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2019

School of Divinity news articles from 2019.

Magnetic attraction in science and religion

Chemical shorthand for fluoride pyrochlore
Dr Mark Harris, our Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion, has collaborated in empirical research which has just been published in Nature Physics.

Theology of the Quantum World

Dr Mark Harris in the Martin Hall at New College
Dr Mark Harris has been awarded a grant from the Issachar Fund for a project on the 'Theology of the Quantum World.'

Professeurs interviewés sur Saint Pierre

Professors Helen Bond and Larry Hurtado
French discovery channel RMC Découverte is interviewing Professors Helen Bond and Larry Hurtado for a documentary about St Peter.

Films from Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces

Black and white photo showing the Ladies’ Guild cheder picnic
A research project led by Dr Hannah Holtschneider has produced a series of short films, ‘Points of arrival,’ each telling the story of a 19th/20th century Jewish immigrant.

Divinity achieves Athena SWAN Silver Award

Dr Naomi Appleton outside New College Library
The School is the first Theology and Religious Studies department in the UK to achieve Silver, after securing the first Bronze in 2014.

Nico receives funding for his PhD research in Tanzania

Low buildings and trees near the foot of Kilimanjaro
PhD candidate Nico Brice-Bennett has been awarded funding from the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) for fieldwork in Tanzania.

Understanding Apolo Kivebulaya: “African Saint” and “apostle to the pygmies”

Dr Emma Wild-Wood and research assistant George Mpanga working in the archives at Makerere University, Uganda
Research led by Dr Emma Wild-Wood has uncovered fresh insights into the life of influential Ugandan evangelist, Apolo Kivebulaya (1870-1933).

Help us shape our exciting new programmes!

Looking up at New College from the Mound steps
We would like to hear your views on our potential new on-campus Masters programmes: MSc Ancient Mediterranean Religions and MSc/MTh Literature and Religions.

New! Scottish Network for Religion and Literature

The School of Divinity is launching a Scottish Network for Religion and Literature with a symposium, 22 January 2020.

Religion and relationships in ragged schools

Dr Laura Mair’s research on evangelical Christian schools for poor Victorian children is being published in a book.

Lambeth Palace award for Professor Siddiqui

The Archbishop of Canterbury has conferred the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation on Professor Mona Siddiqui.

Popular picks on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Divinity postgraduate Chuck Williams in the Blackie MacKinnon study room
Which are the most popular research publications produced by Divinity staff?

New media talent

Dr Linden Bicket in the Martin Hall with a colourful cross and stained glass window behind her
Dr Linden Bicket has won a coveted place on the University's MediaTalent scheme.

American Academy welcomes Mona Siddiqui

Professor Mona Siddiqui has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Alumni Rev Susan Brown becomes Church of Scotland Moderator

Rev Susan Brown
On the 50th anniversary of the historic decision by the Church of Scotland to ordain women as ministers, our alumna Rev Susan Brown becomes Moderator. In this interview, we talk about her experiences at New College and her hopes for the year ahead.

Very Reverend Professor Iain R Torrance recognised in New Year’s Honours

Reverend Torrance, Honorary Professor in Early Christian Doctrine, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Calida Chu wins EASSSR essay prize

The East Asian Society of Scientific Study of Religion (EASSSR) has awarded its 2019 essay prize to PhD candidate Calida Chu.

General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 2019

Front of New College with two large banners saying Church of Scotland General Assembly
Radical new reports by Professor David Fergusson and Dr Sandy Forsyth, commissioned by the Church of Scotland, will be considered by the General Assembly when it meets at New College, 18-24 May 2019.

Postgraduates publish updated translation of Bavinck

Cameron Clausing and Gregory Parker’s version of Herman Bavinck’s The Sacrifice of Praise will be available in print 1 June 2019.

Nuam Hatzaw awarded prestigious studentship

PhD candidate Nuam Hatzaw has won an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) doctoral training award through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).

Media coverage as Church agrees to Professor Fergusson’s reforms

Professor David Fergusson
As chair of the Church of Scotland’s Special Commission on Structural Reform, Professor Fergusson has been in the news.

New! Theology and Religious Studies PhD by Distance

Our Distance option allows international students to study part-time for a PhD from their home country, as long as they visit Edinburgh at key stages.

Educating 'fallen women' in 19th century Scotland

Modern sepia-look photograph of Springwell House, previously Edinburgh Magdalene Asylum
In contrast to their infamous Irish counterparts, early Scottish Magdalene Asylums aimed to reform rather than punish, says PhD candidate Jowita Thor in a paper published by Studies in Church History.

Aiming to unlock the power of Gaidinliu

Head and shoulders photograph of Dr Arkotong Longkumer
A collaborative project led by Dr Arkotong Longkumer could be the first step on the road to greater understanding of the ‘magical’ notebooks of teenage Indian activist and prophetess, Gaidinliu.

Baseball ace Sam Davidson

MTheol student Sam Davidson was awarded the title of Best Pitcher in a ‘Battle for Britain’ tournament in Kent, 25-27 May 2019.

Jewish Orthodoxy in early 20th century Scotland

Edinburgh Synagogue. Image: Kim Traynor [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Dr Hannah Holtschneider’s new biography of Rabbi Dr Salis Daiches explores a period of dynamic change for the ‘tartanised’ and incoming Jews escaping from war.

