It is widely acknowledged among those who still care that academia in the UK is in very serious trouble, says Dr Michael Marten from the University of Stirling. The most infamous embodiment of the current malaise is a mechanism imposed upon universities by successive Westminster governments: a system of ‘research assessment’ driven by an ideology of neo-liberal commodification. Alternative perspectives and mechanisms are badly needed, he says.
Why it is that so few ‘secular’ scholars engage meaningfully with ‘religion’, wonders Michael Marten. Or to put it another way: why is it that so many religion scholars depend upon and practice disciplinary heterogeneity, whereas many of the scholars they use do not appear to engage substantially with what they write?
Collections of books on anthropology, new religious movements, the history of Christian mission, various regions in Africa and Asia, and related subjects are being offered free of charge (other than any dispersal costs) to interested libraries, institutions or individuals. Historic copies of several missions and African studies journals are also available.
The Vatican has announced an upcoming international conference on "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 years after 'The Origin of Species'", to mark the Darwin celebrations and build the science-theology dialogue.