Rowena Loverance to Open Art Lecture Series

Rowena LoveranceThe Immanent, Transcendent and Absent
Visualising the Divine begins Thursday 11 April

Rowena Loverance has written several books on the relationship between religion and the visual arts including Christian Art (British Museum Press, 2007) and The British Museum Christ (British Museum Press, 2004). She is a freelance writer and e-learning consultant and previously head of e-learning at The British Museum and co-president of Churches Together in England (1997-2002). She currently writes for the National Museums Online Learning Project and is a trustee of Culture 24, the UK’s principal online cultural publisher.

Other lectures in the Visualising the Divine series include:

  • Explorations of Christian art in a post-modern world with Sophie Hacker
  • Visualisations of the divine in painting and sculpture with Dori Rockefeller
  • Visualising the divine at the movies: a look at 20th and 21st century film with Colin Greene

The lectures are on consecutive Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.
£30 for the series or £8 per lecture. Full details on Visualising the Divine can be found on our course page.

Contact Alison Ogden for booking enquiries | 01722 424826

Keith Lamdin on Leadership: Discontent, Vision and Courage

Leaders must be discontent with the status quo, have a vision for how it could be better and the courage to say so, according to Canon Keith Lamdin, who delivered an acclaimed talk at a recent Diocesan Conference for Headteachers (Wednesday 6 March).

The Director of Education for Salisbury Diocese, Chris Shepperd said, “When we invited Keith to speak, we knew that what he had to say would hit home with our headteachers. Leadership is hard in any sphere, but we knew our school leaders would recognise the truth of Keith’s advice and reflect together on how to face up to the real challenges in this time of rapid change.”

The day was organised by the Diocesan Board of Education in collaboration with schools across Dorset and Wiltshire. Read the full press release on the Diocese of Salisbury website.

Keith is the author of Finding Your Leadership Style (SPCK 2012). He discussed the book on BBC Wiltshire with presenter Lee Stone and the Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield.

From The Stacks: New Series Uncovers Library Gems

Guide to Library ServicesAn occasional series on the Sarum College Library reveals some of the lesser-known treasures in the 40,000-strong collection, especially in the areas of ecclesiastical and local history

Sarum College has one of the largest theological libraries in southern England which is well-appreciated by our students,” says Jayne Downey, Sarum College Librarian.  “Our collection is less known for its historical volumes, many of which can’t be found anywhere else outside the Bodleian and Cambridge University and which are invaluable to researchers of ecclesiastical history.”

Architectural historian John Elliott, who specialises in church history during the Victorian period, is researching and writing the series.

“I was surprised how much historic material there was in the stacks and how easily I managed to find the primary sources I needed,” Elliott says. “The Sarum College collection is a rare resource.”

From the Stacks has launched with the publication of The Sarum College Library – A Whirlwind Tour, an overview of library holdings to highlight the collection’s main features, and John Jewel: A Key Figure in Defining the Anglican Church. The series will continue with occasional articles on specific themes within the collection.

The launch also includes an article on the Sowter Collection by Jenny Monds, Sarum’s Director of Learning Resources. “This important donation added thousands of books to the library and gave the collection an impressive selection of titles on local and ecclesiastical history  as well as clerical directories that are useful for genealogical research.”

Among Sarum’s special collections are 5,000 antiquarian books,  church music resources and an archive on Christian Socialism.

Anyone can become a member of Sarum College or use the library on a day basis.

Book of the Month: March 2013

Alison GoodladLeaving the Reason Torn: Re-thinking the Cross and Resurrection through R.S.Thomas by Alison Goodlad (2012)

The poet RS Thomas constantly struggled with the tension between crucifixion and resurrection during his life as a pastor in the harsh conditions of rural Wales. In Leaving the Reason Torn Alison Goodlad introduces us to his theology, expressed in poetry which illustrates a constant battle between mind and heart.

Poetry stimulates the imagination through its memorability, ambiguity, irony, and – perhaps most significant – through metaphor. This was a language known to the writers of both Testaments.

Goodlad quotes Brueggemann’s comment that simple acceptance of belief in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness ‘requires mumbling through many aspects of lived experience’. RS Thomas found his own attempts to find God particularly expressed in the Psalms and Job, both rich in counter-testimony. The Psalms alternately praise God, and round on him, in anger and despair. Job’s challenge is an epic of faith warring with incredulity which ends with its central question – the problem of suffering – still unresolved: God is ultimately unknowable, but humanity matters to Him – a question Thomas struggled with throughout his life.

Theories of the atonement that satisfied the intellect are the product of a past era but they leave questions unanswered in the heart. In this age of post-modernity, theologians such as Karen Armstrong, James Alison and David Catchpole point out that the Gospel accounts of Easter make use of the language of metaphor in their description of the indescribable.

Crucifixion and resurrection are truly apprehended only by God, and we can only dimly perceive the depths of the one or the fullness of the other. Poetry, with that language of metaphor and myth at its disposal, and the poet’s ability to hold opposites together, is a means by which our perception may be a little illuminated. Goodlad shows Thomas struggling throughout his life ‘from disorientation to a new orientation’ in the language of that polarity. It is not failure, on his part or ours, that the cloud of unknowing veils our sight. Goodlad’s sure touch, guiding us through his life’s search for the unknowable, lends us his visions with which to enlarge our own.  ‘Reason may be torn, but the way is left open to the torn God, for us to experience at-one-ment’.


Reviewed by Julia Taylor


Published by Shoving Leopard, ‘Leaving the Reason Torn’ is normally priced £12.95.  Mention the Webdsote  to order a copy at the special price of £11.50 and POST FREE until March 31st 2013.  Cheques should be made payable to ‘Sarum College Bookshop’. See contact details in the ad below.

Sarum College Bookshop Shortlisted for National Award

BestSellers Sarum College Bookshop has been shortlisted in the annual Bookseller Industry Awards for best independent bookshop.

The bookshop received the nomination along with five other independent bookshops in the South West region.

“We are delighted to be on the regional short-list for the annual Bookseller Industry Awards ‘Independent Bookseller of the Year,’” says Jenny Monds, Director of Learning Resources at Sarum College. “It’s a great boost to the staff to have got this far. We think we have a great bookshop – it’s very gratifying that the judges think so too!”

This is the second time Sarum College Bookshop has been nominated for the award, having previously been nominated in 2010. The regional winners will be announced on 15 March with those winners going forward for the overall prize.