£2.4 million grant to explore theologies of nature

Dr Mark Harris and Dr Sarah Ritchie standing outside New College
Dr Mark Harris and Dr Sarah Lane Ritchie have won funding from the John Templeton Foundation for a major international research project, God and the Book of Nature.

Royal appointments for Professor David Fergusson

Head and shoulders portrait of Rev Professor David Fergusson standing in a garden in a suit
Rev Professor Fergusson has been appointed Dean of the Chapel Royal and Dean of the Order of the Thistle.

Undergraduate prize winners 2019

Gunning prize winner Douglas Graham with Professor Helen Bond
Congratulations to all our students who graduated today and to all those undergraduates who have been awarded prizes by the School of Divinity.

Prophecy and indigenous knowledge in a digital age

Dr Arkotong Longkumer has been awarded funding from the Edinburgh Futures Institute to digitise an important archive about the Naga conflict in North East India.

Social Bite Café to open at New College

Three-part image with a Social Bite panini top left, a baked potato bottom left and Social Bite so-founder Alice Thompson, right
The School of Divinity’s historic refectory, the Rainy Hall, is opening its kitchen doors to a dynamic enterprise that’s as well known for its social conscience as its soup and sandwiches.

Art, Conflict and Remembering

Panel session for Art, Conflict and Remembrance: murals of the Bogside artists
In a lively panel session chaired by Professor Jolyon Mitchell, Bogside mural artists Tom Kelly and Kevin Hasson, exhibition curator Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, former Director of Mediation Northern Ireland Brendan McAllister and Law Professor Christine Bell explored the question: can art help people to process a painful and violent past?

Re-opening of the Rainy Hall

Decorative ceiling, light fittings and arched windows in the Rainy Hall
The first lecture of the School’s academic year will be followed by a reception to mark the re-opening of the Rainy Hall following eight months of restoration.

Responding to the challenges of Big Data

Dr Michael Fuller head and shoulders photo taken in the Martin Hall in front of a cross and stained glass window
In his recent paper, Big data and the Facebook scandal, Dr Michael Fuller suggests that theologians, churches and other religious institutions can help to address some of the ethical challenges arising from the mass harvesting, analysis and selling of online data.

Teaching Fellow success 2019

Dr Ulrich Schmiedel has become a Fellow (FHEA), and Dr Naomi Appleton and Dr Anja Klein have become Senior Fellows (SFHEA) of the Higher Education Academy, demonstrating their commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience.

Launch of Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network

An interdisciplinary group of Edinburgh academics has launched a research network which focuses on Buddhism in different contexts within culture and society.

Student volunteers wanted: Holyrood Harvest and Soul Food

Students working in the Holyrood Harvest garden
New College students already play a lead role in the community gardening project - now the Church of Scotland seeks volunteers to support homeless people, too.

W T Stead: Nonconformist and Newspaper Prophet

Professor Stewart J Brown with his biography of W T Stead
Professor Stewart J Brown has written a religious biography of pioneering 19th century journalist William Thomas Stead, whose editor's desk was his pulpit.

Awards for faith-based groups in Bradford and Leeds

Our ‘Gratitude: Christian and Muslim Perspectives’ project is offering £500 to each of the two grassroots charities in Bradford and Leeds that can best demonstrate how gratitude is central to their work.

My PhD in a poster

New College photographed from Princes Street Gardens
Work by PhD candidates, Nico Brice-Bennett, Nuam Hatzaw, Alec Simpson, Jo Thor and Dingjian Xie has been captured online in a poster blog.

NEW! New College Student Recognition Awards

Looking up towards the outstretched hand of the stature of John Knox in New College quad
The School of Divinity is introducing three new awards to recognise students who have contributed the most to New College, the city of Edinburgh, or the promotion of Theology and Religious Studies, outside their academic work.

Josep’s Youth Column in Life and Work

Head and shoulders shot of Josep in Rainy Hall
Josep A Martí i Bouis has shared his passion for Christian mission in this month’s edition of the Church of Scotland's magazine.

Lifetime award for the study of death in society

Dr Peter Jupp receiving his framed Lifetime Achievement certificate from Professor Hilary J. Grainger
The Revd Dr Peter Jupp has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Association for the Study of Death in Society (ASDS).

Diary of a Dean of the Chapel Royal

Head and shoulders shot of  Very Rev Prof David Fergusson wearing his minister's collar
The Very Rev Professor David Fergusson has started his new duties as Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland and Dean of the Order of the Thistle.

“Great moment” for Fraser Prize winner James Thieke

James Theike standing on a rocky beach with Forth Bridges in the distance
As the deadline for Theology in Scotland’s 2019 Fraser essay competition approaches, we ask last year’s winner why he took part.

Professor Larry Hurtado

It is with tremendous sadness that we pass on the news that our friend and colleague Professor Larry Hurtado has died.

Issachar Fund Art Prize

Painting of complex figures denoting gratitude by Divinity 2019 Issachar Fund Art Prize winner Soniya Ahmed
The School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh and The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) are pleased to announce the recipient of the Issachar Fund Art Prize.

Students called to SERVE

Close up head shot of student Rachel Frost laughing with another student with short curly hair who we only see from behind.
A group of Divinity student volunteers called SERVE has been supporting local people through social action and mission.

Launch of Jātaka Stories database

Stone carving of a jataka story
Dr Naomi Appleton and Dr Chris Clark have developed a free online searchable database of jātakas - stories of the Buddha’s past lives - in Indian texts and art.