Church and Academy is an initiative of the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway which brings together both the pastoral and academic dimensions of the Church’s lived experience.
It seeks to provide a forum where ideas, both old and new, can be shared and through which relationships can be strengthened. It seeks to serve the Church and the community by offering a space of honest enquiry. All are very welcome.

Contact us with comments and suggestions, or to be added to the mailing list.

The Rev Canon Prof David Jasper:
The Rev Canon Dr Nicholas Taylor:
The Rev Lee Johnston:
The Rev Harriet Johnston:

Check out previous seminars on YouTube. Find further updates and quick access to new seminar recordings on Facebook.

Upcoming Seminars

The Judgment of Love: Salvific Judgment in Christian Eschatology

the Rev Dr James M. Matarazzo, Jr.
5:30pm, Thursday 26 January 2022 on Zoom
Dr Matarazzo studied history and theology at Bates College, Union Theological Seminary, and the Universities of Edinburgh, Cape Town and Oxford. He will speak about his Doctoral thesis on Eschatology, for which he was awarded a DPhil from Oxford in 2017. He has taught at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and Boston College and is currently Senior Pastor at Glenview Community Church, Illinois.

Please note this is a Zoom-Only Event.

Zoom details

Meeting ID: 814 8952 0119
Passcode: 680888
0131 460 1196 to dial-in from the UK.


Previous Seminars

“God, through the Wrong End of a Telescope”: Christianity in Scottish Literature

Dr John Patrick Pazdziora (The University of Tokyo)
19 May 2022
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It is a truism to say that Scotland’s writers toiled and raged against the dour strictures of a Calvinist Kirk—and, like most truisms, is untrue. Scottish Christianity has been, as Hugh MacDiarmid described Scotland itself, multiform and infinite. The long history of Catholicism offered a rich, sacramental world that charged the literary imagination, while the stern pieties of the Reformation fueled widespread literacy and energetic composition, nurturing an inward turn of devotion and penitence. Christianity has provided Scottish literature a complicated pattern of certainty and doubt, ritual and iconoclasm, against which authors and poets could poise their own identities in relation to their place, their nation, and their ideas of God. This paper will provide an overview of this ‘difficult balance’ through the lens of Scottish poetry, focusing on four poets: Elizabeth Melville, Robert Burns, George MacDonald, and George Mackay Brown. Each from a different era and region of Scotland, their poems reveal the complex, contradictory, sometimes hostile but always illuminating refraction of Christianity in Scottish literature.
John Patrick Pazdziora (Ph.D., St Andrews) is project assistant professor at the College of Arts and Sciences of The University of Tokyo. He researches Scottish literature in the long nineteenth century and children’s cultures, with emphasis on the interplay between literature and religion. He is the author of Haunted Childhoods in George MacDonald (Brill, 2020) and the editor of Christianity in Scottish Literature, forthcoming from the Association for Scottish Literature.

Christian Doctrine: The Crux of an Anglican Theological Education

the Rev Dr Michael Hull
28 April 2022
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Dr Hull is the Director of Studies, Scottish Episcopal Institute, Editor of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Journal and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Theological Educators Network. He also writes a column for Inspires Online and is currently delivering a six-part Lenten series entitled ‘Episcopalians and Their Ethics’.
Dr Hull has been involved in theological education in the US and the UK for over twenty years. In his presentation, he will consider how the crux of theological education is Christian doctrine, at least for future incumbents in an Anglican tradition, for only a solid foundation in doctrine enables one to preach God’s Word, to administer the Sacraments and to provide pastoral counselling.

The Autism of Gxd

Dr Ruth M. Dunster
24 March 2022
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This book is the story of Ruth Dunster’s autistic search for an authentic, personal, and theological “Gxd.” In this, it resembles Augustine’s Confessions, as a theological auto-biography. It becomes atheological, however, as Dunster reckons with what Denys Turner terms “The Darkness of God.” It offers a fascinating view into how an autistic poet becomes a theologian; and what more mainstream theologies might learn from this “disabled Gxd.”

