School of Divinity

Deryl Davis - MSc Comparative Literature 1988, MTh systematic theology 1989

Deryl Davis studied for systematic theology.

Deryl Davis

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your current careerĀ 

Current position: Producer, "The Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith" weekly public dialogue at Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC; Associate Faculty in Religion and Drama, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC

I first taught literature and religion for a few years both in the University of North Carolina system in the US and in the mid 90s at state universities in China (PRC).

Obviously, my theological and literary study at Edinburgh opened the doors to teaching for me.

Eventually, I moved into journalism, reporting and producing for a national public television show here (PBS) called "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."

2. Why did you choose to attend the University of Edinburgh and the subject with which you graduated?

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3. What did you enjoy most about your subject?

My study at New College influenced me in tremendous ways, introducing me to the breadth of Christian theology, both historical and contemporary, and providing me with the tools to engage in contemporary theological discourse.

In particular, I was given the opportunity to bring a background in literature into theological study, making for a rich, multidisciplinary experience culminating in a thesis on the theology of T.S. Eliots Four Quartets.

4. What specific skills did you develop whilst attending the University of Edinburgh?

Above all, my experience at New College taught me to think theologically, and then how to apply those perspectives to the concrete particulars of daily life.

5. Why would you recommend your subject to other students?

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6. How did your experience at Edinburgh help you get where you are today?

Eventually, I moved into journalism, reporting and producing for a national public television show here (PBS) called "Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly."

My Edinburgh background played directly into that, providing the theological tools with which to explore religion and religious practices in the US, and after 9/11, specifically Islam and the growing Muslim community here.

I did stories on the role of women in Islam, the concept of sacred space (related to plans for memorials at Ground zero), new Hindu communities in the Washington area, and theological/social divisions within the Anglican community, among many others.

From journalism on religion, I found my way into the work I presently do at Washington National Cathedral - creating and producing a weekly Webcast and live audience discussion on faith and public life.

Along the way, my interest and work in drama (I was a member of the Bedlam Theatre at UoE) led to a part-time faculty position in Drama for Ministry at nearby Wesley Theological Seminary. I divide my time between the two institutions.