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'Exciting Time' for New Edinburgh Divinity Head

Thursday September 6 2018

The new head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh has said that it is an ‘exciting’ time for the subject at the university.

Professor Helen Bond took over as head of the school a month ago. She said: “There has been a lot to learn. It’s very different in a leadership role – it’s a whole different perspective on things.

“We are very strong at the moment. I think we are the largest place in the UK to study theology, we are number one in Scotland in terms of research and teaching and it’s a really exciting time.

“I want to engage with the outside world a bit more, and really position the school as a place where people come to and think of for the study of all religion, not just Christianity and Judaism.”

Professor Bond has been at the School of Divinity for 18 years. She specialises in New Testament studies, with a particular interest in the historical figure of Jesus and the early development of Christianity. She has been Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins since 2011.

With the Rev Professor Susan Hardman Moore taking over this summer as Principal of New College, one of the centres where Church of Scotland ministers are trained, Professor Bond says it illustrates how far women have come in the study of divinity in Scotland.

“Fifty years ago it would have been very much a male dominated place – male staff and male students. Even when I came 18 years ago there weren’t many female members of staff. Nowadays, at undergraduate level we have got far more women than men, and in staff I think it’s about one third women. There has been a real change in the whole culture of divinity, it’s a really different place of work than it was in the past, and I think that’s all to be celebrated.”


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