All posts by Margaret Masson

Reading Allowed (or the Chad’s Dead Poets’ Society)

Reading Allowed had its first meeting this Saturday past.  Around 15 people came, many to share, some just to listen. We squeezed into a snug little room in Grad’s building. This, alongside the hot drinks and dim lamplight, added to the cosiness. We kicked off with a short children’s story about arrogant raindrops. Reading passed anticlockwise around the circle; with teas, hot chocolates and coffees frantically assembled in the intervening spaces. We had a huge variety of pieces: from Hungarian poetry to Silmarillion to Plath to two people’s own work to a passage on fecal analysis from a non-fiction book on wolves. We have no particular limitations on what can be read; speeches and song lyrics being examples of other writing people may share in the future.

There are currently around 26 people on the chat where we organise the meetings. As it is open-invite, more people are slowly trickling in as their friends recommend it. Overall it was a sort of gender-diverse Dead Poets’ Society; something that we didn’t realise until we actually started. There is another one planned this Saturday, hopefully then continuing every other week.

P.S. Much as we love a pun, we’re hoping that a quote will be shared at some point that makes for an even more fitting name.

Robbie Bell

St Chad’s Welcomes 3 New Visiting Fellows

St Chad’s College is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Visiting Fellows.

Professor James Piscatori has worked at several universities in the UK, Australia and the United States.  He was, until recently, Professor and Head of Department in Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs.  He has also been Senior Fellow at two research institutions — the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and has served on several international collaborative committees such as the Committee for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies of the Social Science Research Council, and was co-editor of a series on Muslim Politics for Princeton University Press. Professor Piscatori’s work has centred on two themes:  Islam and international relations; and Islamic political thought, particularly as it relates to democratisation in Middle Eastern societies.  Area focus has been principally, but not exclusively, on the Arab states of the Gulf.  Recently, he has been working on pan-Islamism and Islamic transnationalism, and specifically investigating the contemporary meaning of the ummah (community of the faith). 

Adam Wurr is a Chad’s alumnus who has served in HM Diplomatic Service since 1995.  His positions have included serving as First Secretary and Charge D’Affaires in the British Embassy in Beirut and First Secretary in the British High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria.  Adam has been appointed Visiting Fellow at Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs.

Bishop Graham Kings has recently been appointed Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, a role established by the Archbishop of Canterbury to research, stimulate, connect and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts. Graham Kings is based in London, visits Durham University, as an Honorary Fellow, and travels in the Communion. He convenes a series of seminars in Anglican Communion Studies for theologians, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  Graham Kings was Bishop of Sherborne; founding Director of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide; Vice Principal of St Andrew’s College, Kabare, Kenya (as a CMS Mission Partner). He studied at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Utrecht. He is a published poet, and has written for The Times and The Guardian, and books on theology of mission, Kenyan liturgies and theology and art. He is an Honorary Fellow in Durham University’s Theology department.