Mr. Andrew Johnson, 2017 and 2018
I am currently a PhD candidate in Systematic Theology working with Professor David Fergusson at the School of Divinity, New College, University of Edinburgh.
My current project, tentatively titled “The Implicit Dimensions of Explicit Faith: Attending to the Holistic Character of Christian Believing,” is concerned to articulate the nature of a Christian’s faith and the Christian faith as this relates to intentional action, personal identity, and normative transformation. The project seeks to blend a depth of theological description (grounded in 20th century Protestant Dogmatics by critically engaging the writings of Rudolf Bultmann and Karl Barth) with philosophical insights from both the so-called continental and analytic traditions concerning the ontology of beliefs and the phenomenology of believing as they relate to embedded and embodied persons.
I have wide-ranging interests in theology from the patristics to the present, but my primary interests lie in contemporary constructive theology. Given my interest in the character of believing (albeit primarily from a theological and philosophical perspective) I am particularly looking forward to Professor Fuentes’ 2018 Gifford Lectures on “Why we believe: evolution, making meaning, and the development of human natures.” Engaging with Professor Stout’s 2017 Gifford Lectures, “Religion unbound: Ideals and powers from Cicero to King,” was a rewarding experience and I expect that the 2018 Gifford Lectures will be equally rewarding in their own way.
Before moving to Edinburgh, I earned a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where I also completed some of my coursework at Harvard Divinity School.
I live in Edinburgh with my wife Christine who works as a primary school teacher with children with additional support needs.
Twitter feed: @arjohnson_
I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Theology & Ethics at the School of Divinity, New College, University of Edinburgh, working under the supervision of Professor David Fergusson.
My research project is motivated by a key tension of pluralist public life, namely, how an ethic of responsible citizenship can be reconciled with claims to divine ‘authorisation’ made by faith communities. I am addressing this challenge through the thought of ethicist and religious leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer, particularly his critical variations on the thought of philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. As the dynamics of global capitalism inevitably affect this question, I am eager to engage with Professor Tanner’s critical analysis in this year’s Gifford Lectures.
Alongside this course of study, I have been serving as a minister in the Scottish Episcopal Church, postgraduate conference convener with the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, and committee member for the Abbey Summer School. I have also served as a tutor at the School of Divinity for courses from ‘God in Philosophy’ to ‘Atheism in Debate.’
Prior to my move to Scotland, I completed my Master of Divinity degree at Regent College, Vancouver, in my home country of Canada. Along with previous experience as an Anglican priest, I have worked in education for students with disabilities, reforestation in the Canadian northwest, and design / communications.
I live in Edinburgh with my wife Jolene and our daughter Naomi.
Twitter feed: @DavidScottR
Dr Alexander (Sandy) Forsyth is Hope Trust Research Fellow at the School of Divinity, New College, University of Edinburgh, having recently completed his doctorate in theology. The research project combines law and theology; considering the potential roles of apology and contrition, forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation in a form of restorative justice for civil dispute resolution, particularly in actions of delict (tort).
As well as his more recent theological studies, Sandy has worked for over two decades as a Scots lawyer: initially as a court solicitor in Glasgow, and as an advocate at the Scottish Bar since 1999. Given the dual focus of his working life and current research, he is anticipating with much interest the Gifford Lectures of Professor Waldron.