The Oxford Pastorate is proud to host rich and impactful conversations amongst established and emerging Christian academics in Oxford each year. Over many years we have sought to foster discussions in which we can seek after truth together, drawing on our differences in terms of academic discipline, church tradition, culture, race, gender and upbringing to enrich and bless each other.
In all our discussions, we hope to cultivate Christ-like character, exhibiting qualities such as:
- humility, actively seeking to learn from others, with an awareness of the limits of our own knowledge;
- generosity, seeking to share knowledge without diminishing others, and graciously receiving the knowledge and wisdom that is shared with us;
- honesty, speaking truthfully, so far as we are able, and cultivating an environment in which others can also speak openly without fear of censure;
- wisdom, speaking and listening appropriately, remaining sensitive to the needs of others.
As Christians we look for reconciliation in all areas of life and are committed to the hard work of learning to have difficult conversations together. In practice this means we seek to encourage viewpoint diversity, allowing those with whom we disagree to speak, and responding to opposing views with the characteristics outlined above. We expect all participants to be guided by academic norms, exchanging ideas and evidence in ways which aim to illuminate.
To enable these kinds of conversations to flourish, we do not expect participants to deliberately disrupt or dominate public discussions. Contributions made with a primary purpose of provoking or offending other participants are also unwelcome. In the rare instances in which we believe participants are not seeking to uphold these conversation guidelines we may ask participants to refrain from contributing or to leave a group or event. If this occurs, we will seek to offer constructive feedback in the hope that a mutually enriching conversation can be resumed.
We are grateful to all those who contribute to the developing conversations between Christian academics and thought leaders in Oxford and beyond and look forward to many more years of fruitful engagement.