University administrators know that theology departments cannot be sustained indefinitely, but they are reluctant to begin what would be for some a painful process of reform. Procrastination is not the solution. Reform should begin now and be managed as humanely as possible. New staff should not be recruited and older members of staff should be offered generous early retirement. Many members of staff in the middle of their careers could make a valuable contribution in other departments with their skills in Greek, Hebrew, archaeology and ancient and ecclesiastical history.
In a time of increasing financial difficulty for universities, spending money on theology will be no more justifiable than devoting the metallurgy budget to the study of alchemy. In his forthcoming book Dr Dawkins will appeal for people to grow out of religion and into rational maturity. Where better to start this process than in the universities? R D Galbraith