The School of Divinity welcomes our new Head of School Professor Jeremy Carrette
The Head of School is a pivotal role within Divinity as it leads the strategic development of the School and the academic staff.
Professor Carrette joined us from the University of Kent where he was Professor of Philosophy, Religion and Culture and Dean for Europe.
He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Anglican History and Theology. He also brings experience from Kent as Head of the School of European Culture and Languages and Head of Religious Studies from 2008-2016 – transforming their REF success. He has also served as Head of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling.
Professor Carrette joins us with an impressive academic background however, we we wanted to know more about his personal motivation.
Why did you want to come to Edinburgh
"The School of Divinity at Edinburgh is one of the leading international centres for the study of theology and religion. The position as Head of School offered the unique opportunity to bring together my commitment to my subject area and my previous management experience.
What’s more my previous invitations to give the Cunningham Lectures and host the Centenary conference of William James’s 1902 Gifford Lectures had shown me the rich interdisciplinary work in the School and University."
How have you found your first semester so far?
"The first three months have been a wonderful whirlwind of new experiences, starting with the added joys of the Edinburgh Festival outside my window. I have enjoyed joining so many lectures and events through the semester, including the New College Festival of Books and Belief and the School Diwali celebration. It has been a delight to meet so many wonderful colleagues and feel the warmth of the community at New College.
There are, of course, many challenges and changes in UK Higher Education at the moment, but having such great people to work with makes it possible to see the great opportunities for the future of the School. It is a fantastic community and, of course, Edinburgh and New College are such beautiful places to live and work."
What are your aspirations for the role?
"The key part of the role of Head of School is to enable the School to flourish and realise its aims as a leading centre for teaching, research and public engagement. This means,
- Ensuring that everyone feels valued and respected in their work and study. This requires continuous learning and listening to our diverse and evolving communities.
- Recognising the changing nature of Higher Education and showing how our subjects are vital and relevant for understanding the world, past, present and future.
- Developing teaching and research in theology and religion that offers opportunities for transforming minds, creating positive change and social engagement.
- In short, it means building a sustainable future for the School, the University and the world.
Perhaps big aspirations, but that is the challenge of our time, and what a community of research and teaching can achieve in educating for the future."
Carrette has published numerous books and articles on the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He has also published extensively on William James.
In 2022 he gave the 2002 Cunningham lectures at the University of Edinburgh and, with Richard King, wrote a critical study of religion and neoliberalism. His work also includes an edited book with Hugh Miall on the United Nations, following a five-year AHRC/ESRC ‘Religion and Society’ large grant.
His present research work includes a study of William James’s pragmatic theory of love, a 20th anniversary edition of Selling Spirituality and a network project collection on The Global Dynamics of Anglicanism.