 38, No 1 | a1807 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v38i1.1807 | © 2017 David F. Ford | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2017 | Published: 27 November 2017

About the author(s)

David F. Ford, Faculty of Theology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In exploring the future of theological reflection at a public university, the Irish Anglican theologian David Ford considers the study of theology in university settings that are multireligious and multi-secular. He discusses the responsibilities of such universities with regard to the religions, and how they can be healthily diverse places with a pluralism of multiple depths. He proposes an understanding of theological reflection as a wisdom-seeking inquiry open to all as the preferable approach in such universities. Against the background of appreciative remarks on contextual trends and developments within theological reflection worldwide and other profound engagements such as between Christian thought and philosophy, the human and natural sciences, but also with new voices such as women’s, postcolonial and marginalised groups, Ford describes his viewpoint on the practice of Scriptural Reasoning. In his description, Ford indicates how such a practice at a public university can shape a better future in which the societal importance of religion in a healthily plural world is respected. It entails the taking on of specific responsibilities by the public universities, acknowledging their privileged spaces within our societies and fostering a healthy pluralism of multiple depths.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: In exploring the future of theological reflection at a public university, the article addresses the philosophical, theological and educational fields of reflection within an integrated perspective developed from a wisdomseeking practice, namely, Scriptural Reasoning to establish and justify the societal significance of such reflection for ensuring a healthy pluralism with multiple depths in a plural world.


Theology; future of theology


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