Sacred Modes of Being in a Postsecular World

Dr Andrew Hass
24 February 2022
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Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Stirling
Former editor of the journal Literature and Theology.
Dr Hass’ research explores the intersection of religion with literature (and the arts), with philosophy, and with critical theory. A particular emphasis is on hermeneutics and the questions of textuality and interpretation. He is concerned with how religion necessarily crosses over into other realms of thinking and experience, and how this might be made manifest in the various textual expressions handed down by tradition or found within contemporary culture.

‘A journey from nursing to ministry’

Rev Louise McClements
27 January 2022
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The Rev Louise McClements has been parish minister of Lenzie Old Parish Church for the last five and a half years. Prior to that, she served a linked charge in Falkirk for almost nine years. She is from Falkirk and on leaving school she trained as a Staff Nurse and spent eight years working in an acute care of the elderly ward and five years working in a GP practice. Whilst working in the ward she developed an interest in caring for those with dementia. Her research uses autoethnography and the fictive narrative as data.

Responding to the fifth mark of mission – the Green Anglicans Movement

Rev Canon Dr Rachel Mash
21 October 2021
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The Rev Canon Dr Rachel Mash is the Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and a leading figure in the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (A.C.E.N.). Dr Mash hails from Scotland, and is a Mission Partner of St Paul’s & St George’s, Edinburgh.

Land of Promise? Response to Anglican Communion Report on Christian Zionism

Rev Canon Dr Nicholas Taylor
30 September 2021
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A Response to the Anglican Communion Report on Christian Zionism by the Rev Canon Dr Nicholas Taylor, who is Rector of St Aidan’s, Clarkston and serves as Convenor of the SEC Liturgy Committee. He has a long standing theological, political and historical interest in Israel-Palestine and has been a resident scholar in the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.
The Anglican report discussed can be found here.

Things, People and Practices

Fr George Guiver CR
27 May 2021
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How to be a Failure and Still Live Well: Homo Economicus to Homo Religiosus

Professor Beverley Clack
28 January 2021
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Beverley Clack is Professor in the Philosophy of Religion at Oxford Brookes University. Her publications include: How to be a Failure and Still Live Well (2020); Interrogating the Neoliberal Lifecycle: The Limits of Success, co-edited with Michele Paule (2019); Philosophy of Religion: A Critical Introduction, co-authored with Brian R Clack (3rd edition 2019); Freud on the Couch (2013); Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings, co-edited with Pamela Sue Anderson (2004); Sex and Death: A Reappraisal of Human Mortality (2002); and Misogyny in the Western Philosophical Tradition (1999).
From 2012-2016, she was City Councillor for St Clements Ward in Oxford, and from 2016-2018 she was a member of the Labour Party’s National Policy Forum. She is a Circuit Steward in the Oxford Circuit of the Methodist Church, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

How Interreligious Dialogue can Contribute to Peace-building

Rabbi Raanan Mallek
24 November 2020
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Rabbi Raanan Mallek is a scholar, educator, and religious leader in the Masorti (Conservative) denomination of Judaism. He is currently the movement’s municipal Rabbi of the Misgav region in Galilee, the executive director of the Galilee Foundation for Value Education, a member of the World Council of Churches International Reference Group and a Board Member of Rabbis for Human Rights. Rabbi Mallek has for many years been pioneering work in peacebuilding, interfaith relations, and human rights activism in Israel-Palestine and internationally. He brings to these issues both a profound and costly commitment, and a depth of rabbinic scholarship; he was recently published via Brill. In 2017, Rabbi Mallek was identified by the World Council of Churches as one of the Twelve Faces of Hope in Israel-Palestine.

Church, Ministry, and Coronavirus

Panel discussion
25 June 2020
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Panel discussion includes Professor David Jasper, Theology & Religious Studies, Glasgow; Dr Margaret B. Adam, St Stephen’s House, Oxford; Dr Armand Leon van Ommen, Practical Theology, University of Aberdeen; Avigail Abarbanel, Psychotherapist, Highlands. Papers have been published in the Scottish Episcopal Institute Journal 4.2. (2020).