Logos in Oxford
A summer workshop on Biblical texts, vocation, and the Christian mind
Organised by SCIO on behalf of the Green Scholars Initiative
To be held at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford
Programme dates: 1 – 15 June 2016 (GSI Mentors participate 5 – 9 June)
This workshop, limited to students working on Green Scholars Initiative projects, is an opportunity for undergraduates and graduates to be taught by academic experts in the fields of history, theology, and textual studies. Attendance at a Logos workshop is a requirement for those wishing to apply for a Yamauchi Award.
It comprises the following components:
Over the course of the University of Oxford’s history, numerous figures who made a great impact on the history of the church were educated and spent significant parts of their professional careers there. Although the role of these figures on the great stage of history is well understood, the part played by university education in their development, and the way in which their professional involvement in the academy shaped their lives, is not always appreciated. The same can be said of how their faith influenced their scholarship. The University of Oxford changed very considerably between the fourteenth and the twentieth centuries, but the educational and academic ethos nurtured there has always been distinctive. This course of lectures examines some of the more remarkable individuals to come out of the university, and teases out how their ways of thinking, and what they preached and wrote, were conditioned by this very particular context.
In this course of lectures, experts will discuss specific areas in which the reading of manuscripts and the editing of texts prove particularly contentious, difficult, and interesting. This will enable students to investigate divergent academic fields, some of which will not be familiar, and to learn how to face methodological challenges and apply them in their own areas of interest.
A central aspect of Logos takes place in a series of discussions in which participants learn about the intersection of faith and vocation in the experience of leading senior Oxford scholars from various academic fields. These discussions enable students to hear what it is like to pursue a Christian vocation as an academic in university contexts that are not always friendly to a Christian outlook. A more informal setting promotes discussion and helps those considering an academic career to consider the challenges involved and encourage one another with advice and insight.
During the afternoons, students will be placed in one of a range of workshop-style seminars, dependent on the language appropriate to their particular GSI project. In these seminars, experts will present in a detailed fashion the practices and challenges involved in dealing with a particular class of documents. This will give the opportunity to study documents in depth. Students will also practice reading documents together, making the workshops an eminently practical element of the programme.
Included in the programme are two day-long academic excursions. One will be to Winchester, the chief city of Alfred the Great, whose magnificent cathedral is the remains of an abbey which produced some of the most splendid books of medieval England, including the Winchester Bible, which is still kept and used in the cathedral. The other excursion will be to Cambridge, giving a chance to see the other old university city of England and in particular to visit the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, a unique treasure house of religious texts which document Christianity in England from the arrival of St Augustine up to the Reformation, and Tyndale House, a centre of scholarship on evangelical principles.
The Logos workshop is an opportunity for young scholars from a wide variety of institutions to meet and share common enthusiasms and interests. Although the participants will be involved in many different GSI projects, common ground is found in the desire to understand the use of texts in scholarly enterprise and in the investigation of the role of the Christian scholar. A small group of GSI Fellows (students who have already attended Logos workshops) will attend and lend their experience, in particular presenting their research to the workshop. In addition to the contribution of senior scholars, therefore, interacting with peers and learning from them are central aspects of the workshop.
Students will be accommodated in The Vines, a large late-Victorian house on Headington Hill, 1.5 miles from the centre of Oxford. The Vines is situated on 1.5 acres of gardens and gives splendid views of the Oxford spires. The house has common areas where residents can relax and enjoy each other’s company, as well as an attractive garden, filled with trees planted by its first owner, a professor of Botany – perfect for a game of croquet. The Vines is a 35-minute walk away from Oxford city centre along a beautiful route which C.S. Lewis used to follow to get from his home to his college. Others may prefer the 5-minute walk to the nearest bus stop, with busses passing by every 6–7 minutes. The Vines is equipped with broadband internet, has a large kitchen, laundry facilities, and newly fitted bathrooms for every 2–3 rooms.
This program is limited to students who are already participating in GSI projects. These students are invited to apply to attend Logos in Oxford 2016. Thirty-five places are available, of which five are allocated to GSI Fellows coming to Logos for a second time. The award of a place at Logos 2016 will cover air travel to and from Oxford, as well as board and lodging during the workshop. In addition, participants will receive a generous stipend.
Places are available for GSI Mentors to accompany their charges to Logos (if those charges are attending Logos for the first time) for the middle part of the workshop (five nights; 5 – 10 June). They will be invited once awards have been made to students.
The deadline for submitting your application form is 27 January 2016. The application form can be downloaded here.
Five places are offered to students who have already participated in one Logos workshop, whether in 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015. They will play a full part in the workshop, and will fulfil the role of Teaching Assistant while in Oxford. They will lead student discussions in response to specific lectures. They will present before the workshop participants an account of their scholarly work with the Green Scholars Initiative. They will also be ready to support the running of the workshop in practical ways, taking some responsibilities particularly during field trips. It is to be hoped that by returning to Logos they will further deepen their engagement with textual studies and Christian learning, and that they will be able to share their experience in these matters with the other participants.