Research

Cod. Vatic. lat. 1322, fol. 153v: 'Credimus in
                    unum deum...'Christian Doctrine in Practice

Doctrinal claims reflect and reinforce the shape of Christian practices of worship, of scriptural reading, of ministry, and of mission.  They keep these practices in shape as aspects of the churches’ ongoing learning.

My research examines these relationships between doctrine and practice, and explores what it means to teach doctrine today in the churches and in the university. What is it for? How does it relate to other aspects of theological education?

I am particularly interested in Christology, and in exploring the connections between the claims of classical Christological doctrine and the practices of Christian discipleship.

Practices of Biblical Reading

As just noted, doctrinal claims reflect and reinforce (amongst other things) the shape of Christian practices of scriptural reading.  I have a long-standing interest biblical hermeneutics,  and am now particularly interested in Christian disciplines of scriptural reading in the churches, their relation to other practices of reading, and their connections to Christian doctrinal commitments.

Theology and Higher Education

Quite a lot of my work in recent years has focused on universities – asking whether it is possible to give a Christian theological account of the nature and purpose of Higher Education.

I have worked in universities that tend to present themselves as secular institutions, and I have tried to write my theological account of Higher Education in and for such institutions.  I have written about the pursuit of intellectual virtue, the sociality of learning, and the contribution that universities might make to the common good.

Scriptural Reasoning

I worked for three years in the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, which is one of the centres internationally for the practice of Scriptural Reasoning, in which Jews, Christians and Muslims gather in small groups to read and discuss portions of their scriptures together.  Participants don't need to agree about the status of these texts, the nature of proper interpretation, the truth or meaning of their respective traditions, or the goal of the practice – but it turns out to be a fruitful and often exciting way of being driven deeper into understanding of other traditions, deeper into reflection on one's own tradition, and deeper into inter-faith friendships.  I remain involved in the practice now, and continue to research some of its implications.

Higton full CV - Feb 12