Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series
Spring 2018 Seminar 2: Issues in Theology
- Kyle Lincoln, Edinburgh: Exploring Pulpit Shaming within a Nineteenth Century Scottish Literary Context
- David Rathel, St Andrews: Ecclesiology and Empire: Surveying Nineteenth Century Evangelical Attitudes to British Expansion in India
The third speaker booked for this seminar had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Regardless, we had a great turnout for Kyle Lincoln and David Rathel, who explored topics in theology and religion in the context of the 19th century.
Thoughts on the talks:
- Kyle Lincoln
- Kyle's opening discussion of 'shame' in different contexts was very interesting; he continued to explore the theological issues raised by pulpit shaming - the denouncement of an individual, group, or activity by the minister, speaking from the authority of the pulpit - as presented in Scottish literature by Robert Burns and James Hogg.
- There were many concepts and feelings connected with the concept of shame, such as hypocrisy, dishonour, and discipline. The individual's privacy is destroyed by the polemical, public nature of the shaming.
- David Rathel
- David spoke about Buchanan's sermon 'The Star in the East', and Britain's evangelical-colonial delusion - that God chose Britain in the way that he had once chosen the Israelites, to become his missionaries across the world - in particular, in India. Convictions about the role of divine providence in the rise of Britain's power provided the Church with evangelical - and moral - justifications for colonial activity. The expansion of Christianity and growth of the British Empire in the 19th century are intimately connected.
- I found David's presentation of the idea of the 'providential view of history' very interesting - that is, the belief that God is guiding history in a certain way or to a certain end. This is one of the ideas that Nietzsche vehemently attacks, in essays such as 'On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life'.
The next NCRS is on March 29th. The topic is 'Colonialism and Literature'.