Letter: Exploring an issue of concern to millions

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The Independent Online
Sir: Larry Adler (letter, 26 March) ridicules Susan Howatch for her endowment of a post in theology and natural science and attributes to theology a range of evils from ayatollahs to the IRA. Such pronouncements make it clear why the post is a good idea. Of course, religion (like sex, the family and money) is ambivalent. The natural sciences too play a highly ambivalent role (military research being the most obvious example).

Theology, which also has a mixed record, is concerned with trying to understand religion and exploring the questions of meaning, truth and practice that it raises. These issues are of deep concern to millions of people. It is important that we have as high a quality of public discussion of them as possible.

What we, in this faculty, want to be is a place where there can be rigorous exploration of these questions between people of different convictions, disciplines and traditions.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID F. FORD, Regius Professor of Divinity; MORNA D. HOOKER, Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity; NICHOLAS L. A. LASH, Norris Hulse Professor of Divinity

Faculty of Divinity

University of Cambridge

Cambridge

26 March

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