26 Nov Festschriften for Professor Paul Fiddes
Paul Fiddes, Director of Research and former Principal of Regent’s Park College, and Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Oxford, was honoured yesterday for a lifetime of service to the College, the University and the Church.
Some of the most distinguished members of the theological and church communities had contributed essays to two Festschriften in Professor Fiddes’ honour, and many of them gathered at Regent’s to celebrate his work and to launch the books. The books had been edited by two former research students of Professor Fiddes, but their publication and the planning of the celebration was successfully kept secret until the last minute. Professor Fiddes had been told by his wife – a willing co-conspirator in the subterfuge – that he must keep the date clear for a celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, which he had founded. He realised that something was up, however, when he arrived in College in mid-afternoon and met many renowned friends and colleagues, including Professor Jürgen Moltmann with whom he had worked as a post-doctoral student in Tübingen.
At last, the cat could be let out of the bag, and this honour fell to Fiddes’ successor as Principal, Dr Rob Ellis, when he rose to address a packed Helwys Hall and invited them to welcome Professor Moltmann (who had contributed an essay to one of the Festschriften), who would be lecturing on ‘The Nature of the Suffering of God’ in honour of Professor Fiddes. The two Festschriften – one on the doctrine of God, and one on the church – were launched at a reception after the lecture, and the celebrations came to a climax with a dinner in Hall attended by many friends and colleagues of Professor Fiddes, including luminaries of the academic and ecclesial worlds.
The Festschriften (click on image for details):