Letter: Wise men who believe what they are told

Sir: Earlier this year you were kind enough to print a letter from me suggesting that 'theology' is not a subject that universities ought to support. The Regius Professor of Divinity in my university (letter, 21 December), purporting to reaffirm his belief in the three wise men, complete with bits preserved in Cologne Cathedral, says: 'Some of us, at least, are not ashamed to believe whatever we are told.' By all means let him believe whatever he is told, but some of us might be ashamed of being paid a professor's salary to do so.

It is not clear whether Professor Ward's letter is intended sincerely (as many simple believers will assume) or as a humorous satire on his fellow theologians whose thought processes have been exhibited on your letters page recently. Either way it strengthens my case. What kind of a subject is it that cannot be distinguished from a parody of itself?

Yours faithfully,



22 December